Enroute to Budapest airport, a methodical RAW agent and a devil-may-care Mumbai cop struggle to stay calm and pay no attention to the inciting louse in their custody. For all one knows, he’s a pest with a purpose and there’s a ring of truth to his barbs, seeing they are neither denied nor confirmed.
It’s an intriguing moment — a rare occasion when the wicked guy has a conscious edge — cut short to welcome a scintillating car chase.
Abhinay Deo’s Force 2 means business and he’s not subtle about it.
It may bill itself as a tribute to the unsung, undercover heroes of India’s Research and Analysis Wing but is mostly a flat out action spectacle where espionage is means for masala and Rumi is messenger of cipher codes.
For a good part though, Deo’s headlong pace and high-octane hide & seek investigating the serial killing of RAW agents in China and Hungary works favourably for Force 2, a sort-of sequel to the dreary 2011 cop drama directed by Nishikant Kamath.
Once again the reason is a scene-stealing antagonist.
Tahir Raj Bhasin’s ability to switch between eye-catching and invisible, drive his low-key presence into a space of unpredictability and wear a douchey smirk whilst trolling his stilted opponents peps up Force 2‘s Hollywood-derivative model quite a bit.
Enough to overlook John Abraham’s deadpan uproar at his colleague’s death and humourless collaboration with Sonakshi Sinha as the damsel-in-distress in RAW agent’s clothing — Deo hints at a backstory but never dwells into details. It’s disappointing to witness her ‘I am leading the mission’ confidence brought down to a compliant underling.
Despite the lack of faith shown in her, the feisty actress imbues the scenes with more credibility than Abraham’s popping veins and Mercedes lifting.
Just when things should take off, they spiral downwards as Force 2 loses steam over hastily established grievances, vendetta schemes and quick fix conclusions. There’s a noticeable drop in the action too marked by cacophonous thayn thayn and jerky camera moves.
At the end of its 127 minutes duration amidst relentless gunshots and car crashes, charm (on Force 2‘s end) and clemency (on mine) has run its course. What prevails is more phew than force.
This review was first published on rediff.com.