Friday, January 6, 2012

Players Movie Review - Bad Acting, Average Thriller, Good Action

Players, the official remake of The Italian Job has a ‘Race’ hangover and is a serious version of the super flop ‘Tees Maar Khan’. The irony is that when Indian directors lift movies from foreign films without giving proper credit, they do a frame by frame copy, but when they acquire the rights legally, they try to make their movies as original as possible !

Story of Players
Charlie (Abhishek Bachchan) is doing what Hrithik did in Dhoom 2 and John Abraham did in Dhoom 1, sans the bike. He masterminds heists and leads from the front. He is now going to commit what is known as the ‘robbery of the century’, where he is going to steal gold from the train that runs from Russia to Romania. This he is doing for his guru Victor Dada (Vinod khanna) who has a singular aim of starting an educational institution which caters to children of every economic group.

Helping him in the heist are people who bring to the table various types of specialties – a magician Ronny (Bobby Deol), a con-woman Rhea (Bipasha Basu),bomb expert Bilal (Sikander Kher) and prosthetic specialist Sunny (Omi Vaidya). They also rope in Spider (Neil Nitin Mukesh) who is a master hacker and strategiest, even though they have another hacker in their team Naina (Sonam Kapoor). Naina is the daughter of Victor Dada.

The plan goes well, oblivious to Naina. After committing a stunning train heist, the five are discussing their future plans about what do with the huge booty of gold when something terrible happens. Bobby Deol is shot dead by Neil Nitin Mukesh who also fires at Bipasha Basu. Pandemonium strikes when Neil says that he had planned it all from the beginning to eliminate them and walk away with the gold himself. He kills them, or so he thinks. Meanwhile, Neil has also had him men eliminate Vinod Khanna.

The three Abhishek Bachchan, Sikander Kher, Omi Vaidya save themselves only to find Bobby Deol dead. Sonam comes to know of their plan but when she comes to know the real motto behind taking the booty, she decides to use her skills to support the trio and win back the gold, so that the dream of her father could be realized. They also find Bipasha Basu in Australia trying to regroup herself and decide to avenge their defeat only to find that things are not as easy as them; a rude shock awaits them.

Plus points of Players
Excellent production values, that can match an A-grade Hollywood thriller. The movie is technically brilliant, with stunning visuals. Abbas-Mustan relish what they do the best- making octane thrillers and this one has its OMG moments. The train heist scene is jaw-dropping and so is the climax. Good comedy track, Johnny Lever excels with his foreign kids and the Western Ramu Kaka.

Minus points of Players
The first half of the movie is slow, the movie takes off in a big way after the train heist scene and there is no looking back. The screenplay is amateurish specially in the introductory scene of Abhishek Bachchan and Bipasha Basu conning the jewelry salesman . Things look so convenient for the 10000 crore gold heist, that it comes across as fake.The dialogues could have been far edgier.The music of Players is bad, a movie of this canvas needed some real funky music that could appeal the youth.

Players is let down by bad acting from almost everyone in the film, notable mentions being Sonam Kapoor, Vinod khanna and Omi Vaidya. Bipasha Basu has a predictable role in the film and people who have seen Bipasha’s roles in Abbas-Mustan movies can sniff what is going to happen, from the very first reel. Also, movie makers should realize that they should not create false expectations. Anil Kapoor got a lot of flak for all the hype generated in Mission Impossible 4, when he was just there for 2 mniutes. In Players, Bobby Deol has a similar fate, his role is shorter than that of Johnny Lever.

Performances in Players
Everyone in the film have done a below average job in Players barring Bipasha Basu and Neil Nitin Mukesh who are just about passable. Omi Vaidya is very repetitive, he is doing the same thing in all movies be it Dil toh Bacha Hai Ji, DesiBoyz or Players. Vinod Khanna with all due respects to the bodyof work he has done, has done a bad job in Players. It may well be called Vinod Khanna’s worst performance. Sonam Kapoor’s performance leaves a lot to be desired. She looks fake in many scenes, including one in which Abhishek Bachchan asks her ‘are you crying” and she breaks into (crocodile?) tears saying “’Aisey hi papa ki yaad aye”

Junior Bachchan has sleep-walked through the role and it looks as if he just want to get it done with the shot. In fact, it would not be improper to say that this is the worst performance by an ensemble cast of mainstream actors in recent times. Sikander Kher is fine, he has nothing much to do, he does not talk much in the film and shares screen-space with others in the same frame. Out of this lot, if you have to single out one actor, it would be Johnny Lever who gets some genuinely funny lines and situations, even thought they are just a couple odd ones.

Players is a good movie with some real adrenalin racing action and thrills, full credit to thriller kings Abbas-Mustan. However, the movie is marred by bad performances, poor music by Pritam and uninspiring dialogue.

Rating: **1/2 (Above average)


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