REVIEW: Dhoom 2 – Back in Action (2006)

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The duo of Jai Dixit and Ali Khan are back for a second round as they face a threat like never before, which takes them from their locality of Mumbai to the beaches of Brazil.

A mysterious thief, known as Mr. A., has been stealing priceless artifacts from various locations. The Queen of England’s crown is the latest in the robberies but no one knows who Mr. A. is as he is a master of disguise. ACP Jai Dixit and Ali Khan, who has now officially joined the police, meet Jai’s old friend Shonali Bose, whose been assigned to the Mr. A. case. However, Mr. A soon finds a lookalike who turns out to be Sunehri, who is a thief herself who idolizes the master and asks to form an alliance.

Deciding to go international for their next heist, Mr. A. and Sunehri head to Rio de Janeiro with Jai and Ali following them. There, they meet Monali, Shonali’s twin sister, who Ali instantly falls for. Meanwhile, as Mr. A, who reveals himself as Aryan Singh, and Sunehri get closer, he learns she was forced to go undercover for Jai. However, despite the betrayal, Sunehri realizes she truly loves Aryan and will go the distance with him to pull off what could be their greatest heist. Will Jai and Ali be able to stop the romantically involved thieves?

When the original Dhoom was a box office hit in 2004, producer Aditya Chopra decided to up the ante on the sequel and decided not to bring back John Abraham’s slick motorcycle gang leader. Instead, he makes this installment an international heist film in which Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra would return to action as the mismatched partners Jai Dixit and Ali Khan, the latter having now joined the police force and is introduced in his comical ways going undercover. Jai, now sporting a full beard as opposed to his clean cut look in the first film, shows he means business in the meantime.

To add some real star power to the film, producer Chopra unveiled two of Bollywood’s greatest to play the film’s villains. They are none other than Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai, who play the eventual couple Mr. A and Sunehri, who starts out as a mole but shows her true loyalty for Mr. A, ultimately resulting in her double crossing the police. Bipashu Basu does double duty in the film, playing twin sisters who are reminiscent of Jai and Ali themselves. The first twin, seen in the first half of the film, is Shonali, who has known Jai since their days at the police academy and is as no-nonsense as he is. The second twin, Monali, is introduced in the second half and is like Ali, carefree and non-caring with a bit of comic relief. Ali’s dream sequence of Monali even pays homage to Baywatch.

Another highlight of the film besides its use of Bollywood’s musical sequences, which fit into the story quite well, is the action. Roshan provides some great action scenes in the film, notably in the opening action scene, which will bring to mind the likes of James Bond or even Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible films. The chase scenes are also a delight to watch and while they are not like the motorcycle chase scenes of the original, they hold their own well for a Bollywood action film.  However, there is a nice little homage to the original film with a motorcycle chase that leads to a game of chicken between Jai and Mr. A. Yes, the film does have some CGI and wirework, but is believable enough for this to become an even bigger blockbuster than its predecessor.

Dhoom 2: Back in Action is definitely a rarity for films: a sequel that isn’t as good as its original, but is slightly better with its combination of star power, international flavor, story-driven musical sequences, and exciting action. This is what Bollywood action films should be all about.

WFG RATING: A

A Yash Raj Films Production. Director: Sanjay Gadhvi. Producer: Aditya Chopra. Writer: Vijay Krishna Acharya. Cinematography: Nirav Shah and Vikas Sivaraman. Editing: Rameshwar S. Bhagat.

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Uday Chopra, Bipashu Basu

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