Baaghi 2 (2018)

Tiger Shroff returns in this spiritual sequel to his 2016 film that is a remake of another film, where the original film nearly caused controversy for lifting elements of another film.

Neha Salgaonkar is ready to take her daughter Rhea to school for her first day of kindergarten. However, upon her arrival at the school, she finds herself attacked by two masked men and Rhea is kidnapped. Two months have passed, and no one has lifted a finger to help her. She soon realizes there is someone who can help her. And his name is Ranveer Prayat Singh, her former college boyfriend whom she called “Ronnie”. Ronnie is now one of the toughest soldiers in the Indian Army and he offers his help upon seeing her again.

As Ronnie searches for clues, he finds himself getting himself in a series of unexpected situations. He soon finds himself hunted down by the local police, led by the eccentric Loha Singh Dhull, or LSD. In addition, he finds himself involved in a drug peddling ring with people connected to Neha. When Shekhar, Neha’s husband, convinces Ronnie that Rhea is actually a figment of Neha’s PTSD from the attack, Neha commits suicide. When Ronnie discovers that Rhea might be real, he is determined to find the little girl and will go through any means necessary to get her back and destroy those responsible.

In 2016, the first Baaghi became young martial artist Tiger Shroff’s breakout film. This would be the film that made him a bonafide star in his native India despite a controversial finale that was believed to have been lifted off the Indonesian film The Raid. However, a lawsuit from the Indian remake owners was dropped when it was revealed that only the finale was inspired and thus, was not allowed to go to suit. For this spiritual sequel, the producers made sure to do it right and obtains the rights to a Telugu film called Kshanam, which was released the same year as the original film.

The core elements of the film are there so that makes it a remake. However, for Bollywood, remaking a film means they have to amp up elements that will leave fans staying in the seats. In the original film, the hero is an investment banker who helps his ex-girlfriend find her daughter. In the case here, Tiger Shroff’s Ronnie is a badass soldier who attempts to help his ex-girlfriend rescue her daughter. Shroff continues to showcase why he is one of he biggest stars today in India.

Shroff’s Ronnie is clearly a throwback to the 1980’s action hero. He’s basically Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jean-Claude Van Damme rolled up in one major kickbutt package. However, in flashback sequences, we see the softer side of Ronnie when it comes to his relationship with Neha, played by Disha Patani. It is the present-day scenes where we see Shroff question and fight his way to complete his “mission”. He singlehandedly takes on a police station and wait for it, mercenaries in a jungle like area, all by himself. This third act to the film shows Shroff going into Commando mode and using the environment to his advantage while showcasing his graceful kicks, chain punching, and of course the signature of the film, a strike to a shin followed by the shin breaking.

The film’s mystery undertones really come into play well with the action scenes. The mystery of Rhea’s kidnapping keeps delving into twist after twist. In one pivotal scene, we see Sunny hunted by Ronnie, in which we see Shroff’s A Flying Jatt co-star Jacqueline Fernandez playing herself doing a musical number which culminates with Shroff taking out some nightclub thugs and chasing Sunny through the streets of Goa. If there is one thing that could be needed less, it’s slow motion. The film does suffer from an abundance of slow motion, which becomes more of a distraction.

Baaghi 2 takes the film Kshanam and amps up a Commando-style final action set piece. Tiger Shroff continues his streak as a major action star and plays a badass rather than his likable Ronnie in the original. Nevertheles, kill the overdose of slow motion and you have a pretty good popcorn flick.

WFG RATING: B

A Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment production. Director: Ahmed Khan. Producers: Sajid Nadiadwala and Vijay Singh. Writers: Abbas Hirapurwala, Jojo Khan, amd Niraj Kumar Mishra; story by Sajid Nadiadwala; based on the screenplay Kshanam by Adivi Sesh. Cinematography: Santhana Krishnan Ravichandran. Editing: Rameshwar S. Bhagat.

Cast: Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Manoj Bajpayee, Randeep Hooda, Deepak Dobriyal, Prateik Babbar, Darshan Kumar, Vipin Sharma, Indra Neel Bhattachaya, Jacqueline Fernandez.

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