Commando (Hindi)

Director: Dilip Ghosh

Cast: Vidyut Jammwal, Pooja Chopra, Jaideep Ahlawat

Coming from the producers of Force , which reinvented the hardcore action entertainer genre in Bollywood, Commando provides Stallone-Statham kind of raw stuff tweaked for our environs. Appropriately, Vidyut Jammwal is as wooden as his much-celebrated Hollywood counterparts. In fact, there is a line in the film that compares his face with a freshly ironed shirt and for those who don’t get this allegory, director Dilip Ghosh makes Jammwal come out of a poster of John Abraham during a fight sequence. It is this honesty on the part of the makers that makes you invest in this formulaic fare.

There is no pretension. What you expect is what you get. When he flexes his muscles other than facial, the boy has got some real brawn to show off and it makes this one-man army kind of harebrained entertainment enjoyable.

The villain is crucial in such films for he is the reason for unbridled violence and here Jaideep Ahlawat plays to the gallery with the flourish of a seasoned bad man. As the mobile maniac AK 74, he mixes menace with the madcap element really well and Ghosh has given him the best one-liners.

As for the story, Ghosh relies on the tried and tested template. AK 74 is adamant on marrying Simran (newcomer Pooja Chopra). She runs away from his trap on a cycle and finds commando Karanvir Dogra (Vidyut Jammwal) along the way. Dogra is fighting his own demons and, in Simran’s case, finds an excuse to clean the system from within. At this point Ghosh hands over the baton to stunt coordinator Franz Spilhaus and the screen comes alive with a seamless chase in the jungle.

Unlike the aging Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn, Jammwal shows tremendous agility, making the action believable, and even the clichéd stunts strike a chord. The only weak cog is Chopra. Trying to follow the footsteps of Kareena Kapoor, the former Miss India seems to believe that she is in a Jab We Met kind of situation. Trying to be cute, she ends up looking petulant. She lacks the innocence, something Genelia D’Souza generated with ease in Force .