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‘Action’ movie review: This Vishal outing promises much, but lacks spine or sense

Had the makers spent a fraction of the budget in hiring a script consultant or a writer, ‘Action’ would have at least been a watchable movie

Had the makers spent a fraction of the budget in hiring a script consultant or a writer, ‘Action’ would have at least been a watchable movie   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Sundar C wants his film to retain the international-ness of the ‘Mission Impossible’ series, but its tone-deaf attitude doesn’t even cross the Mayavaram border

What makes an action scene work? Is it the eye-popping set pieces? Or the imaginative way in which these scenes are written and executed? Or is it the sheer adrenaline rush that you get watching two men/women perform gravity-defying stunts? Action’s opening sequence is anything above. It opens somewhere in Istanbul, where Diya (Tamannah) tries to evade a group of cops — who look straight out of Friday Night Smackdown. You sense it’s a ploy because...come on, it is already five minutes and the star hasn’t made a blast of an entry.

Colonel Subash (Vishal) is introduced. As you might have guessed, this warrants a brief action stretch involving guns and chases. But not a single action block registers, for it is swiftly edited out even before making a lasting impact. If someone had commissioned Hari to write a full-blown action film, the result will look like the cartoonish scenes in Action. The writing is so plasticky and all over the place that even the dialogues are dead-boring. For instance, when Subash catches hold of a police officer who has links to terrorist Malik (Kabir Dulhan Singh), this is what you get: “It is not an option, but action.” The lack of a strong screenplay is evident in the first half, which is both a mix of a political and family drama. In the flashback, we get to see Subash’s world. He is the Chief Minister’s son and is also a gallantry award winner. An explosion claiming the life of the Indian Prime Minister sets off the proceedings in Action. Subash is left with a lot of questions, so does the audience.

Action
  • Cast: Vishal, Tamannaah, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Ramki, Yogi Babu and Kabir Dulhan Singh
  • Director: Sundar C
  • Storyline: Colonel Subash is on a ‘hunt’ to track down India’s most wanted terrorist, Syed Ahmed Malik. But his mission isn’t purely professional, but personal

Sundar C has two or maybe three tricks in his bag... but a sensible script isn’t one of them. I know what you must be thinking. Shouldn’t movies like Action be taken less seriously, given that it is a ‘no-brainer’? But isn’t no-brainer itself an escapist statement? Action is mounted on a large canvas (it has a great production design) and has been filmed in colorful locations — Istanbul, Lahore to London. Its protagonist Subash is a globe-trotting secret agent-cum-army officer-cum-lover boy. While on his mission to Pakistan, he even breaks into a song along with his partner Diya. Had the makers spent a fraction of the budget in hiring a script consultant or a writer, Action would have at least been a watchable movie.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 10:48:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/action-movie-review-this-vishal-outing-promises-much-but-lacks-spine-or-sense/article29983957.ece

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