3.5 Very Good

Dhoom 2

It's time to "dhoom machale" once again as the most anticipated sequel of the year (if not the decade) hits theatres near you. Dhoom resurrected Abhishek's career from way down in the doldrums in 2004 when youngsters all over India (and the rest of the world) patronised it - and that too in a major way. Fast bikes, explosive action scenes, hot babes Dhoom had it all. Dhoom 2 pretty much has the same formula - though on a far bigger scale. Everything about the film is HUGE. Its canvas, its stars, locations - Dhoom:2 has it all and will undoubtedly smash box office records.

Mr A aka Aryan (Roshan) is a wily thief who masterminds the most impossible heists worldwide and leaves no trail besides an 'A' insignia at the scene of each crime. Like its predecessor, a no nonsense, ill tempered cop Jai Dixit (Abhishek) and his bumbling sidekick Ali (Chopra) are assigned the almost impossible task of bringing Mr A to justice with the aide of ACP Shonali Bose (a piping hot Bipasha Basu).

Several foiled attempts at capturing Aryan go terribly wrong and he seems virtually unstoppable. That is, till the bandit sets eyes on femme fatale Sunheri (Rai) - a copycat thief and falls for her charms. Aryan is unsure of her motives and the rest of the plot deals with their sizzler of a relationship meshed with a crazy cat and mouse chase that requires the audience to suspend all belief and generally enjoy the joyride. Truly the game really isn't over!

First things first. Dhoom:2 has nothing that even remotely resembles a plot. You're so busy feasting on the babes, the explosions, the designer gear, silly yet enjoyable humour, the torsos and the abs that you fail to realise that there really isn't much of a story or in fact any sort of logic unfolding on screen!

But therein lies the beauty of this franchise. There's no art house boredom, no sleep inducing drama and no sickly romance. Don't look for logic buddy - because there isn't any! It's all just one big rollercoaster ride and it's fun fun fun!

Of the performances D:2 is undoubtedly a Hrithik Roshan showcase all the way. He looks and dances like a dream, does daredevil stunts with equal panache and delivers the most inane line with the earnestness and honesty in a way that only he can. With him in the frame every single character pales in comparison. He's that good.

Dhoom is one big experiment for Aishwarya as she tries to break away from her classic period beauty tag. She's required to look hot and if other actresses can do it, Ash makes sure she does it too - only several shades better. She looks so foxy that I think I stepped on a puddle of drool on my way out of the auditorium. Her performance is average though and her poorly written character only adds to her (and the audiences) woes. But her modelling experience comes in handy as she poses in the skimpiest of attire and dances as raunchily as she possibly can for us to come to the conclusion, that this woman can not only look beautiful she can also set temperatures soaring if the need arises. Her chemistry with Hrithik too is fantastic and one wonders why it took producers so long to cast them together!

Uday is average at best and after a while begins to grate on your nerves, especially when you know that someone like Saif would have pulled his role off with flying colours. But I guess having family up in high places helps! Bipasha is good as the ACP but downright silly as the bimbette in Brazil and her double role act is one of the most pathetic twists in the tale. But she too looks jaw droppingly gorgeous and pulls off her bikini act and plunging necklines as comfortably as she always does.

Unfortunately the weakest performance comes from Abhishek who seems awfully blasé throughout and pales to Hrithik in every single department. Even that likeable trademark swagger and unshaven look do not help him in stepping out of Hrithik's shadow. It's a shame really as the original Dhoom is the film that launched his fledgling career to the skies. Get your act together dude - you gave us KANK this year (a move that you made worth watching) - your laziness here is completely unpardonable be it in your unkempt look or your lazy performance!

So...the question on everyman's lips is, does Dhoom live up to the hype? It does yes and will appeal to audiences starved of escapist entertainment. As I said earlier, there's no point in looking for logic...just go ahead, switch off and enjoy the ride with plenty of popcorn.

Go DHOOM!

- Jay Mamtora -