Action Replayy

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Review (4/10)
(By Naresh Kumar Deoshi)

Now, this was really a zor ka jhakta, and it came from the blue. Vipul Amrutlal Shah and Akshay Kumar have had a pretty clean sheet working together. Be it Namastey London or Singh Is Kingg (which Shah only produced) the duo has provided entertainment to the masses whenever they teamed up together. So the audiences are bound to have rocket high expectations particularly when the theme of their latest film is intriguing as to take us back to the glorious 70s, when bell bottoms, side burns, hippie hairdos and polka dots were all the rage.

Akshay has once again been turned into a goofball, with buckteeth and thick spectacles. He’s derided by his overbearing father (Om Puri) as ‘gadha’ (donkey), and quite rightly so, for he’s a gutless wimp who shivers and shakes at the very idea of facing up to his fiery padosan (Aishwarya Rai). In one scene he holds her hand and gets an electric shock as potent as the bolt of lightning. He’s also the butt of every joke played by his shrewd rival-in-love (Ranvijay Singh).

On paper, the transformation of this simpleton into a dude may sound interesting, and with Akshay at the helm, it might have been a topnotch laugh riot. But it is not. For one thing, the script is so shoddy and plotholed that you can pass a whole time machine through it. Secondly, Akshay’s comic timing hasn’t been capitalized on. There are no punchy dialogues, hardly any potent humour and lot of unnecessary and forgettable songs (Pritam) in between.

Story? Bunty (Aditya Roy Kapoor) is tired of his perpetually quarrelling parents Kishen and Mala (Akshay and Ash). On their 35th wedding anniversary, when a surprise party thrown by Bunty turns into a slugfest between his parents, he decides to travel back in time to set a few things right. He goes back to 1975 when Kishen and Mala were neighbours and hated each other. Bunty’s mission is to make his parents fall in love so that they could live happily ever after. And he does that by transforming the wimp Kishen into a swashbuckler.

Borrowing nuggets from Back to the Future, Vipul Amrutlal Shah tell a tale that simply lacks vim and vigour. The sequences when Ash pulls a fast one on Akshay are dull at best. The writing is of mediocre quality sans any laugh-worthy moments. Ranvijay’s character is mostly running from pillar to post to win Ash’s love. Om Puri and Kirron Kher’s characters have almost been turned into caricatures. Even Ash’s tomboy act is overdone.

Akshay isn’t half as hilarious as when he’s in form. His spineless Kishen may evoke sympathy, but no laughter. In one scene when a baleful Ranvijay and his sidekick Raghubir Yadav corner him and threaten to strip him, Akki crawls on the floor and pleads: “Bhagwan ke liye mujhe chhod do”.

Aditya Roy Kapoor gets a lot of footage and the lad is pretty comfortable playing the love guru. Neha Dhupia’s character has no purpose in the script. Perhaps the director owed her the promise of another role after Singh Is Kingg.

In short, Action Replayy disappoints. If you are looking for entertainment during this festive weekend, this film may not be the best idea.


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