Race 2 is enjoyable, preposterous, ridiculous but never boring – 2.5/5.0

By: Nikhil Arora

Let me something straight, I enjoyed Race (2008) but I do not think it was exquisite entertainment. Yes, it was entertaining but not the best kind. I did not have any expectations from the sequel. I imagined I will just get more of the same stuff and that I did. Enjoyable songs, good-looking people, several foreign locations and a truckload of twists. Did I mention a story? No. Well, to be honest Race had a preposterous story but it worked. Why it worked in terms of entertainment is because it kept trying to outguess the audience. (Trying to) They succeeded because the level of being preposterous was maintained. It never became completely ridiculous.

Race 2 comes with a tagline on the posters which goes “Betrayal is survival”. As far as the filmmaker’s intentions are concerned, I survived through Race 2. What does that say about betrayal? I think it’s the same as a blurred middle finger. (If you’ve seen the film, you know what I mean)

I don’t want to get into the plot of the film. It doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that there will be several twists and turns for absolutely no reason except to have something going on while all actors showcase what they think they are good at. (Probably what they think the audience thinks they are good at.) Saif looks cool, Deepika looks hot, John shows off his body and Jacqueline breathes heavily.

Oh but wait, have I told you I was having fun through most of this buffoonery? A card game where they can magically change the number and suit of the card is absolutely outrageous! Most of the twists could be guessed and I was having fun trying to guess them and mostly succeeding. (Also probably because I knew I won’t feel stupid later.)

Since I didn’t exactly expect something better than the first film, I was perfectly placed to not have my head exploding by the end of it. No, it doesn’t match up to the first but who cares?! I certainly don’t. I’m not going to watch this movie again, just like I’ve never seen the first one again. I was simply enjoying what it was offering, laughing at the asinine dialogues and sometimes laughing at the unintentional humor. I was even laughing at Anil Kapoor’s antics. Yes, he gets a cheap role but come on, a dick joke which ends with “Iska jawab banana padega”? Also – “Cherry, I don’t have time to pop your cherry”. Delivered by Mr. Kapoor it sounds stupid, yes, but not in bad taste at all. (Did I just put in a sick pun over there? I apologize)

There are only two problems I had with this film – the visual effects from 1998 and the last half hour. If my memory serves me right, the final “race” in Race was about two brothers outwitting each other. Here we don’t really care why the events are unfolding or whether we even want to root for either of the characters. Who do I blame for this? Yes, the writing for sure. But then there is also John Abraham. He gives a bad name to acting. Even in a film where you don’t have to act much or act at all, he fails.

I mentioned at the beginning of my review that Race, while it was preposterous, never became ridiculous. Race 2 maintains the entertainment (preposterous still, oh yes!) but only during two hours of its runtime. The final half hour is a complete cop-out. Mostly because, well, there in NO conclusion. A shoddy set-up for Race 3, which gives you a sour after-taste. Race 2 succeeds in becoming ridiculous as it struggles to find a resolution to the story. Everything before that is enjoyable, a guilty pleasure.


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