Mumbai, Rajeev Masand: Bang Bang has two gorgeous leads, some eye-popping stunt scenes, a slew of beautiful locales, and pretty hummable music. It would take an especially awful script and a truly incompetent director to deliver an unwatchable film out of those ingredients.When Bollywood filmmakers remake a Hollywood film, I wish they would stick to the same duration too! Bang Bang is the Indian remake of Knight and Day, which as far as I remember, was about 110 minutes but the running time of Bang Bang is 156 minutes! For a film with no head or tail, that’s quite long!
Within the first ten minutes of the movie, the MI6 headquarters in London have been broken into, a most-wanted terrorist freed, and a brave law enforcer killed. If you’ve ever watched a James Bond film in your life, you’ll know the place is swarming with Secret Service agents. Perhaps they were all out to lunch when this was happening.
Okay, so this film is going to require some suspension of disbelief. No problem. Then, we’re introduced to Katrina Kaif’s character. If you can buy the idea of Katrina as a boring bank receptionist in Shimla who must sign up on an Internet blind-dating site to get a little romance in her life, then boy, you probably believe Santa Claus is real too!
Bang Bang is an official remake of the mediocre Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz starrer Knight And Day, and it’s fashioned as a fast-paced actioner, which basically means the plot is going to be threadbare. Hrithik Roshan is Rajveer, a mysterious thief who’s stolen the Kohinoor diamond, no less. As he dodges both the cops and the henchmen of a criminal mastermind who wants the rock,
Rajveer meets Harleen (Katrina), who gets sucked into this globetrotting adventure with him.
The premise itself isn’t so much of a problem as is the fact that Hrithik and Katrina have virtually no chemistry. The pair sizzled in Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, but here they produce fewer sparks than a box of soaked matchsticks. Both actors look a million bucks, particularly Hrithik who is made to lose his shirt at every conceivable opportunity and show off those well-oiled abs. Katrina, sadly, is stuck playing a pathetic ditz; the kind of insufferable character you wouldn’t want to be sitting next to on a long-haul flight.
Director Siddharth Anand, the man who gave us such excruciating films as Tara Rum Pum and Anjaana Anjaani, applies the same pedestrian sensibilities to what could’ve been a slick enjoyable romp.
The film is weighed down by a teary familial back-story, and a twist that anyone who’s watched even three masala potboilers can predict from a mile away. The blatant product placements are embarrassing, the dialogues so clunky they make you cringe. And yet if there’s one reason to watch the film, it’s Hrithik. He’s charming and charismatic, and he appears to be having a good time. Here’s a movie star who actually looks like he could pull off those action scenes for real.
The film then isn’t unwatchable, but at 2 hours and 35 minutes, it certainly tests your patience. How many times have you ordered a dish that looks terrific photographed in a menu, but disappoints when it shows up on the table? Bang Bang is that kind of meal. I’m going with two out of five.