Dhamaal is the latest in a series of leave you brains behind and enjoy the ride kind of sesneless comedy like No Entry, Masti, Partner and Heyy Babyy that has found favour with audiences. It is likely that a section of the audience will go along for the ride and find Dhamaal funny as well, but the film though having its odd moment is really loud, inane and totally unfunny.
The film is directed by Indra Kumar who following the failures of his melodramas Aashiq, Mann and Rishtey switched to comedy and tasted some success with Masti and to a smaller extent Pyare Mohan. So he continues with comedy while the going is good.
The problem with the film, having shades of It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, is that it is nothing but a series of gags and it runs out of steam well, well before the end. A few of the moments are admittedly funny and yes, even some of the oneliners are undoubtedly witty. To be fair, Indra Kumar has tried to make a good, clean comedy and has tried to stick to the basic storyline. The fight at the dhaba cutting to its signboard works well and is perhaps the best treated sequence in the film. But the film works just sporadically as unfortunately practically all of the film is much, much too loud and noisy and you also get a feeling of deja vu with most of the gags - that you have seen them somewhere before be it Austin Powers or Road Trip. The hanging on a tree at the side of a mountain too is straight out of Beetle Bailey and No Entry. Not only that, the gags just go on and on and on, finally telling on both the pace of the film and the effectiveness of the gag. In particular the sequence of the air traffic controller, played by Vijay Raaz was potentially really funny but ultimately falls totally flat as it is stretched unnecessarily. Or even the sequence with Riteish in the bus with the dacoit, played by Sanjay Mishra, which is plain looong and unfunny... In fact, there are several sequences that are are quite unfunny and taxing on your nerves and for all its loudness and lack of any subtlety whatsover, the film still lacks energy.
A film like this depends almost entirely on the ability of the actors and what they are able to make of the script. In this regard, the performances are a mixed bag. Riteish Deshmukh once again is natural and shows his sense of fine comic timing but he is now getting typecast in such roles and has to go beyond playing goofy characters. He is very good in the scene where he does a take off on Sanjeev Kumar. Javed Jaffrey has the author-backed role of the naive, slow, dimwit who inadvertently causes the quartet all sorts of problems and though the role is overplayed, he nevertheless succeeds in getting some laughs. However, Arshad Warsi seems surprisingly listless and flat and even looks disinterested. Maybe because his role is also the weakest of the four while Ashish Choudhury just makes faces in the name of comedy. Sanjay Dutt just about adequately goes through the motions while Asrani though funny in places is again, like the film, too loud. Vijay Raaz is fine as the deadpan air traffic controller but he is undone with the makers not knowing when to end a good thing and stretching his scene beyond what one can endure.
Technically, there is not much to say at all. The shot taking and camerawork looks terribly dated like the films of the 1980s with some extremely tacky use of the zoom lens, starting right from the first shot of the film. The editing needed to be far, far crisper as many of the scenes go on and on, outliving their usefulness. The music by Adnan Sami is so-so and the song picturizations too are just about strictly ok and do nothing for the film.
All in all, the film is just about average in its better moments and painful and unfunny otherwise.