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Upperstall Review


Action Jackson


Hindi, Action, 2014, Color

Cast And Crew

Directed by
Produced by
Sound Design

Vishi (Ajay Devgn) is a hard working hotel concierge in Pune who lives a double life as a street-side thug in Mumbai with his partner in crime Moosa (Kunal Roy Kapoor). A girl next door, Khushi (Sonakshi Sinha) falls in love with him until one day a mysterious gangster named Xavier comes after Rishi to kill him. Much confusion ensues as Vishi is saved from the goons by his look-alike who reveals himself as AJ and the drama begins with AJ telling his story to Rishi. They both plot a convoluted plan to save AJ's ailing wife, Anusha (Yami Gautam), and take revenge from Xavier and his villainous sister, Marina (Manasvi Mamgai), in Bangkok by trading places.

Filmmaking is an art which can take you to the highest of the highs and even sink you to unimaginable depths. And then there is cinema like Action Jackson. Action Jackson sets the bar so low that you might need anti-depressants to get over it. A barrage of 2 and a half hours of tacky visuals filled with regressive and offensive humour, pointless overlong fight scenes, pedestrian dialogues, over the top hamming in the name of acting and a bunch of Himesh Reshammiya songs, Action Jackson is the perfect formula for third-degree torture.

Prabhu Deva brought the genre of south-Indian masala movie remakes to Mumbai with the Salman Khan starrer Wanted and simultaneously set the Bollywood blockbuster movies back by 20 years. It looks like he doesn't want to stop and why should he? Considering this genre keeps making buckets of money for it's producers. There is apparently a big audience for it out there but calling it cinema seems like a misnomer. These are more like formula products.

The same Sonakshi Sinha (who recently lashed out against a certain Kamaal R Khan for his misogyny, but acts here yet again in a movie which has enough regressive' humour') appears in almost all of such movies and plays almost the same role that she has played her entire career. Yami Gautam appears on screen for a song and disappears and then appears just to be harassed, chased and beaten up leaving her little room for anything else. Kunal Roy Kapoor plays the token sidekick and fat guy so that jokes can be cracked upon him. Manasvi Mamgai plays the vamp Marina and has a meaty role where her role requires her to wear skimpiest of clothes and mouth off her dialogues like she is on perpetual medication. Ajay Devgn who fooled the audience for a while by doing movies like Gangaajal and Omkara seems determined here to prove that his acting skills consist of a grand total of just 3 expressions. His non-existent attempts to develop charismatic character(s) in Action Jackson fall flat.

The film has shoddy pseudo-stylistic camerawork reminiscent of Kill Bill and more recently Ong-Bak and other Thai action flicks. The fight sequences though choreographed well, seem way too over the top but that is the desired effect in this product of Mr Prabhu Deva. Songs by Himesh Reshammiya are instantly forgettable and won't last on anyone's playlist beyond the next Friday. M. Prabhu Deva again appears in a post-credit scene to show off his dancing skills which may have been brilliant at some point in the distant past but now they look worse than any random kid on an episode of Dance India Dance but hey, overkill is not a word that Mr Deeva has in his dictionary.

This year has produced Humshakals and now Action Jackson. Needless to say, our collective sanity desperately needs this year to end.

- Shivam Sharma aka @GhantaGuy

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