Monday, August 30, 2010

900th Post Special!!!: Dhoom (Taxi) 2

Happy almost a major milestone, everybody!  With 899 posts out of the way, I can only think of what is to come.  Another month of insanity, all of the craziness that October brings and, of course, the holiday season.  To jar me back to the present, here is a weird action movie that literally stops its plot for 5-10 minute musical numbers.  For all of my long-time fans, you'll recall how I celebrated 800 posts with a film called Dhoom.  This was another in a long line of rip-off films to come out of Bollywood aka India's Hollywood.  It was a rip-off of Taxi, a French film that also has an American remake starring Jimmy Fallon.  You could also argue that Rush Hour 3 is a partial rip-off, due to it being set in France and featuring Yvan Attal as a French taxi cab driver craving some action.  So what does this film bring that's new to the table?  Well, to begin with, we have a new villain and a new motive: elaborate jewel thievery.  The whole thing throws logic out the window more than most films do, not even counting all of the musical numbers and the 'sexy basketball' scene.  More importantly, will this one also find a way to rip-off The Matrix Reloaded?  Get out your magnetic gloves for my review of...
The movie begins with a man in drag dressed as the Queen of England.  Okay, you get points for finally giving me a chance to write that sentence!  Anyhow, she's riding on a train through Namibia (why not?) when a man parachutes out of a train.  He manages to glide his way onto the vehicle,- which seems improbable- switches places with the Queen and steals the crown.  In the silly action scene that follows, he blocks bullets with a snowboard, rides behind the train (while dodging bullets) and ultimately rides off...with no clear exit.  Immediately following this, we see the same person dancing and singing in the opening credit number- jarring much?  In Mumbai, our comic relief character is brokering a drug deal after pointlessly-riding onto a boat with his bike.  It turns sour and he must be rescued by our hero Jai...who shoots out of the water on a jet ski while also shooting!!!  Their action scene is interrupted by Jai's pregnant wife calling him in a gag that's so cliche that it makes my head hurt.  By the way, enjoy the first of your three scenes, honey.  We are then introduced to a new heroine: a tough lady cop.  She's in town to find 'A,' the mysterious thief from before.  This makes no sense when she explains that they know nothing about 'A.'  Why are you here then?  As it turns out, Jai knows everything about 'A,' having figured out the obtuse pattern to his crimes.  I'd explain it, but that would ruin the fun.  As it turns out, 'A' is in town to rob some artifact, thus making an 'A' on the map with his crimes...provided you cooperate.
'A' decides to steal a diamond, which is one of two artifacts he could steal.  Naturally, dorky, comedy-relief guy is at the real site, while the competent ones are at another site.  'A' manages to steal the diamond and escape by doing these actions...
* Breaking into the museum bathroom and coating himself in pancake make-up.
* Disguising himself as a statue in the museum (since nobody can see in three dimensions here) and sending out some robots via a control board designed to look like a slate.
* Driving his little car across some lines, up a conveniently-placed divot in the base and uses a rover-style arm to steal the diamond (which has no pressure alarm, I guess).
* Activating a hologram projector on the wall to make another diamond appear in the holder.
* Somehow escaping, getting past the other guards and quick-changing into the disguise of an old man.
* When cornered, setting off an acid-spraying tube on the sewer grate, which melts in time for him to drop.
* Shooting out of the sewers about 40 seconds later in BMX gear and outrunning a motorcycle and a helicopter.
* Disappearing into a crowd, since he happened to wear the shirt of a festival taking place in town.
Since things are going bad, Jai hires a lady thief to befriend and later betray 'A.'  Yes, it's the same plot, but with a chick.  Things get serious between the two however, after the aforementioned 'sexy basketball' scene.  She expresses her doubt about the plan while meeting Jai in a theater showing the Pixar film Cars- no, really.  After an intermission (yes, really), the film moves to Rio De Janeiro, where 'A' has taken the woman to work with him.  Their bond becomes love, however, after some really hammy scenes and some cliff-diving.  In the film's other plot, Jai and his buddy are also in Rio.  Their sub-plot, however, is comedic, as they end up staying with the wife's sister, who just happens to be a Hindi girl who lives in Rio- how convenient!  All of this is a lead-up to the next big heist: that of the first coins ever made.  The pair disguise themselves as two midget performers playing the part of the 7 Dwarfs.  'A' unleashes some spiders to disrupt the visiting kids, allowing them to shuffle out on their knees during the chaos.  What no super laser generator or something?  Jai learns that the woman betrayed him- by not betraying the thief- and goes after the pair.  The long chase goes from helicopter vs. bike to two bikes vs. two bikes.  Jai and 'A' have a fist-fight that looks like a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robot battle, save for one bit where 'A' does a full standing back-flip from an uppercut!  The girl is caught by the comedy relief guy (off-camera) and 'A' not-so-subtly asks her to shoot him.  She does and he falls off of the cliff.  Naturally, Jai lets the thief and murderer go since she's all alone.  The End. 
Nope, just kidding.  We actually get an Epilogue set 6 months later in the Fiji Islands.  'A' is not dead (they don't really say how) and working in a diner with the woman.  Jai shows up in dramatic fashion and explains that he let her go to eventually find 'A.'  'A' gives up all the data of his crimes and where he hid all the loot- I guess he sold none of it, huh?- so Jai lets them live in peace there.  Why?  "Because this is a love story."  Yes, that's the real reason he gives.  The *real* End.
This movie is just pure ridiculousness!  The movie is about two and half hours long, but only about 90 or so when you cut out the dance numbers.  They actually go from a serious discussion scene between Jai and 'A' to a ten-minute dance number with the thief and some random dancers.  Hell, they waste another ten minutes on a song-and-dance number with the comedy relief character showing how he plans to romance the lady cop.  Speaking of which, her role serves nothing.  She doesn't figure out 'A's' plans, doesn't catch him and gets hurt during the third robbery, leading to her never appearing in the film again.  It's like the movie could only support one serious female role at a time, so, when they introduce the lady thief, she has to go!  The film does not rip-off The Matrix Reloaded this time, but they do get damn close to ripping off Mission Impossible 2 with a motorcycle duel.  Their bigger target is the Ocean's 11-13 films, given the heist scenarios and ludicrous gadgets involved.  Of course, given the Rio local and the focus on beach babes, it's got a little of Blame it on Rio in there too!  The action, plot and acting is just plain ridiculous.  'A' has the Riddick factor here- meaning he knows everything that can happen during his robberies and has a counter-measure already in place.  Logic does not exist in this world of Dhoom 2, so don't look for it.  That said, fans of foreign weirdness and ludicrous action can have some fun here.  For all you Netflix users, it's on Instant Viewing right now.
Next up, I go back to the subject of angry dogs for a film starring Lance Henriksen.  Yes, I expect good things from the star of The Mangler 2 and Alone in the Dark 2.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Simply. Amazing. I have to admit, though, the production values look one to two million times better than I would have expected out of bollywood