Let us quote and interview of Johann Verheem, founder of a weight loss company who became famous overnight due to one of his infomercials: “It's not just that sex sells, but one of the other things very important in direct selling, in infomercials, is that a product looks different enough for someone to stop and watch it.” (Inc. magazine)
Verheem's expert knowledge of "what sells" completely matches my impression of Abbas and Mustan Burmawalla's Race 2, where a score of gorgeous males and females show off their tanned and chiseled bodies and brand clothes in luxurious settings while trying to appear cool by emoting as minimum as possible and handling uncannily humongous sums of money (plus the shroud of Turin!) throughout a plot that unfortunately keeps craving for an ending well before the intermission.
Race 2 has a huge share of entertaining visuals, tons of bikinis, sleek cars and action scenes, commercial music and dance, a pinch of surprise and parachutes as well as cheesy sexist humor, such as lines uttered by a boss to his assistant: "Really Cherry! I don't have time to pop your cherry!"... How difficult was it to find that line?? :-(
It is enough to make anyone, quoting Verheem, "stop and watch it". But is it all there to ensure entertainment? I remain unsure of this and cannot fully comprehend why well-to-do actors - and producers!- would need to even accept such a script. Is it the perks of shooting in Turkey? Is it the gorgeous company? Or is the Indian public really going to pay for cinema that does not give them enough credit? Is Race 2 a long series of images or action clips that are only there for the sole purpose of selling a product: the film?
There is only so many minutes I can stand watching an engaging infomercial and Race 2 lasts for an excruciating 2 hours and a half to end in a climax that is decent but far from mind blowing. The film gave me the feeling of watching an endless teaser. Fortunately, Salim-Sulaiman's background score kept my ears engaged when necessary.
I wish John Abraham would stick to producing the good scripts he has an eye for (such as Vicky Donor). I wish Saif Ali Khan would become the emotive actor I used to like in Dil Chahta Hai, Being Cyrus, Parineeta, Omkara or Kal Ho Na Ho and wonder why he sadly keeps being slotted at the moment mainly in action movies that are not aiming for the potential he truly has. I deplore that beautiful Ameesha Patel accepted a role where she was to be treated in such a condescending macho way. I have nothing to say about Deepika Padukone, who for me is more of a top model and seems time and again to have no business in acting as she struggles to make audiences genuinely feel for each and every one of her characters.
All in all, if you are bored or need to empty your brain on some sexy music videos with easy tunes and images of luxurious destinations and beautiful bodies, go for it. If you like action movies with hardly any neuron stimulation while you laze out on the couch on a Sunday, do watch Race 2 on cable when it comes out. I leave it to the choice of the reader if opening your pocket is a good option to see the film in the cinema or on DVD.
Check out the Race 2 official trailer on Youtube
Learn more about Race 2 on Wikipedia
Get more information on Race 2 on IMDb
Follow Race 2 on Twitter
Get Race 2 updates on Facebook
Buy the Race 2 soundtrack on Itunes
Directed by: Abbas-Mustan
Produced by: Ramesh S. Taurani, Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapur
Written by: Shiraz Ahmed
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez, Anil Kapoor, Ameesha Patel
Music by: Pritam, Atif Aslam
Background Score: Salim-Sulaiman
Cinematography: Ravi Yadav