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Commando (2013)

Commando (2013)

I thought this'd be just another supercop-type Bollywood movie, but I was wrong. This should be in that 'best Bollywood martial art movies ever' list I was reading earlier. Vidyut Jamwal appears out of nowhere with an 'amalgamation of Kalari, gymnastics, Kung Fu, weapon usage and jiu-jitsu' and shows the world that Bollywood can do martial art movies too! The fighting's great, it's gritty, it's intense: it's awesome.

He plays Karanvir Dogra (I wonder if Indian people ever have trouble remembering these names...), a commando captured by the Chinese government, tortured for a full year, that escapes and ends up in a little village somewhere in India, where he meets a girl who's been chased by an eyeless psycho that's been terrorizing the village for years. They escape into the jungle, fall in love, and things start to get hairy.

It has one of the most romantic dance scenes I've seen, with awing visuals - landscapes and ladies alike - hair playing in the wind like the strands of a brush on a canvas, along with some surprisingly verdant and untouched woodland scenery where a lot of the fighting goes down. And did I mention the fights are awesome? People are flying all over the place. Jumping off things. Doing some pretty fancy acrobatics and stunts. That 'amalgamation of Kalari, gymnastics, Kung Fu, weapon usage and jiu-jitsu' is something to watch out for!

The plot may sound a bit cheesy, and it is, but in the end it still gets a well-deserved...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Chennai Express (2013)

 Chennai Express (2013)

Now this is what a love story should be like!

I watched it for the action, but I got so much more: I got empathy for the characters, I got laughter from their crazy escapades and eventually, I got tears of joy as they finally reunite, as the main character finally mans up and fights it out, at that point where he finally finds himself and decides to go to Rameshwaram and spread his grandfather's ashes in its holy waters, instead of goofing off in Goa with his buddies. We get a little glimpse of what's to come at the start of the movie, and though I didn't pay it much mind at the time, it's actually a good hint at how the main character's flaws and defects can be overlooked during the movie's early phases - that he'll get through it all in due time. Some words may seem too harsh, some comedy too cliche, but those are minor details (they might've kept this from getting a high five though).

The plot starts off simple, gets complex, and gets simple again. It starts with the Chennai Express, where main character Rahul is embarking off to Rameshwaram (though really it's all a diversion to trick his grandma - a couple of buddies are waiting to pick him up at the next station), where he meets a mysterious lady, who's apparently being kidnapped, who's dad is apparently a great Don in control of all Southern India (Hey... Shah Rukh Khan played Don! The same guy who plays the main character here. What a twist.), and then... things get complicated.

It's filmed beautifully, with such amazingly exotic sceneries, landscapes, dance scenes, really everything; it was a greater experience than I'd like to admit. At the end of it all I'm fully immersed in the world of the characters, sharing their newfound wellbeing and bliss just like they are. And the best of all is: there are no losers in this movie, there's no good or bad, there's just hardship, resolve and resolution. Right now that's how I want everything to be.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Bodyguard (2011)

Bodyguard (2011)

This is the story of a bodyguard, featuring that same person who played that supercop in Dabangg (had to look that up - seems all famous Bollywood actors I've been following so far have had their own personal supercop movie: Zanjeer, Singham, Rowdy Rathore, Dabbang, Polisigiri... it's a real wave of them in recent years!), featuring plenty of action, but also a pretty cheesy one-sided romance between the bodyguard and his client. There are a few dance scenes, some family comedy, some action that outweighs anything else, but overall - twasn't the real masterpiece it could have been. A fun/exciting watch, bordering on soap opera romance.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Force (2011)

Force (2011)

In this movie, so many lives are lost for no reason at all! It's like New Police Story all over again, but with the intro taking up the entire film, with that actor from Commando again (he's the bad guy), and another real tough guy I've been seeing a lot of lately (John Abraham, apparently - he's the one in the picture). They fight it out, people get killed and tortured and depressed and that's.... really all there's to it. The plot is the classic clash between cops and robbers, but they take it a step further, they make it a massacre rather than a business. And of course it's all about revenge.

It's not that bloody, really, but the violence overall just seems so pointless. In the end, he does get his silence and darkness, but was that what he really wanted? As he smiles at the painting and leaves the room, it is, ironically enough, just how he wanted it to be. And that just makes it even more depressing. I'd have given it a lower score if it wasn't for the fight scenes or chases, which look great. The action is great, but in the end I'm left without that boost of inspiration or that realization I usually get from a movie. It all just fades to black. Justice prevails, but at what cost? The cost of viewer appreciation.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Policegiri (2013)

Policegiri (2013)

Policegiri is yet another one of those supercop Bollywood movies, this time starring Sanjay Dutt as the infamous main character. I've previously only seen him as a bad guy, so it was a surprise to see him as the hero for a change, all dressed up in uniform and everything. He looks more like a normal police officer than most of the people in movies like this though, which might be part of why this movie doesn't get a higher score: it's somewhat normal. That special superhuman persona fades a little in the process, even if he does play a combo cop/goon, as his catchphrase boasts.

Take one, get one free.

The ground does shake when he puts down his foot, cars fly through the air, people fly straight through a windshield and out the other side, through gas pumps and signs and all kinds of things in this visually impressive mesh of action and truth. As always it's the fight against injustice and corruption that pervades the plot, and though it may not be a very original plot there's definitely plenty original stunts and fights! Nothing unique or obtrusively intense that leaves me wanting to raise the score a step more, but a good movie. Mind it!

 rated 3/5: not bad

Bullet Raja (2013)

Bullet Raja (2013)

Bullet Raja is the story of a regular dude, who does regular stuff, who happens to be very handy in handling a gun, who gets involved with the system - injustice and corruption - and decides to fight back. He gets a friend, he falls in love, people back him up, and eventually he gets an unwilling nemesis in officer Vidyut Jamwal (that same guy from Commando... which I realize I still haven't posted the review for yet, will do so soon). Prepare for plenty of action, some good chases; a surprise twist towards the end. Overall a good, swift action movie with plenty of shooting and relational drama! Not much more to say...

 rated 3/5: not bad

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