Muscles & Men:
The idea behind his movie seems to be, throw money at it, and nobody will notice the flaws. Get two of the hottest male stars, have them flash their muscles, and nobody will ask why a coherent plot is missing.
Our movies aspire to compete with Hollywood actioners (this one picks the germ of an idea from Face/Off), and if there’s no paucity of money, elaborate action sequences can be staged at exotic locations. But Bond, Bourne Ethan Hunt don’t have to rip their shirts off, or have dance contests, as they go on impossible missions to save the world. In Siddharth Anand’s War, they have more modest ambitions—only to save the country from terrorists. But not only go they go globe-trotting, they also have to keep talking of their loyalty to their “watan,” with their eyes suitably moist and voices choking with patriotic emotion.
Khalid (Tiger Shroff) is the son of a traitor, who was killed by Kabir (Hrithik Roshan), so the latter does not want him included in an elite intelligence group. This faintly offensive part of the plot was not even necessary, since Khalid quickly proves his loyalty to the “watan” and goes after Kabir, who has switched sides and is killing men in high places, instead of the targetted terrorists. Khalid assures his boss, the nameless Colonel (Asutosh Rana), that he will not hesitate to pull the trigger when faced with his mentor.
It does not matter who the terrorists are—they are just generic bad guys who want to destroy India—as long as Khalid and Kabir can stage shoot-out, chases, explosions everywhere from the Kerala backwaters to the Arctic Circle, with Portugal, Italy, Malta, Morocco, etc., providing more scenic beauty and variety. To be fair to the action director, if they wreck a church (a tacky set) in the Arctic Circle, they also have a slo-mo shoot-out, which is almost balletic in its grace.
There are three women—one weepy mother (Soni Razdan) and two younger ones—Anupriya Goenka as a member of the team, who wears strappy tops, and Vaani Kapoor, as a “civilian asset” who is there to shimmy at a club and serve as dispensable love interest—because “watan” comes first. A proper Bollywood film has to pause for songs—so even at a remote secret mountain location accessible only by helicopter, for a Holi number, giant drums and dozens of back-up dancers in skimpy costumes appear. Why have two of the best dancers in Bollywood and not let them dance, right?
The stars deliver what is expected of them—eye candy–so audiences will probably overlook the boring bits and the many ‘facepalm’ moments and enjoy the view.