Star Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Jaideep Ahlawat, Jitender Hooda
Director: Anirudh Iyer
What’s Good: It reminds you of Sriram Raghavan’s school of filmmaking & I’ve never said that for any other movie apart from Sri’s films
What’s Bad: It falls into its trap at places hampering the pace & its unpredictable nature
Loo Break: Nope. Stick to the film, you won’t need it!
Watch or Not?: A big dramatic YASSS!
Available On: Theatrical Release
Runtime: 132 Minutes
Maanav (Ayushmann Khurrana), is of course, what the title of this film screams but he’s the one who has mistakenly killed (or not?) the brother of a renowned politician Bhoora (Jaideep Ahlawat). Now, this is where the “yeah, I’ve heard all this before” ends because the insanity starts when Bhoora chases Maanav to London to avenge his brother’s death.
But, upon reaching there, Maanav gets into more trouble as he witnesses the lines getting blurred from him being a ‘reel life’ action hero to turning into a ‘real life’ one. All that does include a ‘true blue action superstar cameo’, an absconding terrorist, the Indian media circus reporting things like ‘Naam Maanav Kaam Daanav’ & much more. All this to make it entertaining enough by the end.
An Action Hero Movie Review: Script Analysis
Director Anirudh Iyer debuts with exactly a masala action-thriller which only someone like Ayushmann Khurrana could do. The idea of mashing two worlds consisting of people from both sides of the 70 mm screen, pitting them against each other has been executed in Shah Rukh Khan‘s Fan but this has a lot of differentiating factors.
Iyer’s story has an antagonist who is f*cking hilarious & wildly dangerous, both at the same time. This has such an exaggeration of Indian media, that you’d laugh your guts out at the irony of how real is the spoof.
DOP Kaushal Shah from playing with water in Gehraiyaan, plays with fire in this one & it’s always great to see when an artist juggles between two contrasting topics nailing each of them. The antique of shooting a film in the film, as a camera goes through a camera scene deserves a special mention. Ninad Khanolkar’s editing compliments the little over 2-hour duration of the film as the film hardly loses its pace.
Yes, there are some very convenient loopholes in how smoothly Maanav manages to get away from everything but isn’t that the reality as well? There’s a terrorist angle that might pinch many for being a baseless addition, but it was fun for my taste.
An Action Hero Movie Review: Star Performance
Ayushmann Khurrana recently talked about shifting his focus from exploring social taboos & this is a perfect first step towards the same. He has always been a director’s actor & story’s slave, this performance proves the same for the nth time. It’s the way, he shifts gears from being this c*cky yet humble ‘action hero’ to a person who’s battling alone for his life, that helps him stand tall despite not having as great lines as the film’s antagonist.
Talking about the antagonist, Jaideep Ahlawat proves to be the gem he has always been since his first role. Last week Abhishek Banerjee was in Bhediya, and this week Mr. Ahlawat continue to prove how a film should never be everything about the hero. From his dialogue delivery to his body language he maintains to be this broody bad guy, Jaideep gets everything right & remains to be the best thing about this film.
A special mention for a yet undiscovered gem in Jitender Hooda! He probably gets the most laughs per minute of his performance than any other actor has in recent times. In just a few minutes of presence, Jitender remained to be a lost opportunity to milk upon for the makers. He’s completely lost in the second half & that’s also my major complaint about the makers. It such a fine act & not continuing it is bothering me as he could’ve boosted the fun in the second half to another level seeing the flow he was in during the initial half. All in all, filmmaker, PLEASE cast him for a full-fledged comedy role ASAP!
An Action Hero Movie Review: Direction, Music
The first project for Anirudh Iyer turns out to be a celebration of the Hindi cinema he has grown up on & wants everyone to feel that with him. Things are not picture-perfect as the second act loses its grip but let’s not give him much flak for giving an entertainer at the neediest times to Bollywood.
Sunny M.R. with boasting films like Dum Maaro Dum, Agent Vinod, Players, and Baahubali: The Beginning as a Music Programmer brings all the learnings from his body of work to create an exhilarating BGM for this one. Trying to maintain the balance between the swag of 80s masala films with the electronic obsession of today’s music, I’d say Sunny explores a decent middle ground. The soundtrack’s weak point is its attempt to recreate/remake/adapt the classics like Aap Jaisa Koi, and Jehda Nasha & apart from these, the other 2 songs (Ghere, Asli Action Chalu) are used extremely well to portray the lead character’s state of mind. Both these songs could also have a good repeat value as they immediately took me back to the good old days of Johnny Gaddaar, Dum Maaro Dum’s soundtrack.
An Action Hero Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, this is a ‘bring your brain to the theatres’ film as even though this is a masala entertainer, it’s not mindless at all & Ayushmann Khurrana steers in the right direction!
Three and a half stars!
An Action Hero Trailer
An Action Hero releases on 02nd December, 2022.
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For more recommendations, read our Drishyam 2 Movie Review here.