An Action Hero review: Ayushmann Khurrana packs a punch in this cat and mouse chase between trigger-happy men
An Action Hero movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana and Jaideep Ahlawat's hilarious and thrilling cat and mouse chase cannot be missed.
Everyone has a gun in their hands. Everyone is shooting. Why? Nobody knows? And each time, a wrong man gets killed. That's precisely what An Action Hero is all about. High on action, not just from the hero but even the bad guys, director Anirudh Iyer's film has several logic-defying moments. While most of them make you question your IQ, you tend to look past them and enjoy the action and funny unfolding of events on screen. Laced with dark humour, An Action Hero has witty dialogues, one-liners and comic punches that stick the perfect landing. Sometimes, even better than the titular action hero in a fight sequence.
Starring Ayushmann Khurrana as the action hero Maanav Khurana, the film shows him as this 'star' who has just rejected a biopic of a gangster because he wants to stay away from 'bhai log and underworld'. Ironically, he's filming in Haryana, and while enjoying his new ride post pack-up, he ends up accidently killing one Vicky Solanki, younger brother of a notorious gangster and Jat neta Bhoora Solanki (Jaideep Ahlawat), who now wants to avenge his brother's 'murder' and kill Maanav. What then ensues is a cat-and-mouse chase on the streets of UK (you see how the film moves from Haryana to Mumbai to London) with a bunch of trigger-happy men, all aimlessly shooting at each other only to reach a climax that leaves you spellbound.
Iyer, who has also written the story took things way beyond our imagination when he doesn't let us question too much. For instance, Maanav and Bhoora get transported to London in a matter of minutes, and you keep wondering didn't they need a visa or prior bookings? Does Maanav always carry his international passport in his pocket? How is Bhoora even allowed to bring weapons in London? When in London, Ayushmann so effortlessly takes London Police for a ride, managing a successful escape.
There's a line in the film: 'Action hero ko gussa aata hai toh public ka paisa vasool hota hai'. Ayushmann pretty much stays true to this sentiment, and his conviction in the action scenes shows. Seeing an actor step out of his comfort zone and try something new and challenging is always a sight for sore eyes. Apart from the chiselled new look, he also has quite a few great one-liners to flaunt, for example 'Ladna mera kaam hai, shaunk nahi' and 'action hero hoon, taakat ka istemaal aakhir mein karta hoon'. Ahlawat with his Haryanvi dialect is once again a masterclass in acting. Even in the scenes where he's just standing there, not uttering a word, you feel his menacing vibe.
An Action Hero packs a punch when it comes to face-off scenes between Ayushmann and Jaideep. Otherwise, it largely remains your masala potboiler where hero and the villain fight for reasons best known to them. The film, which I found was low on content, makes up for it with a lot of humour by means of some lighter exchange of dialogues between the enemies, making this action thriller somewhat funny. Imagine there's a scene where Bhoora is sitting on top of Maanav pointing a gun on his head and giving him a sort of lecture on 'how public makes stars, so if they say, actors would need to sing, dance or even agree to pose for a picture'. Neeraj Yadav's screenplay is engaging and gives you an adrenaline rush in those well-choreographed fight sequences. Kaushal Shah's cinematography, too, gets due credit for capturing the countryside so beautifully and I liked how it's effortlessly weaved into the screenplay.
One aspect where the film went a bit overboard, though I'm not complaining, is the way it showed TRP-hungry news channels and TV anchors with their high-pitched voices calling out Bollywood. The use of popular hashtag #BoycottBollywood comes across as a clever way to take a subtle jibe at the current scenario in the entertainment industry. One of the anchors so seamlessly mimicking a popular voice on news channels who sort of started his own battle with Bollywood, triggering genuine laughs.
Talking of laughter, don't miss the pleasantly surprising cameo by an OG action hero, which is hilarious and so spontaneous. And of course, special dance sequences by Malaika Arora and Nora Fatehi that may not add much to the story but definitely up the glam quotient.
Watch An Action Hero for some brash and raw action, and if you enjoy cat and mouse chase, you would find this crazy ride equally funny.