Attack movie review: John Abraham's super soldier offers welcome break from chest-thumping nationalism
Attack movie review: John Abraham has returned as a soldier but this time, with more style than nationalism.
When there's John Abraham fighting it out on screen, you don't see anything beyond his flexing muscles and beefed up chest. And his latest big screen outing, Attack, gives you endless opportunities to fawn over his good looks and chiseled physique. John is often credited for carrying a film on his shoulders, however, with Attack, the actor and debutant director Lakshya Raj Anand took this a bit too seriously, as John, as a 'super soldier' is literally the single man out there, killing all the bad men. At one point, John single-handedly fights with and shoots down over a hundred terrorists, who have attacked the city. (Also read: Satyameva Jayate 2 movie review: John Abraham's triple role is three headaches rolled up in one film)
Attack is the story of a soldier Arjun Shergill (John Abraham) who suffers a terrible loss in a terrorist attack and ends up with permanent paralysis neck-down and is assigned a life on a wheelchair. Meanwhile, Dr Saba (Rakul Preet Singh) has been working on a futuristic scientific technology that can enable a paralysed person to stand up on their feet, and Arjun is deemed that right science bunny to undergo trial for India's first ever super soldier program. All this because the country needs to be saved from a terrorist mastermind who is on the lose. Just when Arjun successfully goes through the experiment, Parliament comes under siege and he is expected to save the city in the nick of time from a chemical bomb explosion. Can he make the impossible, possible with all the technology that's inside him?
For those who've often complained about Bollywood's lack of original scripts and innovation, Attack, to some extent, can give you an adrenaline rush for its novel idea (seen many times in Hollywood by now but still quite a fresh prospect for Bollywood). And some might find it plain bizarre and too unrealistic to even believe any of it. I remember when Anubhav Sinha's Ra One came and many felt it was a bit too hard to digest, don't be surprised if Attack also gives you similar vibes.
Director Lakshya Raj Anand, who has co-written the story with Sumit Batheja and Vishal Kapoor, has tried too hard to make this sci-fi action thriller break the clutter, and somehow, the film impresses and falters in parts. The film is crisply edited at less than two hours and doesn't lose pace even once. With a gripping narrative and edge-of-the-seat moments, it doesn't digress into needless subplots or song and dance sequences.
Clearly divided into two halves - a wheelchair bound John who gets transformed into a super soldier - Attack shows a soldier's duty to serve his nation with this new-age modern technologies. Thankfully, it never enters the territory of chest-thumping nationalism with heavyweight dialogues, clearly not too alien to John's filmography so far. The well crafted and beautifully shot action sequences are a visual treat. While humour is the last thing you'd expect in this narrative, I loved how the director has laced the story with elements of it through some characters and voices (no spoilers).
John looks seamless in his action hero avatar. This genre, for obvious reasons, comes naturally to him. He blends vulnerability with strength with ease and his physical prep, too, is visible on the screen throughout the film. Though I just felt the transition could have been a little more real. The way his character suddenly beefs up and looks fitter than ever before despite having been paralytic for long is a bit much to digest. Rakul delivers a convincing act and looks confident on-screen. Lakshya doesn't even attempt to bring depth of Saba's character. Jacqueline, too, in an extended cameo brings glam to the screen but an abrupt love story sees an equally abrupt end. Did you watch Bachchhan Paandey recently? Jacqueline seems to have mastered the art of getting fridged-- fall in love, dance to a song and die with a bullet's shot.
There are some fine actors like Ratna Pathak Shah (Arjun's mother) and Rajit Kapoor (home minister) but they've been barely given any room to perform. Rajit gets to plant some comic lines but that's about it.
To conclude, Attack is your high-on-action sci-fi flick which is slick and savvy. Watch it for John being at his best after a long time and don't care too much about the unrealistic world it takes you to.
Director: Lakshya Raj Anand
Cast: John Abraham, Rakul Preet Singh, Jacqueline Fernandez