This ‘Rambo’ inspired Telugu movie adaptation about an Army commando in Kashmir who goes on a one week leave to wreck havoc in civilian, if not civilised, India, is engaging till midway through.
Ranveer Pratap Singh, better known as Ronnie (Tiger Shroff), responds to several missed calls from an ex girlfriend who, years ago, dumped him and agreed to an arranged marriage. The muscled man is all marshmallow inside when he finally calls Neha (Disha Patani). With scarcely a reference to the way she once broke his heart, she tells him that she is in trouble and that only he can help. Her five year old daughter has been kidnapped and everyone around her has been totally unsympathetic and unhelpful. The Police say there is no evidence of the abduction and want to close the case.
This man of tender heart and amazing physique takes on the assignment from his ex, and the very first thing he does is wreck havoc at the Goa Police Station where the missing person report is registered. The SHO and his constables go flying in the air and the movie theatre erupts in introductory wolf whistles to a two and a half hour action film. Tiger Shroff is the shirtless man of the season, and Salman Khan and Vidyut Jamwal had better visit the haberdashery to buy new shirts with pop out buttons.
Perhaps, because the director knows that Tiger will struggle to hold the attention of a kinder garden class with his acting, he is given a powerful support system to lean on. There is the sardonic DIG of Police in Goa, Shergill (Manoj Bajpayee) who jokes about what happens when a military man enters civilian space and starts feeling trapped by bureaucracy and the judicial system. Apparently, he tends to violate ‘human rights’, like Ronnie was infamous for in Kashmir when he tied a militant to the bonnet of his jeep and drove him around town. Combining contemporary sound bite political references, and a general ‘hail the Indian army’ patriotic tone with the narrative of ‘Baaghi 2’, the film diverts us from the totally unconvincing dialogue delivery style of Tiger. It also establishes a right leaning ideological position that always works well with an action movie audience.
The Police Station also has an encounter specialist, an officer humorously called LSD. He goes around in mufti as a marijuana smoking Goa hippie. It is quite hilarious to see ACP LSD (Randeep Hooda) saluted smartly by the constabulary and to listen to his string of wisecracks about how his disguise allows him to be a freewheeling cop who can enjoy the lifestyle of swinging Goa, and, at the same time, knock off anyone else who dares to do the same.
Finally, there is the lissom Jacqueline Fernandez who dances at a nightclub where a dangerous coke head connected with the kidnapping (Prateik Babbar) hangs out. She does an updated cover version of the ‘Ek, do, teen’ song from ‘Tezaab’ and manages to pull if off, what with her never ending legs kicking up a storm in the execution of this cult number.
With such a diverse and talented cast behind him, Tiger is packaged as best he can be. Even so, as the leading man of the movie, he is occasionally required to articulate himself. Every time he does so is an eerie experience. We see a hysterical and screaming persona with a high pitched voice, trapped in the body of a sculpted marvel.