U/A; Action/Drama
Director: Rohit Dhawan
Cast: Varun Dhawan, John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez
Rating: 2.5 stars

The External Affairs Minister is a lookalike of Sushma Swaraj, sporting a big bindi and sleeveless jacket over saree. The record-breaking cricketer goes by the name of Viraj. The villain is called Wagah, the dog Bradman. You catch the drift, right? 'Dishoom' is a heady cocktail of politics, sports and betting.

Lavish locations, fantastic production values and high-octane action sequences, the film has clearly been made by those with deep pockets. They have splurged on the film’s styling, but not on the storytelling. Agreed it is a leave-your-brains-at-home entertainer, but some method to the madness would have packed a punch.

The cricketer gets kidnapped just before an overseas do-or-die India vs Pakistan match. The government is thrown into a tizzy as they fly out their tough-as-nails cop, Kabir (John Abraham is named that yet again!) on the rescue mission. Aiding him is a bumbling sidekick, Junaid (Varun Dhawan). The duo has barely a few hours to trace the missing cricketer. Somewhere down the line, a woman thief with a penchant for flicking cell phones joins them.

The first half is slick and tight and sets the pace, but the second half totters when it meanders into a desert region in pursuit of the baddie. There's no oasis in sight as the buddy cop flick goes off the road. The pace slackens with all the possible masala thrown in to turn it into a potboiler.

Rohit Dhawan earlier made 'Desi Boyz' (2011) with John and Akshay Kumar, and his fascination for two-buddy drama continues with 'Dishoom'. What mars the experience is the predictable caricaturing of the lead duo when the comedy becomes overbearing to the point of irritation.

The film belongs to Varun, who does his bumbling act to the T. He may have done it before, but he is endearing in this one. As far as John goes, since 'Dhoom' (2004), he has been sticking to the name ‘Kabir’ as well as those stoic expressions. Jacqueline doesn’t have much to do and her rescue scenes unnecessarily drag the film. Akshaye Khanna barely makes an impact in his comeback after a four-year hiatus.

There are cameos by Nargis Fakhri (to raise the hotness quotient), Parineeti Chopra (for that mandatory end credits track) and Akshay Kumar (who steals the show). A big shout-out to the Khiladi's zany act. He is quite a revelation in his do-not-forget-to-pout selfie-loving character and drew the loudest roars. It is a pity that the makers gave away the only surprise element before the film's release.

Courtesy: Mid Day

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