So the rebel is back! Tiger Shroff's 2016 hit Baaghi is now being turned into a franchise, with the sequel coming out this week. While Baaghi 2 retains its lead character and his name along with the producers, there is no connection between the first and the second movie. Also Ahmed Khan is given the directorial reins, replacing Sabbir Khan who made the first movie. Tiger Shroff's rumoured girlfriend Disha Patani is the female lead, while Manoj Bajpayee, Randeep Hooda, Darshan Kumar, Deepak Dobriyal and Prateik Babbar form the supporting cast. Is Baaghi 2 a much more enjoyable experience that the first Baaghi? Read our review to find out,
Ranveer Pratap Singh aka Ronny (Tiger Shroff), a special ops officer stationed in Kashmir, when his ex-flame Neha (Disha Patani) calls him out of the blue after the gap of four years and asks to meet her urgently. When he lands in Goa to meet her, she informs him that her daughter has been kidnapped and nobody, including her husband (Darshan Kumar), is being co-operative in finding her. As Ronnie tries to help her out for old times' sake, he realises that the mystery is not something easily solvable. No one remembers seeing the kid before. Neha's husband insists that they don't have a child and that she has gone psychotic after a robbery attempt that left her badly injured. So is Neha really imagining her daughter or is there a bigger conspiracy at play? Whatever the reason is, there are enough excuses for Tiger Shroff to flaunt his toned body and kick some ass.
If you are not aware, the plot of Baaghi 2 is lifted from the Telugu thriller Kshanam, which was remade into Tamil as well. The makers have 'borrowed' the thread of the movie and tailored the script to suit the strengths of the hero. If you have seen the original film, you know that the suspense factor of the movie was quite thrilling which helps the case of Baaghi 2 a lot. As Ronny ponders whether Neha's kid exists or not, we are also curious to get the bottom of the matter. Then there is array of interesting supporting characters from a DIG (Manoj Bajpayee), a hippie ACP (Randeep Hooda), a Hyderabadi garage owner (Deepak Dobriyal), Neha's junkie devar (Prateik Babbar), all adding some moments of interest. But then, the movie is not about them. It is about Ronnie and what he can do for in the love of Neha.
So to establish that, we have a sappy flashback that depicts their love story with two back-to-back songs that just plays with your patience. It doesn't help that both the actors have limited acting range (though they make a good-looking jodi) and with some added melodrama, involving a dying dad, makes for a cumbersome romance. The writing is quite weak in these portions.
Baaghi 2 is only in form when the movie gets into the thriller mode. The movie works the best when when Ronny tries to join the clues and find out what happens to the missing kid, as strangers are out to kill him. And since the protagonist is played by Tiger Shroff, the makers have inserted action sequences to remind us that he is India's answer to Sylvester Stallone and Tony Jaa. Baaghi 2 gives him a much larger scope and arena than the first movie and the action choreography is good if not unique. Ahmed Khan also has a better grasp of what to serve the viewers and he does it with some panache.
Tiger Shroff has a loyal fan-base who loves to see him do all kinds of stunts and cheer him all along (as witnessed by yours truly in an housefull show, where his every punch and kick was met with loud applause). It is something that you have associated with a Salman Khan movie, and Tiger Shroff looks to be make inroads into his fan-base. So for those fans, Baaghi 2 has enough sequences to rush their adrenaline in seeing their favourite young star go beyond the sense of conventions to perform jaw-dropping stunts (even if some of them turn out to be repetitive). Unlike his senior co-star, Tiger does take much sincere efforts in making the stunts look fine and real. His new haircut also suits him real well.
That said, it is a pity that none of the directors could utilise his martial skills for something original and innovative. Baaghi doesn't do anything to change this, as it insists on making its hero an undefeatable killing machine but doesn't give him the room to improvise. Nearly all the action scenes are something straight out of a Tamil potboiler, be it the fight sequence at the police station or that final battle scene. The writers' complete disregard for collateral damage is also incredulous in these scenes, especially pointed out in a chase sequence, where random cars go crashing down and a bus rams into a busy market with no further implications. The addition of nationalism (which has become a trend of sorts these days), including replicating a controversial real-life incident, was quite unnecessary.
The final fight sequence, which is the crowning glory of the movie, is epic in its setpiece but when it comes to its significance in the plot, it makes no kind of sense. Even the execution is flawed, because there is no stakes here to say. Not a single bullet finds its mark on the hero, while he slaughters each of the villain's henchmen with ease. It is like seeing someone play Contra on God mode. (a note for all future villains - when you have gun in your hand, shoot! Don't waste time explaining your motivations!).
The background score by Julius Packiam is a big highlight for sure, especially in the action sequences.
Speaking of the performances, though he has still miles to go when it comes to emoting, this is Tiger's best performance till date and welcome-back form for him after duds like A Flying Jatt and Munna Michael. We have to give it to him that he is taking sincere efforts to improve himself. The lovely Disha Patani, however, gets a raw deal here. Her character often gets relegated in the background to push Ronny in the forefront and her performance is no great shakes either.
Manoj Bajpayee and Randeep Hooda are fine in their supporting roles (the trailer spoils a twist in one of their characters). Although I don't know which police department allows their top cop to dress like a junkie, even if he is good at his job. Prateik Babbar has built a fine physique for his negative character but his role gives him no scope. Deepak Dobriyal and Darshan Kumar lend credibility to their parts.
BTW, that atrocious Ek Do Teen song, featuring Jacqueline Fernandez, is still actrocious on the big screen too.
- When Tiger Shroff is in action mode
- Some of the action choreography
- An interesting supporting cast
- The intriguing premise
- The meandering flashback sequences and romance
- Disha Patani's limited scope
- Predictable twists
- Action over premise and logic
- Too lengthy at 144 minutes
- The recreated Ek Do Teen song
Baaghi 2 knows its target audience and delivers whatever it needs to please them. When it comes to stunts, Tiger Shroff is in fine form here, this time backed by a half-decent plot. However, if you expect a worthwhile action entertainer that stands out from what we have seen in Bollywood, Baaghi 2 doesn't change anything for you.