Crakk Movie Review: Aditya Datt's Crakk is centred around extreme sports, where contestants compete in a dangerous competition with mostly lethal consequences. Unfortunately, it is less Squid Game, and more Kidnap. If the latter doesn't ring a bell, don't lose sleep over it. Instead, brace yourself for Crakk where you might experience sleepless nights induced by the hyperkinetic camera work, frenetic editing, and Vidyut Jammwal's valiant attempt to carry a Mumbaiyya slang throughout. Crakk Title Track: Vidyut Jammwal's Swag Is Unmissable in This Action-Filled Rap Track.

Vidyut plays Siddhu, a tapori from Mumbai slums who is an irresponsible daredevil who performs life-threateningly dangerous feats on top of trains. This is pretty irresponsible for the film to show, especially if you are someone who lives in Mumbai and uses the local trains to commute, and have seen firsthand how such feats end up being fatal to the youngsters who perform them. You can argue that it is his character, and the makers even put a sorta disclaimer when a news segment plays in the film of how a train-stunt killed two youths. That argument is rendered moot when you give your protagonist a dashing hero intro using these very sequences, and then you reward that behaviour by giving him what he wants.

Watch the Trailer of Crakk:

Khatron Ke Anari

Returning to the plot, Siddhu aspires to enter 'Maidaan,' an international extreme sports tournament promising not only a substantial cash prize but also numerous opportunities for peril. His elder brother, Nihal, had succumbed to the dangers of the same competition while facing the enigmatic and psychopathic organiser, Dev (played by Arjun Rampal), in the final stage. Selected for Maidaan, Siddhu finds himself in a remote castle in Poland, competing against 31 contestants from around the globe. The events that follow shape the eccentric premise of the film.

Bhai, Kya Acting Hai...

In a nice departure from the norm, I liked that the other contestants aren't merely portrayed as sneering, jealous adversaries for the hero to conquer. However, without that, they are left with little to do, mostly relegated to speaking broken English or waiting for their turn to be eliminated. Oddly, though the film is set in Poland, none of the characters speak Polish, including the righteous cop portrayed by Amy Jackson, whose attempt at speaking Hindi is more grating than endearing.

A Still From Crakk

Nora Fatehi plays Alia (is that now the perfunctory name given to all cool girls in films?), an influencer who is as annoying as most influencers. Fatehi's acting reminds us why, despite possessing smoking hot looks and amazing dance moves, filmmakers are hesitant to cast her in the lead role. We also have Jamie Lever, who is either casting racial slurs at others or making bad puns.

A Still From Crakk

This brings us to Vidyut Jammwal and his tapori slang. Vidyut is not exactly a fluid actor, though he can shine under the right role and project. His Siddhu could have been that role, but he couldn't carry that slang at all, always feeling as if he was trying to ape Munna from Rangeela. The actor struggles in the dramatic scenes, like in that emotional outburst sequence in the middle of the streets post the interval. Vidyut (and his dupe) is more at ease in the stunts, and that's what the movie should have given him more.

Rampal Saves the Day

So when most of his co-stars fail to give decent performances, Arjun Rampal becomes better actor by default. Rampal is more tolerable and easy on the eyes, effectively portraying the megalomaniac qualities of his character. However, these qualities later transform into that of an overgrown brat showing tantrums, with his cunningness conveniently discarded for the sake of the plot.

A Still From Crakk

Nora Fatehi plays Alia (is that now the perfunctory name given to all cool girls in films?), an influencer who is as annoying as most influencers. Fatehi's acting reminds us why, despite possessing smoking hot looks and amazing dance moves, filmmakers are hesitant to cast her in the lead role. We also have Jamie Lever, who is either casting racial slurs at others or making bad puns.

A Still From Crakk

This brings us to Vidyut Jammwal and his tapori slang. Vidyut is not exactly a fluid actor, though he can shine under the right role and project. His Siddhu could have been that role, but he couldn't carry that slang at all, always feeling as if he was trying to ape Munna from Rangeela. The actor struggles in the dramatic scenes, like in that emotional outburst sequence in the middle of the streets post the interval. Vidyut (and his dupe) is more at ease in the stunts, and that's what the movie should have given him more.

Rampal Saves the Day

So when most of his co-stars fail to give decent performances, Arjun Rampal becomes better actor by default. Rampal is more tolerable and easy on the eyes, effectively portraying the megalomaniac qualities of his character. However, these qualities later transform into that of an overgrown brat showing tantrums, with his cunningness conveniently discarded for the sake of the plot.

A Still From Crakk

Idea Mein Dum Hai, Action Mein Nahi

Look, acting is not a trait that we should look out in a cheesy, mindless action flick like this, if Crakk delivered good on the action sequences. The film definitely has ambition, and when you see the setup of the first death race, you can be deceived into thinking that it can justify its ambition. However, you immediately lose that hope when a crazy amount of dizzying drone shots and the plethora of jump cuts attack your senses, killing the effect.

A Still From Crakk

The worst thing that you can do to a martial arts expert like Vidyut is give him slo-mo treatment whenever he pulls off any stunt. It doesn't matter how adept the performers can pull off a parkour stunt, if you are putting 15 cuts in half a minute and thereby blunting the impact, while the camera goes crazy on them. A reason why Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee's Chinese films have agreed well even in these times with their action scenes is how the camera and the editing also work with those actors in creating the desired result. Unfortunately, the direction here is not on par to pull such scenes off; it could barely hide the fact that a dupe is performing some of those stunts. And I am not even getting into the CGI and the green screens. Crakk Song 'Dil Jhoom': Vidyut Jammwal and Nora Fatehi Crack the Sizzle Code in This Romantic Track.

Iski Maa Ka Toll-Naka

I would have even forgiven the lack of competence in pulling off those scenes, if Crakk had kept its focus on the tournament with its cheesy fun potential. Sadly, it needed to stretch the many gaps in between with a lethargic subplot involving plutonium, a romantic track and some more bad acting.

A Still From Crakk

The dialogues range from stating the obvious like "jo kaabil hai woh aage aayega" or just droll like "is chip ke chakkar mein zip kulwayegi ye" or hero's fave catchphrase "iski maa ka toll naaka". Also, remember a clip from a Disney+ movie that went viral for using AI to create extras? There are some pretty suspicious 'extras' I noticed in Crakk during the wide shots of the tournament, especially in the third act.

Final Thoughts on Crakk

In conclusion, Crakk is neither cracked enough to go crazy with the plot nor gets the adrenaline pumping with the action scenes. There was potential and scope in how the film set up its ambitious tournament sequences, but that is undermined by Crakk's technical flaws. Average performances, clichéd dialogues, and a scattered premise, filled with lethargic subplots, undo the rest.

Rating:2.0

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 23, 2024 10:40 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).