Movie Review: Ayushmann Khurrana’s An Action Hero is solid in the first half and unexpected in the middle
Action Hero Movie Review: Ayushmann Khurrana’s film has an unexpected climax & solid first half
Name: An Action Hero
Director: Anirudh Iyer
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Jaideep Ahlawat
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Here’s the plot:
After accidentally killing the brother of a top politician in India, India’s biggest action hero, Manav Khurrana (Ayushmann Khurrana), escapes to London to avoid being arrested by local cops. Little does Manav know that Bhoora (Jaideep Ahlawat), the politician who has vowed to take revenge, has arrived in London to execute his plan to kill him while he is fighting his legal battle from London. The cops and goons are after Manav, so how does he protect himself? Check out An Action Hero to find out more.
How does it work?
One of the biggest strengths of An Action Hero is director Anirudh Iyer’s conviction to tell this story in a certain way. Throughout the story, he keeps your attention with his storytelling style and direction. You’ll be surprised by the one-liners and movements in the screenplay. It moves quickly throughout the first half, with engaging episodes following one another. This screenplay keeps you hooked throughout the entire process of setting up the story in India, to the airplane block with Akshay Kumar, to the cat-and-mouse chase between Manav, the cops, and Bhoora in London.
There are some solid moments in the second half, especially the climax, though it might get mixed reviews. Having an upbeat background score is a big win for the team, since it’s in sync with the tempo and mood of the movie. Also, the action scenes are well-designed, well-shot, and well-written, as they don’t just add to the story, but actually lead it forward. Probably the biggest highlight of the movie is Akshay Kumar’s 5-minute cameo, which will make you laugh out loud. Just his expressions are enough to get you laughing, and his parting dialogue with Ayushmann is easily one of the best scenes of the year.
What’s not working?
There’s a bit of repetition in the second half of An Action Hero. Some moments make you wonder, why don’t the characters kill each other? During the extended climax, the director pulls all the strings and gets the story back on track. Initial frame of the underworld track doesn’t work, and the whole way of making a satire out of the sad state of Indian media is beyond imagination. Despite the makers’ TRP projections, the entire track could have been shortened.
If it weren’t for the extended climax, the drawbacks would have had an edge, especially since the twist in the story makes you look past some of the logical holes. Though most of the emotions are desi and relatable, the climax might not be everyone’s cup of tea, limiting the film’s appeal. Post-digital release, this one is sure to find appreciation from a large chunk of the audience, despite polarised reactions to the last 30 minutes. Arora’s dance number is a bad recreation of an iconic song and doesn’t add anything to the film.
Ayushmann Khurrana steps into the action space for the first time, and he looks more heroic than ever. In the first frame, he looks like a superstar, but as the story progresses, his body language changes. This guy brings in several shades to the character and passes the test of getting into the slightly macho space. Jaideep Ahlawat is awesome as Bhoora and some of his straight-faced dialogue defines what dark comedy is. There are some fun moments in the movie because of the anger beneath him. Seeing Akshay Kumar in an urban avatar this year, doing what he does best – comedy – is amazing. It’s good to see Jitender Hooda and Hiten Patel in such limited roles. The rest of the cast does well in their limited roles.
Action Hero is an intelligently written action thriller, where the director strikes the right balance between humor and whacky scenarios. Although the conflict gets repetitive in the second half, the finale saves this Ayushmann Khurrana flick. This weekend is definitely Worth-A-Dekho.