The 2003 Hollywood release, THE ITALIAN JOB was a decent flick. The movie opens with the heist of $35 million in gold bars from a Venetian mansion. And although PLAYERS
, Abbas-Mustan's latest offering is a straight lift from the Hollywood flick, they fail to even lift impressively. I mean, you have a ready plot, you know what each actor's role ought to be and the screenplay is well laid out. All they have to do is adapt it to the Indian audience which, frankly speaking requires a little imagination. That's where they suffer!
There are enough loopholes in the plot which will have you leave your mouth open gaping in disbelief. In fact, if one starts to get going, pointing out the flaws, one will not know where to stop. Here are a few...
- The gold bars, after they have been robbed in Russia, find a safe haven in New Zealand. How did they land there? We are talking about tons of gold here?
- Finally, how on earth can a few Indians infiltrate the Russian government and execute a heist of this magnitude? And then they go all the way to New Zealand to claim the gold back. They are more comfortable than the locals on the Kiwi streets, blasting off their underways and creating traffic jams, 'Like in Mumbai'.
- Is Mumbai the only place in the world famous for traffic jams? And is MERA NAAM JOKER the only film the Russians remember? I wonder if Abbas-Mustan even realize what they have done to tarnish the image of India abroad.
Having said that, let's also give credit where it is due, PLAYERS is a slick treat of high adrenaline action scenes that rates up there with the best in Bollywood. With thrillers being their forte, and action their main course, Abbas-Mustan do not disappoint in this department. Abhishek Bachchan
(Charlie) and Bipasha Basu
(Riya) are partners in crime. Six months before and after a con job, they stay away from each other to plan their next big robbery. No one doubts their involvement. But now, there is a big heist to undertake and it requires not just Charlie and Riya but a gang of experts to pull it off.
The Russian mafia is after Aftab Shivdasani because he is sitting on a goldmine of information. He knows where, when and how the Romanian gold is going to be sent back to its country by Russia. He also knows which high-profile Russian officials will be a part of this very important operation. However, he is killed by the mafia, and a parcel he has left with his wife in Goa is given to Charlie after his death. The parcel contains a CD with some basic information. He advises Charlie to get a team of Players, the world's best to pull off this gold heist.
Only Vinod Khanna, a master con artist himself who is in jail, can set this team up for Charlie who incidentally is also his Chartered Accountant and a friend of his daughter Sonam Kapoor
(Naina). Being a computer genius with a Masters in ethical hacking, Naina is an integral part of the team. There's also Bobby Deol
(Ronnie) who is the equivalent of P C Sorcar, a master illusionist; Omi Vaidya
(Sunny), a prosthetics expert; Sikander Kher
(Bilal) who has worked with several secret service agencies all over the world and Spider (Neil Nitin Mukesh
), a computer geek.
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From here, the movie moves on to slick action zone taking the viewer on a high-speed ride through Russian terrain where each Player has to play his part to get through the gold bars. The clip with the two trains running parallel to each other with Charlie dangling mid-air off-loading the gold while the Russian guards are hoodwinked by Ronnie's illusion is well-executed.
The mystery unfolds once the gold has been successfully robbed. The drama begins anew!
It would not be wrong to say that most of the cast are plastic in their expression. Bobby Deol sports a grumpy look, mouthing just a few lines. There are no layers to Abhishek's character and he is left performing at just one level, while Neil Nitin Mukesh, though looks good in his role, fails to inject that necessary fear element. Bipasha Basu does what she does best, looking hot. But it is Sonam Kapoor who disappoints. I get the feeling that the poor girl is trying too hard to play this 'oomphy' character. She is either overawed by Bipasha or is rattled by the recent spate of her flops. The music too is a big let-down, with songs unnecessarily thrown in.
The relief comes from Johnny Lever who has a foreign wife and a gora 'Ramu Kaka', all based in Wellington, New Zealand. I guess, Abbas-Mustan sensed what they had done and injected Lever's track at an opportune time allowing the audience to let of steam with a hearty laugh!
The rating is purely for the thrills!Rating : 2.5/5