2.0 is everything you expected, and a little more! Those who've seen the movie will get that 'little' reference. Oh, man, so many spoilers on the fingertips, and I dare not spill them for fear of a lynching.
Spared No Expense
At an estimated Rs. 600 crore, you expect to see some authentic set pieces and gratuitous destruction on screen. Shankar doesn't disappoint. If we're talking about bringing in the army, they arrive in tanks and armoured cars, and use them. If there's a fight, there's battle damage. If there's a song, the money sparkles in grandeur, LED suits, sci-fi tunnels and more.
The graphics are honestly better than any previous Indian cinematic effort. It does sag in some of the larger scenes, but the flying, body-snatching cell phones are freakily realistic. It’s money well-spent.
Speaking of songs, there are none, so the pacing is spot-on. It's a Shankar film, so there will be a 'message' and exposition and a flashback, all of which come together quite nicely, without the needless musical interruptions.
Shankar also does away with other non-essentials like love tracks and logic. Well, logic is always the first to get kicked in the head in a Rajini film, but it takes the Superstar to totally destroy it in a sci-fi movie! But it works because of the earnestness with which Rajinikanth approaches the material.
Akshay Kumar's Day Out
Such fun to see Akshay Kumar spout Tamil PJ Punchlines! Sample this - he rips off Chitti’s legs in a fight and quips, “Kal (leg in Tamil) disconnected!”
The star also gets an actor's turn, with a meaty flashback and a hammily villainous role. He munches on both with gusto.
The fact that he's in prosthetic make-up all through kind of helps Akshay break out of his good boy image. His compassion is convincing, and so is his menace.
That's the genius of Shankar. There's all this talk of secrecy, but the reveal is never too big. Just a matter of putting two and two together. All you need are the keywords - suicide on a cell phone tower, big bird made up of cell phones, Chitti, a girl robot, the funnier 2.0, big battle in a stadium.
And it still manages to be super fun!
Rajini Fans, Yenjai! You others, Lighten Up!
For the ‘commercial cinema is beneath me and fandom is a fool’s enterprise’ crowd, you haven’t lived until you’ve experienced an in-cinema explosion of ‘Thalaivaaaaa’ with a thousand people.
The best production quality of your arthouse cinema is a shanty compared to this high-rise.
For the CGI Nazis out there, yes, effects were not quite Black Panther or Avengers: Infinity War, but definitely a few shades better than Steppenwolf in Justice League. Now that I've proved I know my stuff, let's please move on and trust me when I say the movie kicks some serious butt.
I'm going with 3.5 out of 5 Quints for 2.0
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