Movie Review: Commando, A One Man Army
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Cast: Vidyut Jamwal, Jaideep Ahlawat, Pooja Chopra
Director: Dilip Ghosh
The Indian Express rating**1/2
It's been such a long time since we saw a true blue Bollywood actioner that Commando doesn't need to be anything other than what it is: a string of explosive sequences strung through a story which exists only for the purpose of showing one man, muscles rippling, scything through a mob. Again and again and again.
To that end, Vidyut Jamwal is perfect. Unlike the so-called action heroes we have right now, straining past the mid-40s line, struggling to appear credible, Jamwal looks as if he was born to do this. The opening sequence has some jaw-dropping moves (a disclaimer at the beginning tells us that he has done all the stunts, barring a few scenes in the end, himself: in one, he flips himself totally off the ground while horizontal) which instantly tells us that this man could be the real legatee of the Sty Stallone-Arnie-Diesel-Statham tradition. In other words, when he hits someone, they stay hit.
Jamwal plays an Indian army commando who breaks free from beyond the China border after capture and much third degree torture. His one aim now is to 'clean up the dirt within'. In other words, the guys who make it impossible for the good guys in the armed forces function — politicians, and goons who want to become politicians. Fortunately for him, and us, Jamwal doesn't get too much speaking time. Having said what he has to, he gets down the real business of decimating the bad guys, one by one.
Commando Karanveer Dogra comes to the rescue of damsel in distress Simrit (Chopra) who is on the run from the evil, cruel AK (Ahlawat). This AK is quite a piece of work. He is constantly on his phone, guffawing at Santa-Banta jokes, snarling at the cowering good folks of the Punjab village he lives in, and leering at the spirited Simrit. If Jamwal is just right for his part, Ahlawat who left a sizeable impact in Gangs Of Wasseypur and who has been biding his time in bit parts till now, carves out a lovely old-style Bollywood villain, all costume and bluster and grinning menace.