Players. Abhishek Bachchan, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Sonam Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Bipasha Basu, Sikander Kher, Omi Vaidya and Vinod Khanna. How much willing will you be to watch a movie that has the above starcast? Probably not at all, or maybe only a few people will be very excited to watch this cast display their histrionics on screen, all at the same time. Players is an official remake of another remake, The Italian Job (2003) which was originally made in 1969 with Michael Caine. Honestly, I do not believe in a lot of critics these days who are merely suckers for Hollywood movies, who are against Hollywood classic remakes or who have rested their preferences only in movies that are off the hook, an innovative (read shocking) storyline which is executed with no bordering bakwaas! BUT that in no way means that I liked Players, its only that I am against people who have recently made 'making fun of movies' a religious and social responsibility for themselves. What I have done here is I have outlined the two biggest problems with Players at the very start of this review and Ill explain more in a bit since I do not intend to dissect the movie scene by scene or make this review long.
Players is a typical Abbas-Mustan film, it has all the elements of all their films in terms of treatment. Its fast paced, full of twists, excellent cinematography, gorgeous babes and thrilling action. The problem here is they take a perfectly nuanced screenplay and use their dumb heads to tamper it under the shield of adding desi elements to the plot and all their improvisations fall flat and only add to the unimaginable length of the movie which could test the patience of most people. The only thing that works as an addition is the corny humor which appears to be unintentional but definitely manages some light moments. The other additive subplots fail to strike a chord.
The second thing that shatters the castle called Players is the ensemble cast of bad actors who fail to live up to the requirement even in one scene. Neil Nitin Mukesh as Spider is the only noteworthy performance amongst all the people who could might as well be replaced by trees. They dont make the computer hackers, the illusionists, the make up artists, the con men believable! Sonam could never act, Bipasha is monotonic, Sikander Kher is hideous, Omi Vaidya is passable, Bobby is an idiot and Abhishek is too wooden and almost miscast! AB has to stop doing similar movies for real, its overdone now and he cannot be romantic in any way.
Yet, I am not writing off the movie. These problems are big, but they dont stop the movie from being entertaining and at times, unintentionally hilarious. I am not complaining about plotholes here unlike a million other critics cuz we never complain about potholes in Hollywood action and heist films but we start saying that things are unbelievable when Bollywood does it. They say they do it in style, but I say you will find style in Bollywood scenes also if your viewpoint changes and the performances are lively. The problem with Players is they do everything shabbily, and hence the punch of the twist does not come out. When I say shabbily, heres what I mean. Why do actors need to wear sequin jackets in important scenes? Why do huge palaces need to be tackily styled? Why do all gizmos and bombs need to have outrageous colors and visuals? This completely ruins the plusses such as spellbinding cinematography, power packed action and inherent twists in the plot.
Players is a decent one time watch if you havent seen Italian Job and its a definitive progressive film for indian cinema in heist films. The movie still lacks the wit and class of Don 2. If you have seen the Italian Job, Players comes too late in the day with pretty much the same technology and a shoddy screenplay and your gonna hate it. I was entertained, but never awed. Its not a waste, but it tries its best to be, saved by Abbas Mustan and Neil. Business wise, its gonna lose money cuz of the whole negative buzz around the movie which will not improve with the word of mouth. The music has failed to click with the audience in general, and the promos have not forced people to go watch it necessarily. Watch it once if you havent seen the original!
Rating - 2/5