The opening stretch of Sundar’s latest film, Action, looks promising. Diya (Tamannaah) is captured by a bunch of burly men in Istanbul, who threaten to kill her unless she tells them where Subhash (Vishal) is. But Diya isn’t too fazed by the possibility as, like in any decent masala movie, she knows the hero will swoop down and save the day. It’s the perfect set-up for a movie named Action. There are plenty of opportunities for fight sequences from the beginning itself, with some reasonably engrossing chase scenes thrown in between.
The locations are easy on the eye, and the surroundings are so calm as to make the action scenes seem even more thrilling. Not bad, you think, settling into your seat. But then, the fun stops abruptly and you have to sit through some dull romance scenes featuring Subhash and Meera (Aishwarya Lekshmi, the movie has two heroines), the latter’s role reduced to serving tea and kisses to the hero, and smiling coyly. This may not feel so out of place in a teenage love story, but Subhash is in the Indian Army. Why is this man who looks like he’s at least in his 30s acting like a high school student in the presence of a woman? And the jokes cracked by the character of his brother-in-law (played by Sha Ra) seem like leftovers from the films that starred Santhanam as a full-fledged comedian.
Once we move on from here, the movie picks up some pace again. Subhash is the son of Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister (played by Pala. Karuppiah), and his older brother (played by Ramki) takes the chair of the Deputy CM, and the scenes with them, especially their speeches, are great to watch. These stretches that reflect the current political situation in the state work the best (though I’m not too sure about a politician’s son developing an interest in parkour).
Action’s USP, in its inception stages, must have been to make sure that the audience holds their breath during the crucial scenes that bring Subhash and his nemesis face-to-face. And Sundar partially gets it right by lining up the twists one after another. But the pathetic use of visual effects negates the work put in by the actors.
For instance, the entire pre-interval action scene involving Subhash, an assassin and a henchman, which could have become the defining moment of the movie, goes down the drain because of the poor quality of the special effects.
The movie also has many logical loopholes, something one could try and ignore in a more stylish movie. In London, Subhash takes the help of Jack (Yogi Babu), a hacker, in one scene to trace some phone calls, and, sometime later in Istanbul, he works on the digital machines himself and transfers money from one bank account to another without anybody’s assistance. When he can do all the heavy lifting himself, what’s the need for a sidekick? Neither of the women get meaty roles, and Diya is also almost a sidekick to Subhash.
With better writing and execution, Action could have have been much more entertaining. This, unfortunately, is a Mad Max Mediocre Road.