If you want to make a gangster film you have a ready template in Bollywood which to follow. Pick up a real mafia from the past, throw in as many real life characters around it as possible, convolute the narrative with non-linear approach with each back and forth bring out a new character, stuff at least two-three item songs and voila! You have a gangster movie. What's a real pity is watching Sanjay Gupta, who has excelled in gangster films in the past, himself taking the easy route with his latest Shootout At Wadala.
The film takes off with Asfaque Bagraan (Anil Kapoor) dumping a bruised, shot and beaten Manya Surve (John Abraham) in a police van. Asfaque wants to know the truth, the reason for the rise of Manya, the reason for his callous deeds and then starts the flashback as Manya reveals his story slowly. A college boy Mahohar Arjun Surve is awaiting the results of his finals. He wrongly gets embroiled in a murder that his elder brother had committed and gets shoved into the jail under life imprisonment.
Life in jail gets worse as his brother gets slashed right in front of his eyes. However, he makes friends in there like Sheikh Munir (Tusshar Kapoor) and Veera toughen him up, help him escape from the jail and later join his gang. His sudden rise starts challenging the two don brothers Dilawar Imtiyaz Haksar (Sonu Sood) and Zubair Imtiyaz Haksar (Manoj Bajpayee) and what follows is a gruesome gangwar. All in front of the eyes of the helpless cops played by Anil Kapoor, Ronit Roy and Mahesh Manjrekar until they are given the orders to encounter Manya on sight!
Sanjay Gupta who's first part of the Shootout franchise, Shootout At Lokhandwala, was a sweeper hit, turns his second into such a depressing display of cliched elements from Bollywood. The film is replete with puerile acting, convenient narrative, pointless dialoguebaazi and predictable story.
It's not always easy to adapt from a book and based on Dongri To Dubai, the film suffers from the same problem. The characters and episodes which would've otherwise grown on a reader get dealt with very haphazardly and hence don't leave any impact on the audience.
To add to the agonizingly long film of a run time of 150 minutes, there are multiple song sequences, three item numbers at that, which literally leave you red on your face.
Actors Anil Kapoor, Ronit Roy, Mahesh Manjrekar, Manoj Bajpayee and Sonu Sood put together brilliant performance especially Anil Kapoor who even at his age easily performs some of the most difficult chase and stunt sequences. John Abraham portrays his grittiest character till now but fails to hold together the narrative. Tusshar surprisingly plays his part well and can easily be considered better than John. Jr. Shakti Kapoor, Siddhant is impressive in his debut. Kangna Ranaut plays a typical part which she may have in the past too.
To sum it up, Shootout At Wadala lacks innovation and courtesy the long run time and jarring songs ends up disappointing the audience.