Tiger Zinda Hai Review
So Salman Khan is a RAW agent living happily in Austria fighting wolves with his kid and Katrina Kaif who plays his wife ('bhabi' to you guys!) who kicks ass in a small supermarket:
'Call the cops!' she says to the bewildered white desk clerk who is learning Hindi, 'There are muggers in the shop'
Before you say, 'Erm... Whaa?' Bhabi has kicked and punched them to the ground and the 'muggers' have not even finished the sentence, 'Geeev meeee maaaaneeeeyyyy!' in slow motion...
RAW head Shenoy (Girish Karnad) and his sidekick show up at Salman's doorstep and you deja vu into 1985 when General Kirby calls in on Arnold Schwarzenegger's Alpine home (where he's chopping wood, just like Salman) to tell him about finishing a bad guy holed up on an island.
But these days, bad guys are ISIS and their ilk and the story is in oil, so the movie brings us to the Middle East, oooh, desert and sands and camels? No, no bomb carrying camels like in Hindi movies, but scary men with AK47s who wear towels over their heads and say, 'Yalla, yalla!' quite often, which means 'Move on!' and end up scaring no one really.
So Tiger shows up with his band of merry men to rescue nurses. Civilians, obviously, because someone has to scream for the soundtrack when guns go off...
Tiger's plan is so convoluted, you are grateful Bhabi shows up to kick up some ruckus on her own. Dammit! They missed the obvious dialog! He asks upon seeing her in the middle of the fight, 'Why are you here?' She should nonchalantly say, 'To save the Tiger!'
Bhabi kills! She slashes and she cracks open skulls and bad guys who confront her have batons mostly and a sword or two. But she climbs up a torn up building rather well, so we forgive the corny story of women being made to clean the floors where they are raped. Hygiene? No! It's a great shot of burka clad women scrubbing Moroccan tiled floor. Speaking of great shots, the bombed up part of the city is very nice. And so are the interior hospital shots.
So the nurses are looking after Abu Usman (can we pay writers to get better villain names? A little research would have given them the Arabic equivalent of Tiger in the name 'Zufer'). And could they not die so easily? I felt the corny,'Tiger does not hit men with glasses' coming on several times, and that would get Abu Usman to charge at Tiger with viciousness, but no!
Oh yes, Tiger speaks about himself in the third person. There are fab one liners which are drowned by fan screams because: Biceps!
There two walking tropes of death in action movies: One who says, 'I'm going to raise the Indian flag when all the bad guys are dead'. He dies, of course. And the other who has been all over the newspapers giving sound bytes that his role is like that of Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker. When you see the film, be warned, you could die laughing at him.
The action parts are great. No doubt about it. And thankfully there's little romance and fans can gasp at how cool he is, lifting Katrina over his shoulder and walks with one hand in his pocket.
When the shirt comes off, though, you think people from Madame Tussauds have not been given enough credit. I'm a fan, and yet I know, it's time to stick to the singlet...
There were cheers and whistles in the film and mostly it was good to be with Salman's fans. But at 161 minutes, it was too much corn and cheese even for me.
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