Police Force:
An Inside Story

Dir: Dilip Shukla
Star: Akshay Kumar, Raveena Tandon, Amrish Puri, Mojan Joshi

Our second stab into the world of Indian action cinema isn't as successful as Aan, being less like John Woo on crack, and more like a 70's pot-boiler, without the intensity, style and ferocity that made Aan so watchable. Again Kumar is the star, once more playing a policeman; this time, he's Vijay, fresh out of training school when he's sent to help with security during the upcoming election. He witnesses a political assassination, and what he sees could expose corruption at the highest levels, so before you can say "poppadum", he's framed, in jail and being turned into a junkie. I think we all know where this one is going.

And that's one of the problems here. Our hero is knocked off his bike by car and - whaddya know? - the driver is the attractive daughter (Tandon) of a top cop. Cue romance, and here, the songs bring the film to a grinding halt, totally negating the gritty feel the script needs. The action isn't anything to write home about either, though Kumar certainly has screen presence comparable with a top Western hero. Tandon is irritatingly whiny, and while there are some neat moments, such as Vijay's confrontation with his nemesis at a party, there isn't the strong ensemble cast behind the star to keep the film going, especially as, once again, it's more than 2 1/2 hours long. This is closer to what I expected from Bollywood and, as such, is a bit of a disappointment.

September 2004

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