I can't recall the last time I enjoyed so much, a movie that has so little! James has an alarmingly bare storyline, an unconvincing romance, over-the-top villains and a wooden hero. But it also has wall-to-wall action picturized with style and that surprisingly carries the movie through.
James(Mohit Ahlawat) has just moved to Mumbai from Goa and with his friend's help, secures a job as a bouncer at one of the most popular discos in the city. Mumbai is under the criminal grip of Shanti Narayan, who has just won the election. His brother, Radhe Narayan, has his eyes on Nisha(Nisha Kothari), a model and when he harasses her at the club, James roughs him up. That makes him go after James.
Mohit in James is not just a hero but a superhero. He swats down the bad guys like they are flies and I don't think he receives even one blow in return - except when he is caught unawares. But his heroics don't contain the gravity-defying leaps or middle-of-the-air twists we see in Vijayakanth films. And they don't involve the Matrix-style gunfights we've seen in movies like Kaante. The fights here are hand-to-hand combats kinda like the fights in Run(1 fight on the street even repeats some of the moves from a similar sequence in Run) that, within the confines of Hindi cinema, seem strangely believable.
Like a John Woo film, James is powered by pure style. If I had kept track, I think more than half the running time of the film would've been in slow motion! Fast cuts and B&W shots are thrown into the mix too. But it works. Every fight is pretty much a well-choreographed dance number. Fists fly, arms flail and bodies fall but it all happens with style and grace. And the variety of locations and props prevents the fights from seeming repetitive. Helping immeasurably is the high-energy background score.
Thats not to say the movie holds our interest every minute. The plot is simply too thin for that to happen. While slo-mo shots work for the fights, they are overused, especially when used on the bad guys while they search for Mohit and Nisha. And the climactic fight seems to drag, maybe because we've had our fill of fights by then.
Mohit Ahlawat is pretty much a robot here. He shows no emotion and speaks at the most a dozen lines. His hands do all the talking. Nisha Kothari seems to be in the Urmila Matgaonkar mould - petite, baby-faced and wearing costumes that leave little to the imagination. The villains try to be menacing but when going up against a superhero, there's not much they can do other than utter threats and then fall to the ground! Rajpal Yadav, as always, grabs our attention in a small cameo.