Dhoom 2 is all style and no substance. But it is further proof, if ever it was needed, that style, when used right, can make the lack of substance less of an issue.
Dhoom 2 is a heist movie. The focus is on Hrithik and though he is on the wrong side of the law and has the good guys after him, the movie’s high points are his well-orchestrated heists. The movie is more about how he robs stuff rather than how the cops chase him. So there is no shortage of thrills or stunts. The movie is very stylishly shot with exotic locations, slo-mo shots, multiple camera angles, split screens and a techno score. So it is bright, fast-paced and energetic. It slows down occasionally but it is never dull.
Unfortunately, the heists are also the segments where the lack of substance is glaringly obvious. The fun in watching heists onscreen lies in seeing both the planning and the execution. We see how things are going to be done, then how things go wrong and then how they are overcome. Here we scarcely get a glimpse of Hrithik planning his operations. And the stylish and high-energy picturization fails to obfuscate the fact that the heists are completely implausible. Key parts of the logistics of each operation are never shown(because there is no way they could have happened) and all the heists consist of blatantly impossible steps (like using a mini-crane to grab a jewel while a bunch of policemen are on watch just a few feet away).
While one expects the climax to provide the biggest jolt, the last heist ends up being really weak. After all the build-up and the planning, the actual heist is lame and the director cheats by not even showing the actual robbery. And what’s with all the training Hrithik talks about putting Aish through? As far as I could see, all she needed to do in the entire operation was put on make-up and walk on her knees!
The stunts and chases that follow the heists are terrific though. Hrithik's escape on roller-skates and the final chase with Abishek and Uday on bikes are thrillingly picturized. Special-effects and wire-fu techniques are nicely integrated and some stunts, like Hrithik-Aish's leap from the cliff, are dazzling.
The superficial nature of the heists extends to the romances too. The romance between Hrithik and Aishwarya is never remotely convincing and its surprising that two good-looking people can make such a bland couple. The 2 big one-on-one scenes between them lack passion and come off funny rather than sexy, passionate or emotional. Abishek is never given a chance to romance while Uday Chopra is used as a comedian, going after anything in a skirt (or in this movie’s case, a bikini). But he does elicit a few chuckles.
Hrithik looks dashing and carries the role off with aplomb. His screen presence has definitely improved and his swagger isn’t overdone. His dance skills are breathtaking as usual in both Dhoom Machaale… and Dil Laga…. Abishek could sue the director for sidelining him so much but he manages to hold his own in many places. He does surly and serious very well and has some good lines. He looked like he was a good dancer in KANK but looks awkward dancing for Bheege Bheege… here. Aishwarya actually seems to be becoming a worse actress with each new movie. She is plastic and irritating and her stiffness and artificiality are the main reasons that the romance with Hrithik doesn’t work. Thank God she looks hot! Her costumes are the skimpiest she’s ever worn and she looks great in some of them(she doesn’t carry them all off well though). Bipasha Basu was apparently brought on board only she has the perfect bod for a bikini. She does nothing of note after a slam-bang introduction and is relegated to the role of a comedienne in the second half.