Victor Dada (Vinod Khanna) is shot in his back. Daughter Naina (Sonam) hugs him. Victor is shot again. But the shooter is so careful that Sonam shouldn't be hit at all. Wah! The 'Players' run riot on the streets of New Zealand, blowing a busy street, driving the Minis in the no-driving area, conveniently breaking the gate of a super rich Mansion etc etc and not a trace of Police obstructing their fun-n-'games'. Was it part of the New Zealand subsidy guys? The prolonged dialoguebaazi between Neil Mukesh and Abhishek slows down the proceedings. You feel like shaking them up, 'get down to some action guys...please!' The needless triangle between Sonam-Abhishek-Bipasha has such a dated feel to it that it bores you further. To add to the 'fun' there's a horny Russian military office who sings 'Mera Joota Hai Japani' in an inebriated state. Russia's ultimate ode to India I guess. Can we invent some more? How about Disco Dancer? I believe Mithun created a big flutter with that film in Russia.
I saw the film in a sparsely filled cinema hall. And yes, there were moments where the crowd cheered lustily. The actual robbery in Russia (even though its over dramatised and silly) elicited lots of whistles. Bipasha's fleeting Bikini wave drenched the soaking-men in the theatre and even the climax on Minis (there are several rounds of it) made the audience feast on the thrill in the neatly choreographed car chase. The camerawork by Ravi Yadav is first rate.
Abhishek Bachchan looks out of shape and his deliberate attempt at oozing laidback coolness doesn't work. There are two scenes where Abhishek plays a Gujju guy and he is bloody good in those scenes. It is high time Junior Bachchan accepts where his 'real' acting talent lies. Each time he plays a well defined character (Guru, Yuva, Dostana), he is first rate. I guess Mr Bachchan ought to stop retweeting those sugar coated goodies on Abhishek. Instead, he must point out Abhishek's strengths and ensure that he hones them damn well.
Bipasha looks great but does nothing that may add punch in her filmography. Sonam displays a bindas attitude with a flair for flaunting her sensuality and comic timing. Bobby Deol sleepwalks through his role. He looked disinterested and his bored expression reminded of the discomfort that he has before media interactions. Omi Vaidya is funny and so is Johny Lever. Neil Mukesh shows spunk as the mean villain though he goes over the top in the second half. His mansion and the way he operated it, somehow reminded of Shakaal (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) from Shaan. Editing by Husain Barmawala is a mixed bag. The editing chops are suave but the film should have been shorter by at least 20 minutes. Music is uninspired. None of the songs stand out.
If you don't have anything better and are open to a willing-suspension-of-absolute-disbelief then you may try out Players. Its a half hearted blend of the desi 80s masala with soggy Italian pasta.
Star Rating: 2 stars.
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