Movie Review: Bang Bang (2014)

Bang_Bang_(2014_Film)2 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

When Jimmy Shergill offers the villain of Bang Bang some “extra cheese,” he’s not just talking about a pizza topping. He’s describing the tone of the film. Either that or he’s priming the audience for the ridiculous product placement to come.

Shergill’s role in Bang Bang as Indian Army Colonel Viren Nanda is minor. He’s dead before the opening credits roll, murdered by Interpol’s most-wanted terrorist, Omar Zafar (Danny Denzongpa) — but not before giving a needlessly patriotic speech.

Zafar puts out a notice to the world’s criminals — via Facebook? Twitter? — offering a bounty for the Kohinoor: a giant diamond stolen from India by the British during Queen Victoria’s reign. The diamond is filched from the Tower of London by Rajveer (Hrithik Roshan).

While on the run from some goons, Rajveer pauses to romance Harleen (Katrina Kaif), a lovely bank receptionist who’s been stood up by her internet date. Harleen is the absolute, most completely pathetic woman in the whole world because she doesn’t have a boyfriend. No boyfriend means no potential husband, and according to Bang Bang, an unmarried woman’s life is a meaningless waste.

Harleen gets caught up in Rajveer’s run from Zafar’s gang. The adventure takes her to all the exotic places she’s only dreamed of visiting. That Harleen spends much of the film drugged and being dragged from place to place suits Kaif’s abilities.

There are moments in Bang Bang that are a lot of fun. The dance song during the closing credits — aptly titled “Bang Bang” — is super catchy. The action scenes are entertaining, if only slightly more believable than those from an earlier Roshan action flick, Dhoom 2. Some of the dialogue is really clever and funny.

However, Kaif and Roshan aren’t up to the best of the material. There’s no chemistry between the two — although a kiss between them goes a long way to erasing memories of Kaif’s clumsy liplock with Shahrukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan — and neither is a good enough comic actor to deliver the humorous lines. Yes, Roshan is jacked and has about 1% body fat. It doesn’t make him right for this part.

For all of the stuff that blows up, Bang Bang is dull. Plot lines resolve slowly, and time is wasted on shots (from the neck up) of Kaif looking wistful in the shower. The background score is unbelievably corny.

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, there’s some really cynical product placement in Bang Bang. A pivotal scene is set in a Pizza Hut located on the top of a mountain, on the edge of a cliff, with no place for a parking lot. Nevertheless, the restaurant is crowded.

Not so crowded that Rajveer and Harleen can’t ponder the merits of thin versus stuffed crust, mind you. The kid behind the counter (Aditya Prakash) suggests a pan pizza as a compromise. The kid is the best actor in the film.


33 thoughts on “Movie Review: Bang Bang (2014)

  1. Vivek

    Hello Kathy. I found the film 3.5/4 stars. But I am a huge Hrithik fan so my rating may be biased.
    I thought the film was to be enjoyed sitting with other Hritik fans, which luckily I did. My theater was full and we were whistling and clapping on action scenes, dance moves,etc. I had a blast.

    1. Kathy

      What a difference an audience makes, Vivek. I was one of just ten people in the theater for my showing. It was a quiet theater because several people were looking at their iPhones instead of at the screen, even during the action scenes! A more enthusiastic crowd might have helped sustain the momentum during the slow parts.

  2. Deepika

    This film was such a horror, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who isn’t a Roshan fan. As someone who who likes the original, Knight and Day, I went in there with great expectations. Needless to say, I was super disappointed. Silly me, what was I expecting from a Bollywood movie manufactured to specifically cater to the needs of a masale loving audience? The film retains none of the original’s crisp and fast paced fun, and dulls in comparison. To be fair, it’s not like original had a very commendable plot either but Bang Bang! makes little sense, and is dreary and dragging; the action scenes are pathetic and the repetitive product placement is eye roll worthy. Harleen, the character played by Katrina Kaif is an airhead, who is mopey and whiny, and made me want to punch the screen multiple times. (“Main boring hoon!”, she whines repeatedly.) Songs are catchy, Hrithik Roshan’s dancing is amazing, as per usual, and Katrina’s stylist needs to be fired. Also, the bad dialogue deserves a mention.

    Oh, and you had me in splits at the last few sentences of your review! Haha

    1. Kathy

      Thanks, Deepika! I haven’t seen Knight and Day, and I was curious to hear what someone who’d seen the original thought of the remake. There are moments in Bang Bang when you can hear echoes of the crisp dialogue from the original film, and we can only imagine what it would’ve sounded like had it been delivered by actors with better comic timing (and anyone other than Katrina). Seriously, when the kid behind the counter asked if they wanted a pan pizza, didn’t you think: “Now that is an actor!”? 😉

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  28. Jill

    Do you have an idea who plays Abdul, the waiter at the beginning? He’s in Dishoom and Bodyguard as well. I’ve been trying to find his name for ages. Do you have any contacts who might know his name? Thanks.


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