Cars racing and bikes zooming, high-end technology and not just the dudes but even the chics being super techno-savvy... A well planned robbery and of course a tinge of Bollywood. Yes, that is how the "Official Remake" of The Italian Job is for you.
"Why do Indians have to dance for everything?" says a Russian army-general to Bipasha Basu. But well if it wasn't for the dancing and singing, how would this Indian version "Players" of The Italian Job be any different, right? Well, almost right... I say this because thankfully, Players is not a scene-to-scene copy of its Hollywood counterpart. The basic plot is the same but there are still several twists and turns and much more to suit the Indian sensibility (over-the-top acting, cheesy dialogues and just like the Russian says- dancing & singing).
Abhishek Bachchan dons the role of Charlie (yes, they haven't even bothered to change the name) the leader. He assembles a team of expert thieves with the help of his friend, philosopher, guide (Vinod Khanna) on the basis of a "tip" given by his friend. The team consists of his lady-love Riya (Bipasha Basu) who is an expert art-thief, a world-renowned magician Ronnie (Bobby Deol), a computer hacker Spider (Neil Nitin Mukesh), a make-up artist Sunny (Omi Vaidya) and of course a half-deaf (just like in The Italian Job) bomb expert Bilal (Sikander Kher). The team is about to undertake the biggest heist in the history of heists. The task ahead is huge and risky but they have the team of the best "Players" and there is no need to worry (Yeah of course, stealing gold bricks from the Russian Military camp en route Romania is a cake-walk right?) After some silly "magic" tricks and some absurd technology, finally it is a "Mission accomplished". But there is a twist. For all those who haven't seen The Italian Job, I won't be revealing the twist but all I can say is that things turn topsy-turvy. Suddenly Billionaires are left penniless. Somehow Naina (Sonam Kapoor) gets involved in this heist and again starts the chase.
Super fast car chases and excellent use of technology...these Players can pull-off any robbery. So what if they rarely use the help of the bomb experts, so what if the make-up artist helps in the make-up just once and otherwise he is the driver and the guy who is in-charge of changing train-tracks, so what if the art-thief is not only a skilled and a super-fast crook, but she is also an expert mechanic who can transform the entire train's engine and fit power boosters and so what if the "magician" does nothing but uses really super-cool technology. They are still "The Players".
The entire movie seems like a flop-show until we reach the interval; just before the interval, the movie becomes exciting. In the second half, just when you think that finally the movie has started to make sense, the directors add senseless parts to the movie like- Johnny Lever. His entire track is a joke and his double-role stint is an exact copy of the one he plays in I guess Hadh kar Di Aapne or the likes and again the movie takes a slump. What is even more irritating that the movie had the potential to be excellent but the makers were so busy in "Bollywoodisation" of this Hollywood flick that they forgot the fact that the audience doesn't lack logic even if their movies do.
Abhishek Bachchan is good, nothing new from his previous roles in Dhoom, Dum Maro Dum, etc... Bipasha Basu is mind-blowing. She reminded me of Race but she is without a doubt excellent. Ditto for Neil Nitin Mukesh. He is perfect for the role but he has been given really less scope to flaunt his talent. Omi Vaidya is a comic relief but at times he just gets plain irritating. Sikander Kher is wasted. Sonam Kapoor is good for a change.
The movie has its plus points. It is beautifully shot, the locales used are beautiful, it has a team of really good actors and the twists and turns are interesting; but the movie is rarely gripping. The plot hasn't been exploited well and it hasn't been given enough time to establish itself properly. The thefts are actually brilliant but they are shown so fast that they seem to be simple and silly. The music is also absolutely unimpressive.
Like I said, what could've been a good remake has simply turned out to be a really poor joke of the original.