Film Review: Attack – Part 1
Starring: John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez, Rakul Preet Singh, Prakash Raj, Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajit Kapoor
Director: Lakshya Raj Anand
The promo blitz for this latest Bollywood action-thriller came with the promise of a new kind of Super Soldier, ready to take on the enemies of a New India – Naye Hindustan Ki Nayi Fauj. From the very outset, with a name like ‘Attack’ and such bold proclamations, the audience was primed for an out and out action flick.
The shots begin flying from the opening sequence as we meet Major Arjun Shergill (Abraham), a well-trained Indian Army officer with a sharp-shooter’s aim and mental agility to smoke out the wiliest of targets from the roughest of terrains. While he is clearly extremely self-assured in the midst of bullets and bombs, his romantic skills need some speedy lessons when a chance encounter with air hostess Aisha (Fernandez) rocks his world in a different kind of way.
Tragedy strikes and Arjun is left paralysed from the neck down and in the complete care of his ageing mum (Pathak Shah). The bravado and fearlessness that was second nature to him is cruelly snatched away by fate, plunging him into the depths of despair and depression.
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It is at this extreme low point in his downward spiralling life that his former Army boss (Raj) comes to him with a proposal that sounds too good to be true and belonging within the realms of fantasy – a secretive artificial intelligence (AI) programme led by genius Dr Jiyaa (Preet Singh) that’s in search of a suitable candidate for its human trials to inject movement into paralysed limbs.
With the help of an Alexa-like chip named I.R.A. – Intelligent Robotic System – embedded in his neck, Dr Jiyaa claims to hold the power to transform wheelchair-bound Arjun into a Super Soldier, an invincible superhero backed up by computer-generated movements that are capable of superhuman impact.
Without much hesitation, Arjun jumps at this risky experiment that could end up in complete failure. And the reason for the rush? The pursuit of a dangerous terrorist on the loose determined to cause maximum damage to Indian democracy. Will India’s first-ever be ready in time to protect the nation from the terrors of this target? I think we can all guess the answer to that one.
The fact that this film is an unabashed masala mash of all the ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Captain America’ films put together is undeniable. The use of AI as the crux of a crime fighting caper may not be a novel idea but the end result is fairly entertaining, nonetheless.
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The banter between Arjun’s cyber warrior and his new-found best friend I.R.A. draws out many a chuckle, though not quite enough to overlook some extremely clumsy scenes of a gravity-defying first kiss between the on-screen lovers and some mega cheesy lines such as the “turbulence of the heart”.
On the whole, the film accomplishes what it promises on the tin – delivering an ‘Attack’ packed with punches, and many humans and even superhumans flying around. Fans of this genre will be right at home!