Director: Lakshya Raj Anand
Writers: John Abraham, Lakshya Raj Anand, Sumit Batheja, Vishal Kapoor
Cast: John Abraham, Rakul Preet Singh, Jacqueline Fernandez, Prakash Raj, Ratna Pathak Shah and others
John Abraham is the story writer, lead actor and producer of Attack. In a way he’s largely to be held responsible for this shoddy action flick. The basic idea of a super-soldier is interesting. Imagination would know no bounds with this idea. The writer/s set this super-soldier against a terrorist group which attacks the Parliament of India in New Delhi. Quite ambitious. But they can’t take away the Bollywood-ness from this flick. The film loses its coherence under the pressure of catering to a larger audience by finding the lowest common denominator i.e. dumbing down the narrative with amateurish explanations of what is happening.
The premise and genre is suitable for John’s on-screen persona of a raging bull. The man is pretty sorted and sensitive off-screen but his recent choices of films are baffling. Remember John is the man who backed Vicky Donor which paved the way for Ayushmann Khurrana’s career of content-driven issue based cinema. Anyway.
One expects an action flick to open with a splendid action sequence. Or at least have a few kickass set pieces. Attack fails to deliver on that front. It’s neither stunningly choreographed nor shot. So that there’s nothing much an editor can do to save the film. The problems with this flick begin with its writing which is uninspiring. It neither has wit nor punches. The solitary line of dialogue which got a great response from the theatre was when the head of security sarcastically tells the super-soldier that the home minister is madly in love with the prime minister held hostage.
There are unnecessary songs – romantic songs between hero and his heroine, bhajan when he goes through the invasive procedure of installing a chip in his neck, and a transformation montage track during the making of a super-soldier. None of the songs stays with you. The background score is equally corny. There’s nothing new that the cinematography offers. It all stems from poor direction, I think. The film doesn’t have a voice.
Going by the first 15-20 minutes I decided to watch the film just to see how haywire the narrative can go. Although the parliament is under attack and the PM is held hostage, the narrative never triggers a sense of urgency. You know Johnny Bravo will save the country single-handedly. Unlike most action and Tiger Shroff flicks the hero is a one man army. But here, John gives him a believable real life solution to be a super-soldier. I wished the makers had worked more meticulously to make the narrative gripping and keep the audience curious to know what happens next. Instead what you get is a predictable screenplay which gives you ample time to consume your snacks and beverages. Some even checked their phones. There’s going to be a part two of this film. Well, prepare yourselves to survive another attack.