For any film that advertises itself as a thriller, the most unflattering thing you can say is that it inspired boredom. And it makes for an altogether under-thrilling statement, because the said film is an official remake of the Mark Wahlberg-starring 2006 film The Italian Job.
Players another heist-soup from the now-foreseeable style of director-brothers Abbas-Mustan has such an incompetent narrative, the actors in the motion picture react with an unintentionally true expression: Being Clueless.
Abhishek Bachchan an actor getting exceedingly worse with every passing film, plays cool boss Charlie, who had a friend in Aftab Shivdasani who left him with a 10,000 crore-worth plan of stealing gold from Russia which actually belonged to Romania in an Oliver Twist book. Khool. Charlies a Chartered Accountant who wears ridiculous suits, has weirdly a mentor in Vinod Khanna a convicted robber, but an acclaimed one there, who supplies players for the 10,000 crore Romanian gold robbery from a Juhu hospital. They include Sikander Kher a technical wizard, whos meant to be half-deaf but looks full-dumb in the entire film, Omi Vaidya master of prosthetics, Bipasha Basu mastering in God-knows-what skills but we see her pumping up the speed of a train, and the most tragic of them all A Bobby Deol. Yes, you read that right. Bobby Deol plays, what Vinod Khanna describes, India ka sabse bada magician. Together they track Neil Nitin Mukesh the Edward Norton of them who does a surprisingly charmless job as a computer-hacker-traitor.
These bunch of seemingly scared heist-groupies mastering in superficial intelligence and skills that we get to see very little of, set off to Russia to extract the gold bullion from a train routed to Romania. Then you-know-who dumps and pumps bullets (and truck) in to the rest of them and escapes to build a multi-crore (animated) mansion in New Zealand. But in Abbas-Mustans thriller style, everybody wears bullet-proof skins and escapes without a scratch. Some mumbo-jumbo lethargically unfolds where Sonam Kapoor says lines like Maine computer hack kar diya and AB says, Planning ka waqt khatam where Neil says, Teri expiry date khatam and to top them all, a thoroughly annoying Omi Vaidya, with a role that seemingly is a recycled extension of Chatur Ramlingam, says painful lines like, Aaja meri whale, aur sone ke ande de de
Which brings us to the root of the flaws that suffocate Players into becoming the corrupt step-cousin that The Italian Job wouldnt want to acknowledge in a generation.
Apart from a universally incompetent cast that cannot say one single line with assurance, (and where Sonam Kapoor passes with distinction) the contrived humor arouses that sort of response thatd make even a flourishing stand-up comedian land up in a cell in Arkham.
Deliberate convulsions which Abbas-Mastan would want to believe as clever-twists ironically stops them from any reaching sort of a logical closure and the one which they do is the one David Dhawan would think of, when he meets F. Gary Gray.
Although the collective bad acting toasted further below by the inept dialogue is unforgivable, a little characterization on the writers part would help Players sustain some status. But such a shabby job is done in that department. For instance, theres no acceptable background check on these Best Players in the world gang. They are such caricatures, and deeply uninspired, they dont leave any room for sympathy. So when an Abhishek Bachchan is hanging between two moving trains, you dont really give a damn whether they make it or they dont. A hefty amount of blame goes to Abbas-Mastan who Race this film up, but with dramatically poor direction.
Which brings us to the bloody-hilarious climax of this nearly 3-hour claptrap, where Neil Nitin Mukesh gets bashed up by every member of the cast (and Bipasha Basu feels suicidal)
In Players, which probably is the most embarrassing film Neil Nitin Mukesh has been a part of, he looks surprisingly camera-conscious, and lacks conviction in his lines, menace in his look. An over-the-top attire of glittering jackets and expressions of psychotic angst, all of it superficially makes for a dark character which seems to be forcefully drawn, even comical at points, when he says, Baaby, open
For 2012, at the movies, it couldnt get any bad than Players. While the commercial prospects look alarmingly so-so, we can take the film as a learning lesson (yes, with a whack right down the rear).
When you pay money to remake a film with an enviably tight script, reproduce frame-to-frame. Nobody will complain.
If you anyway go to the West shopping legitimately, learn the way they buy too (Read David Finchers Dragon Tattoo).
That unless you are a Scorsese adapting a Hong Kong crime-thriller.