Reliance Entertainment, Sunshine Pictures Pvt. Ltd. and Cinema Capital’s Commando (UA) is the story of a commando who saves a girl from a goon and his army. Karan Singh Dogra (Vidyut Jammwal) is an accomplished commando who is mistaken to be a spy when he accidentally lands in China. He is tortured by the Chinese officials and although his senior, Col. Akhilesh Sinha (Darshan Jariwala), is keen that the government help to get him released, the defence minister (Sukhwinder Chahal) thinks, it is politically safer to let him rot there. Karan escapes from China’s custody and returns to India.
One day, he bumps into Simrit (Pooja Chopra) who is running away from home to escape being married off to Amrit Kanwal Singh alias AK74 (Jaideep Ahlawat), a hardened criminal and politician. AK74 has threatened Simrit’s parents to give him her hand in marriage. Since AK74 is a politician, Karan decides to help Simrit because that way, he would be able to get even with politicians, a community he hates as it was a politician who had refused to help him in his hour of need.
Karan gives AK74’s men a tough fight, and the two manage to escape from AK74 and his cronies. They hide in the jungles but before long, they are being chased by AK74 and his army. What happens ultimately? Is Karan able to eliminate AK74 or does AK74 get the better of Karan? Does AK74 reach out to Simrit’s parents? Do Karan and Simrit live happily ever after or does Simrit have to surrender before AK74?
Ritesh Shah’s script is routine and moves on a single track. Since the stunts of the commando are the high points of the film, the writer seems to have not worked too hard on the screenplay which moves in a predictable fashion right from the time the commando enters Simrit’s life till the end of the drama. There aren’t too many highs and lows in the film. Although Ritesh Shah has tried to garnish the action drama with romance and music, he doesn’t quite succeed in integrating these well in the film. The romance looks half-baked and forced while the songs fail to add colour to the proceedings. Why, there isn’t much humour too, which could have served to lighten the mood. AK74 does try to create comedy but his jokes succeed at times and fail to evoke laughter at other times.
The reason why Karan jumps to Simrit’s rescue (because he has an axe to grind with politicians) doesn’t appeal if only because the connection looks a bit far-fetched. For the same reason, Karan’s talk about cleansing the system looks forced. As a screenplay writer, Ritesh Shah has also not taken Karan’s resolve to seek revenge on the Chinese officials, to its logical end although he (Karan) says, he would seek revenge. Another point is that Karan is such an accomplished commando that an entire drama devoted to him only saving a girl in distress looks not worth his while.
All in all, the story is routine and the screenplay doesn’t elevate the proceedings too much. However, what really gives the film a huge, repeat, huge shot in the arm is the raw action. The death-defying stunts and action, especially of Karan Singh Dogra, are so brilliant that they mesmerise the audience. The fact that the stunts have been done by Vidyut Jammwal himself, that too without the use of harness, has been suitably publicised, adding to the thrill and excitement of the viewers who are aware of this. Dialogues are reasonably good.
Vidyut Jammwal impresses immensely with his agility in the dare-devil stunts he performs. He is absolutely fantastic in the action scenes and stunts and could well go on to become an action hero of repute. However, his acting needs brushing up. He doesn’t stand out in the acting department and could do with working on his acting and expressions. Pooja Chopra makes a fairly confident debut as Simrit. She is easy in front of the camera. She needs to work on her dubbing to reduce the shrillness in her voice. Jaideep Ahlawat is terrific and makes his character detestable, both, with his natural acting and get-up. Darshan Jariwala makes his presence felt in a brief role in a special appearance. Sukhwinder Chahal (as defence minister) is alright. Jagat Rawat shines as AK74’s MP-friend. Bhagwan Tiwari (as SP), Sohrab Handa (as Simrit’s father), Dimple Bagroy (as Simrit’s mother), Vikramjeet (as Kukki), Barinder Kaur (as Preeti) and the others support ably.
Dilip Ghosh’s direction is effective. Given the uni-dimensional script, he manages to keep the audience’s interest alive. As mentioned above, the stunts have tremendous thrill value, especially for the masses. Mannan Shah’s music is a letdown. None of the songs stands out and the placement of the songs is also not very intelligent. Mayur Puri’s lyrics are fair. Ganesh Acharya and Firoz Khan’s choreography is alright. Prasad Sashte’s background music is not as exciting as it should’ve been. Sejal Shah deserves distinction marks for his camerawork. He has captured the stunts on camera with maturity. Franz Spilhaus and Kaushal-Moses’ action and stunt scenes are outstanding and the film’s mainstay. Sets (Dnyandeo Indulkar) are okay. Amitabh Shukla’s editing is reasonably sharp.
On the whole, Commando has a routine drama but extraordinary stunts. It will do very good business in single-screen cinemas on the strength of mass patronage. The excessive violence will limit both, the patronage of ladies and the film’s business potential in the multiplexes where collections will be okay. In the final tally, it will prove to be an above average fare.