Eros International and Baba Films’ Action Jackson (UA) is a revenge action drama. Jay (Ajay Devgan) is in Bangkok and works for underworld don Xavier Fonseca (Ananth Raj). One day, he rescues Xavier’s sister, Marina (Manasvi Mamgai), from Xavier’s enemy, Nawab (Shawar Ali). Marina is blown away by Jay’s persona and guts and wants to marry him. But Jay already has a girlfriend, Anusha (Yami Gautam), and so turns down Marina’s proposal. This angers her and Xavier so much that Xavier asks his goons to eliminate Anusha, in a bid to get Jay to marry his sister. But Jay, who is now in India, manages to save Anusha and their unborn child, unknown to Xavier and Marina.
Xavier asks Jay to return to Bangkok and marry his sister. Luckily for Jay, he meets his look-alike, Vishy (Ajay Devgan), in India. Vishy indulges in illegal activities for a living and is in love with Khushi (Sonakshi Sinha). Jay introduces himself to Vishy, tells him his story and requests him to go to Xavier in Bangkok, posing as Jay for a few days because he (Jay) needs to be in India by his wife’s side in hospital.
Vishy obliges on humanitarian grounds and goes to Bangkok, pretending, before Xavier and Marina, to be Jay. Vishy takes his bosom pal, Moosa (Kunal Roy Kapur), along with him to Bangkok.
What happens thereafter? Is Vishy able to fool Xavier and Marina or do they get to know that he is not Jay? Does Jay face Xavier again? Is Jay able to avenge the murder attempt on his girlfriend (now wife) by Xavier? Do Vishy and Khushi unite in matrimony? Do Jay and Anusha live happily ever after? What future awaits Xavier and Marina?
A.C. Mugil’s story offers little novelty except that Jay and Vishy are look-alikes, which also is not exactly a novelty but is at least a bit unusual. Otherwise, the story is a routine revenge drama. The screenplay, written by Shiraz Ahmed, Prabhudheva and A.C. Mugil, relies too heavily on action so that there is a surfeit of violence, bloodshed and gore in the film. In fact, the excessive violence will put off the ladies audience and will not go down well with the multiplex-frequenting audience. But the masses and single-screen cinema audience will like the action and violence. The track of the double role comes as a surprise when it is revealed a little before the interval. The first part of the first half is slow-moving and routine. The second half is better and more fast-paced. But the fact remains that the overdose of gruesome violence does get on the audience’s nerves, barring the masses. Shiraz Ahmed’s dialogues are good but needed to be more punch-packed.
Ajay Devgan acts with admirable ease and enacts both the characters very well. He is intense in the dramatic scenes and breathes fire in the action sequences. He is quite good in the light scenes and, surprisingly, has also danced gracefully. Full marks to him for working so brilliantly on his physique because his toned body will be loved by the viewers. Sonakshi Sinha does well in the role of Khushi. Her absence for a long time in between looks odd. Yami Gautam is nice as Anusha. But she doesn’t get much scope. Ananth Raj looks frightening and performs well as Xavier Fonseca. Manasvi Mamgai makes an impressive debut. She looks sexy and acts very confidently as Marina. She exhibits grace in her dances. Kunal Roy Kapur is terrific in a light role. He provides the much-needed comic relief as Moosa. Ketan Karande looks menacing as Pedro. Puru Raaj Kumar makes his presence felt in the role of police inspector Shirkey. Razzak Khan leaves a mark as Lala. Ganesh Yadav has his moments as police office Maykar. Feroz Abbasi (as Anant Raj), Shawar Ali (as Nawab) and Jeetu Verma lend fair support. Shahid Kapoor adds star value in a graceful dance, in a special appearance. Rajesh Khattar leaves a mark in a special appearance. Others are adequate.
Prabhudheva’s direction is mass-appealing. With so much action and violence, the drama and narrative style will be appreciated more by the masses. But he resorts to too many convenient links and cinematic liberties to further the drama, and this will not go down well with the multiplex-audience. Himesh Reshammiya’s music is popular. All the songs are well-tuned and meant for the masses but there is not a single chartbuster. Lyrics (Sameer and Shabbir Ahmed) are good. Choreography of the songs (‘Gangster baby’ by Prabhudheva, ‘Punjabi mast’ and ‘Chhichhora’ by Vishnu Deva, and ‘Keeda’ and ‘Bas teri’ by Shekhar V.J.) is truly eye-filling. Sandeep Chowta’s background score is effective but very loud. Vijaykumar Arora has done a swell job of the camerawork. K. Ravi Verma’s action and stunts are over the top but while they would find favour with the masses, they would appear too fancy to be palatable by the classes. R.K. Naguraj’s production design is appropriate. Bunty Nagi’s editing is alright.
On the whole, Action Jackson is for the masses more than the classes. It will prove to be an average fare at the box-office in only some circuits as it will score in single-screen cinemas and with the masses more than in the multiplexes and with the gentry audience. But in the rest of the circuits, reaching the average mark will be an uphill task. Considering that it has entailed an investment of around Rs. 100 crore (to make, promote and release), recovery of the same seems an improbability in spite of fabulous recovery from the sale of satellite rights.