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Bade Miyan Chote Miyan review: Even Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff's chemistry can't save this all style, no substance ride

Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan works best when Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff are playing with words, and not with guns or bombs.

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Bade Miyan Chote Miyan review: Even Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff's chemistry can't save this all style, no substance ride
Bade Miyan Chote Miyan movie review
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Director: Ali Abbas Zafar

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Manushi Chhillar, Sonakshi Sinha, Alaya F, and Ronit Roy

Where to watch: Theatres

Rating: 2 stars

Akshay Kumar has ruled the action genre in Bollywood with his Khiladi series beginning in 1992, and Tiger Shroff has carried the mantle forward with his debut film Heropanti in 2014. So, it's natural that when a big-budget action spectacle was announced with these two stars as leads, the expectations were high. Add Ali Abbas Zafar to the mix, he of Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai-fame and those expectations reach sky high. But Bade Miyan Chote Miyan does not succeed in serving the perfect Eidi to the audiences.

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan starts off with an explosive action sequence in which a masked man attacks a convoy of Indian armed forces and steals a secret package being taken to a secure location. The man introduces himself as pralay (apocalypse) and threatens Indian armed forces for a war that they have never seen. To thwart this enemy, Colonel Azad (Ronit Roy) asks Captain Misha (Manushi Chhillar) to recruit Akshay Kumar's Freddy aka Captain Firoz and Tiger Shroff's Rocky aka Captain Rakesh, two ex-officers who were court-martialled 7 years ago. What follows is a relentless ride, filled with defeaning explosions and grand action set pieces, to thwart the antagonist Kabir, played by the Malayalam superstar Prithviraj Sukumaran.

Since the film is billed as an action thriller, Ali Abbas Zafar makes sure to keep a regular suppy of high-octane action sequences filmed on cars, bikes, helicopters, tanks, and even horses. But, after a point, even the well-choreographed stunt sequeneces and hundreds of explosions look repetitive. Not even a single action block is as awe-inspiring or creatively done as the ones we have seen recently in Jawan or RRR.

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan works best when Akshay and Tiger are playing with words, and not with guns or bombs. The chemistry between the two comes across best through their goofy, hilarious banter with good dose of pop-culture references. From quips on Orkut to Instagram, the writers have smartly woven in punches corresponding to the age difference between both the stars. The constant Bade-Chote jokes are entertaining and barely save this action-thriller from becoming a total mess.

There is a surprising callback to the Amitabh Bachchan and Govinda-starrer David Dhawan's original Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. Apart from these, Akshay and Tiger's film has nothing in common with the 1998 release, except the fact that both movies are produced by Vashu Bhagnani and hence, the same title.

Akshay and Tiger are the two pillars on which this film is mounted. Akshay deserves praise for not hogging the limelight from his younger co-star. He has some of the best lines, but the young star too stands on his own in the action sequences. Ali Abbas Zafar must be credited for making sure their camarederie comes alive on screen. But, the filmmaker fails to utilise the complete potential of Prithviraj Sukumaran. His character arc seems incomplete and should have been explored more. Also, he isn't as menacing and dreadful as the villain he is projected to be. We have seen Prithviraj pull off great characters in Malayalam cinema, but the Hindi audiences are yet to see him at his best. Amongst the three lead actresses, Manushi Chhillar stands out as she performs well in the action sequences. Sonakshi Sinha, in her special appearance, is completely wasted. Alaya F's stereotypical character of the nerd techie with 'verbal diarrhoea' (as Akshay calls her in one scene) has nothing else to do than decode passwords.

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan's biggest drawback is its wafer-thin, done-to-death plot of hero (heroes in this case) rescuing the nation from the evil plans of a mastermind villain. The story isn't novel enough, and thus, the makers rely on mundane slow-motion entry scenes featuring Akshay and Tiger, and huge action spectacles. So, we have a two-hour non-stop action thriller with more style and less substance. The film tries to ride high on patriotism, but terribly fails due to zero emotional connect. Also, Akshay and Tiger talking about their respective egos and talent constantly in the film does get to you pretty soon.

With a solid interval point, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan sets itself up for an interesting second half. But, as the lights go down, the film too starts sinking. The film tries to look at how latest technologies such as AI and cloning could prove to be a calamity in the hands of the ill-intentioned people, but the execution isn't affective enough. Also, the film is a tad too predictable and a bit too lengthy in the last hour. Some less action and more bromance between Akshay and Tiger is what this film essentially required.

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