By Subhash K Jha

Rating: * ½

What makes Ali Abbas Zafar’s Bade Miyan Chote Miyan such a pricey fiasco is its attempts at doing a posh anti-terror action film that never reaches anywhere near its intended target.

The film has some elaborate action sequences including a flashback in which the two heroes rescue the Indian ambassador from a terror camp where everyone is busy watching Amitabh Bachchan and Govinda in the original 1998 Bade Miyan Chote Miyan.

I wish I was too. What was considered an awful film back then now seems a bit of fun when compared with the selfimportant fireworks of Zafar’s film of the same title where some of the highlights include Akshay and Tiger’s bromance . There is little here to remind us that once upon a time, Akshay had shared a rather endearing bonding with Saif Ali Khan in Main Anari Tu Khiladi.

Here is it all about oneupmanship. And the brotherly love is squandered in tons of corny quips. One can see Akshay improvising to liven the dreadful confrontations the two heroes have with Prithviraj Sukumaran who has his face masked till interval.

Fun fiscal question: why hire a posh actor when his face is not visible for fifty percent of the film?

But here is the compensation : we get two of Akshay and Tiger after interval. Which is really not my idea of double value. It is poor consolation for the tortuous tale of terrorism where the most terrorized characters are not on the screen.If a film features two action A-listers, the least we expect is the stunts to be on a par with those in Pathan and Jawaan, if not the Marvel universe(okay, I am only kidding). The stunts are so stunted they appear to have been shot as some sort of a blustering hoax ,if not tasteless jokes.

The women, as expected in a film of this muscled macho mood, have little to do. Manushi Chillar , Sonakshi Sinha and Alaya F are not decorativedolls. They are part of the main action. But the sheer absurdity of their gender-free manoeuvres will make you giggle. Alaya keeps drooling at Tiger’s midriff . Tiger is indeed fighting fit and raring to go.

But go where??!!

By the time the astonishing Prithviraj Sukumaran shows up on screen as a terrorist in a mask, the storytelling is so lost in its own world, it doesn’t seem to care about minor problems like coherence and sanity. The screenplay stumbles from one doddering action sequence to another, leaving us gasping in disbelief as characters assume a selfimportance which the writing is completely unable to justify.

I am still hoping that the team behind this all-noise-no-payoff action pact would tell us this was all a belated April Fool’s joke. That we will soon have the REAL film. This was just a teaser ‘troller’.