Dhoom Machale!

Jul 13 2010

Screenshot from "Dhoom 2"

Screenshot from "Dhoom 2"

I’m having a difficult time figuring out how to describe Dhoom 2. I have such a disparate readership that I feel I’m constantly explaining or defending my hobbies and interests. If I want to describe a Hong Kong action flick or amazing anime series, I feel a need to lay the groundwork necessary for a non-fan to understand what I’m talking about.

Applying standard Western movie values to Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Indian films results in a fractured lens. Foreign cinema values different things.

So. Rather than defend or apologize for it, I’m just going to describe Dhoom 2.

It’s a Bollywood special effects cop film. It’s got shootouts, intense stand-offs, copious explosions, gorgeous actors, and modern musical sequences.

The filmmakers shot the action sequences as over-the-top orgies of stunts, gunfire, and explosions. It’s not realistic; it’s Mission Impossible without quite as much budget.

Dhoom 2 poster

The musical numbers exist as all good musical numbers should: to reveal character and/or be visually spectacular. The opening credits sequence features the villain singing and dancing to a Stomp-like, nearly synthpop piece of music, surrounded by urban dancers. It’s a music video.

The acting is common for Asian cinema; some over-the-top performances and some subtle performances, usually not from where you’d expect.

And my love for Dhoom 2 lies right there. Two scenes. One involves playful dialogue between a man and a woman on a basketball court in the rain. Subtle one-upmanship. Charismatic acting.

The other involves the same characters, with a gun between them. Guns appear throughout the film; a lot of bullets fly.  But when it’s pulled out for this scene, the gun has immediate weight and terror. This is a killing machine. And its entrance into the scene begins a wonderfully, horrifically intense sequence.

When I finished watching Dhoom 2, I gave it five stars on NetFlix.

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