Mohit Suri used to make some sense back in the 2000s when the world was still figuring out how healthy human relationships work—not that he has understood it now. In fact, he should have stopped even back then. But all of that has culminated in this—the decision to direct the atrocity named Ek Villain Returns.
It’s probably a scheme to boost sales of migraine medication because you would need one for sure. Except for the outfits, it’s an abomination that no one asked for.
The first film was a disaster and this one really trumps even that. It’s especially insulating to Gen Z because of the portrayal of what they are like. Everyone in Ek Villain Returns is competing with each other to determine who the most disturbingly toxic person is.
The film is a twisted version of Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011). A jilted lover starts avenging other jilted lovers. Even worse, it’s about men who can’t handle rejection.
The (lack) of acting
If in Ek Villain (2014), Shraddha Kapoor screaming ‘Ae Villain’ still gives you nightmares, this one will aggravate the trauma. John Abraham looks like a sugar daddy paired with Disha Patani—it’s a complete mismatch from chemistry to the age difference. He seems out of place among the young crowd in Ek Villain Returns. But at least he is lifting things—as he did in Force (2011)— in the fight sequences of this film. This time he notably has Arjun Kapoor suspended mid-air.
Disha should really stick to looking stunning in Calvin Klein advertisements. Her dialogue delivery is strangely mannequin-ish. She doesn’t manage to convey the sense of evil or seductiveness. She just sticks out like a sore thumb.
The chemistry between John and Disha is disturbing—it’s like witnessing a badly-made B-grade movie. It seems to suggest clothes being torn one after the other stand in for steamy sex. The brief romance between Arjun and Tara Sutaria’s characters feels much more believable.
Arjun Kapoor arguably does well as the brash, spoilt brat and reprehensible Gautam Mehra. He is the only one who plays his character faithfully. But it’s all in vain. His character is just that badly written. Everyone else hams their way through this disaster of a film.
JD Chakravarthy returned to Hindi movies this year with Anek. But one wonders why he worked in Ek Villain Returns. Tara doesn’t have a lot to do. But she definitely performs better than Disha. There is a better range of emotions at least.
No redemption arc for this thriller
What could have been a good thriller involving psychopathic killers falters and cannot be salvaged. It takes itself seriously and is unintentionally funny with how it thinks so highly of itself.
Despite trying hard to appear as a slick, twisted film, all Ek Villain Returns does is give you a blinding headache. The plot twist at the end isn’t exactly a twist because by now you are upset at how Suri underestimates his audience’s intelligence.
The action scenes are well shot and are comparable to Hollywood. John shines in them, even as he flickers in everything else. One wishes he had started live streaming his gym sessions instead of doing movies like this and Attack to earn money.
All the men in the film need therapy and an expensive one at that. The redemption arc isn’t exactly believable.
Singer Mithoon had stuck goldmine with the prequel. But Ek Villain Returns lacks in music as much as it does everything else.
God save us because there will be a third instalment if we are to believe the ending. The only takeaway is probably to be careful of your Uber driver and take the ratings seriously.
(Edited by Srinjoy Dey)