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Annette Kellerman From Fantastic Fest 2013: COMMANDO: ONE MAN ARMY!!

Published at: Sept. 25, 2013, 8:50 a.m. CST

 

 

 

FANTASTIC FEST 2013


Bollywood Rambo.  One could say these two words sum up CAMMANDO: A ONE MAN ARMY quite well, however this blurb doesn't come close to doing this incredible spectacle justice.

Yes, the story does have Karan Dogra (ex model and marial arts badass Vidyut Jamwal), who is an Indian Commando captured by the Chinese, accused of being a spy, and tortured for a year before his escape into the jungle.  When Karan finally emerges back into society, he immediately finds himself a hero to the beautiful Simran, a damsel in distress who is trying to evade AK-74.  AK-74 is a zombie-eyed crime boss who wants to make Simran his bride.  Karan and Simran's escape from the outfit spurs a wild goose chase through the jungle where the majority of the film's amazing fight scenes play out.

Then there are the musical numbers.  Beautiful, lively, and border-line silly song and dance sequences.  Like the kickass action scenes in which Karan lays waste to armies of bad guys, the musical numbers are equally as dazzling, complete with chorus lines, gorgeous costumes, and seat shaking beats.

It is quite something to witness an ass kicking tour de force like the soon-to-be world famous Vidyut Jamwal also sing and dance like a seasoned pop idol.  It also doesn't hurt one bit that Jamwal is smoking hot.  Just sayin'.

Though the film does wink at the audience a bit when the one liners and over the top score start cueing up, the action and fight scenes are the real deal.  Jamwal apparently does all of his own fight scenes with no wire work, and though the slow-mo replay of a few of the marvelous stunts definitely seem to pat homage to Tony Jaa, there is no denying that Jamwal's skills have earned his place among the greats.

Director Dilip Ghosh has managed to artfully blend the action and Bollywood genres without compromising either.  The film is also beautifully executes, incorporating sweeping shots of the mesmerizing Indian jungle landscape.  The musical sequences are part traditional and part hip hop video aesthetic that is really fun to see on a big screen.  Though the song and dance initially feel disjointed, the sheer joy of each sequence is compelling enough to make it ultimately work.  It is just pure cinematic fun.

I am a guessing that with Jamwal's star on the rise, COMMANDO: A ONE MAN ARMY will surely be accessible to an international audience sometime soon. If you are a purist when it comes to your action, this film might not be for you.  If you appreciate mad martial art skills and the spectacle of a full-on Bollywood musical, COMMADO: A ONE MAN ARMY should be right up your alley.

- Annette Kellerman

 

Annette Kellerman

 

 

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