(Published in The Sunday Guardian on 8 April 2012, retrieved from http://www.sunday-guardian.com/masala-art/so-bad-its-actually-fun)
Cast: Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Ritiesh Deshmukh, Shreyas Talpade, Asin, Jacqueline Fernandes, Zarine Khan, Shazahn Padamsee, Mithun Chakraborty, Boman Irani, Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Chunky Pandey, Johnny Lever
Director: Sajid Khan
Rating: 4 stars
What do you do when you have a bunch of bad actors (and Shreyas Talpade), and you want to make people laugh? Throw in Mithun Chakraborty, Boman Irani, a couple of the Kapoor brothers, Johnny Lever and Chunky Pandey, and get Akshay Kumar to breathe lines like “Langoors, have my angoors.” Housefull 2, which takes logic even less seriously than it takes itself, is every bit the laugh riot it promised to be.
You know the tone of the film when two leggy chicks march into a circus and bark out orders in Hindi at their Caucasian sidekicks. These are Heena Kapoor (Asin) and Bobby Kapoor (Jacqueline Fernandes). Then, we see their mothers fighting over botched plastic surgeries. About ten minutes into the film, Bobby’s father Dabbu (Randhir Kapoor) spits out at his half-brother Chintu (Rishi Kapoor), “Najayis is born out of love; real sons are born out of duty.”
Thus begins a contest between Kapoor-and-Son Dabbu and Kapoor-and-Real-Son Chintu, to bag the richest desi son-in-law in England. So, they seek the services of Aakhri Pasta (Chunky Pandey), whose painful wordplay will make you laugh anyway. They’re gunning for the son of JD (Mithun Chakraborty), an Indian billionaire with a penchant for cleaning his horse and wielding his gun.
To reveal anything more about the plot would be to spoil some of the fun. But when Akshay Kumar’s helming a comedy of mistaken identity, there’s very little that can go wrong with everything going wrong. His signature line – well, syllable in this case – makes for a fun running gag. In a movie that’s so over-the-top, the screenplay writers have been clever enough to accommodate a couple of subtle touches. Watch out for the one where we meet Sunny’s (Akshay Kumar’s) dad. I’d go so far as to say there’s a teensy bit of ironic social commentary.
The songs, from the plagiarised Papa toh band bajaye to the catchy Anarkali disco chali, are so enjoyable they don’t cut into the film, and maudlin is kept to a minimum. For the politically incorrect, the humour is quite delightful. Activists campaigning for the fair portrayal of people with disabilities should, umm, probably stay away.
Then there are the action sequences. One too many, perhaps, but the stunts are choreographed rather imaginatively, and it’s a relief to watch a film whose male leads are not shy of making absolute fools of themselves.
The Verdict: If you’re looking for a fun evening out, with friends or family, this is the perfect watch. Your disbelief will willingly suspend itself.