“Jaguar” is all about Nikhil Kumar, and he has the ripped body, fighting and dancing skills to deliver as an action star.

Review Deve Gowdas grandson starrer Jaguar has so much style you wont bother looking for substanceFacebook/Channambika Films
Features Movie Review Saturday, October 08, 2016 - 09:29

“Jaguar” shows you just what big budgets can do for a film these days. The much-touted launch vehicle for Nikhil Kumar, produced by father and former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, is the kind of adrenaline-pumping, high-octane debut any young actor would dream of.

And the film doesn’t waste any time getting to it. Within the first few minutes, a masked and tightly leathered Nikhil, looking like a cross between Neo from “The Matrix” and the Nolan-era Batman, is murdering a corrupt judge live on television. And then he’s fighting his way past dozens of security guards, in a chase/fight sequence that’s so effects-filled even the Wachowski siblings would be impressed.

These fast-paced, unabashedly over-the-top action sequences (I am pretty sure I saw two henchmen bouncing like tennis balls off the ground at one point) pepper the film with enough frequency to give you total paisa-vasool entertainment.

The CGI and fast-paced editing and an incredible array of stunt performers and coordinators that seem handpicked from around the world certainly do a lot of the work. But you can tell Nikhil has paid his dues in terms of grueling fitness routines and fight training and whatever else goes into producing an action hero these days.

Then there are the song sequences. Again, Nikhil is no slacker. With a very ravishing Deepti Sati and a bevy of good-looking and skilled back-up dancers to match his every move, and gorgeous foreign locations and trippy sets for them to cavort through, you’re not going to feel let down by the songs either.  There’s even a Tamannaah item number just in case you’re looking for a change of scene. Don’t worry about earworms, though. These are songs for the moment, watch and move on.

The one thing you shouldn’t look for in the film is original plotting. There’s a plot in there somewhere about a son avenging his father and taking on corporate money-grubbers, but director Mahadev falters whenever he tries to make the audience follow it. Really, the moments between the fights, songs and punch sequences are better ignored. Usually, you’re advised to leave your brain at home for a masala film, but some of the sequences here demand forgetting you had a brain in the first place.

Nikhil stalking Deepti to get her to fall in love with him is, of course, par for the course. Then there’s the overweight girl whose appetite is the butt of a number of jokes, including having her eat dog biscuits in one scene. And you might really cringe at one point when Deepti’s character declares that the hero has no feelings, and is ready to exploit everyone because he’s an orphan. Don’t think about such moments, there’s an action sequence or song coming up soon to take your mind off them.

The villains gnash their teeth perfectly and erupt in rage just how you’d want them to. The numerous other supporting cast fill up enough space to keep the story moving. Jagapathy Babu as a CBI officer who’s more interested in tweeting to the world than solving his case, is an unusual addition to spice up the narrative.

But there’s no doubt that this film is all about Nikhil. And he has all the trademark moves, eyebrow raises and punchy dialogue delivery needed to be an action star. As long as there are big budget films that need well-muscled, good-looking men who fight and dance well, he is looking at a bright future in Sandalwood.

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