Critic’s Rating : 3.5 / 5
Attack Movie Review : A STEADY STORY OF A SLICK SUPER SOLDIER
Review: An officer with irreversible paralysis neck-down, and a love life that has ended as suddenly as it started. An official (no clue what rank and office he holds) pushing the head of state to try out a new scientific program involving artificial intelligence to create super-special commandos. A terrorist outfit, from what looks like PoK, behaving like a loose cannon attacking civilians in India…When these odds are stitched together, the product is debutant director Lakshya Raj Anand’s Attack, conceptualised by John Abraham.
Arjun Shergill’s (John Abraham) life is thrown off its path when his girlfriend Aisha (Jacqueline Fernandez in an extended cameo) is killed in a terrorist attack at an airport. Arjun also gets injured while fighting them, and in the bargain, gets paralysed neck down. He vegetates on the wheelchair until one day when Subramaniam (Prakash Raj), a high-ranking officer of the Indian Government, proposes his name as the test case for a new artificial-intelligence-led technology that can potentially get him back on his feet and turn him into a super soldier. Just as he becomes the functional testee for Dr Saba’s (Rakul Preet Singh) experiment, a terrorist crisis erupts at the Parliament. Arjun rises to the occasion but with the clock ticking away, can he avert total destruction?
Newcomer Lakshya Raj Anand’s Attack: Part One sets up a universe where India is at the cusp of change, in terms of attitude and approach. But more importantly, he creatively and slickly engages artificial intelligence as a character involved in the story. For that alone, he deserves a round of applause.
Of course, there are several other pluses. The film has been edited tightly. Its two-hour-runtime barely feels as long. The story stems from John’s character and that’s a thread that has not been dropped at any point. His status quo, its disruption, and his misery which acts as his momentum when he gets back into the fray, have all been written out very well. However, every other character on Arjun’s periphery could have also been developed better, especially someone like Ratna Pathak Shah and Rajit Kapur – the latter is comparatively better thought-out. Even Rakul and Elham Ehsas for that matter.
Thankfully, the film does not follow the hefty, typical tropes and sentiments of a patriotic film. If you’re looking for some seetimaar lines, then you’re in the wrong screening. The narrative does not digress into song-and-dance situations either. But it does have a sprinkling of unintentional humour which is a relief and the sign of good writing which doesn’t make it seem forced. The movie, drawn out of a few real-life happenings, has a fair dose of edge-of-the-seat moments, thanks to the action-choreography which is top-of-the-line and in sync with the rest of the proceedings. The use of visual effects gives most of the film the feel of a combat game.
John Abraham plays to his strengths which is pleasing to see after a long time. He’s not lifting cars, crushing bikes, squeezing people like lemons or shouting out some ‘powerful’ lines. He seems in control of the events here, looks in great shape, mentally and physically, playing a soldier.
On the flip-side, the end seems a little rushed. Also, one has seen several films and even OTT shows where a terrorist outfit challenges the Indian government and a braveheart rises to the occasion. While there are no complaints about the latter, we need to find a better threat for our heroes to shine even more. Also, John’s character does not look like he has been on a wheelchair for a while before getting back on his feet. His body seems pretty in-shape for someone paralysed for a while. The film’s songs are just about okay.
To sum up, Attack: Part One, is an engaging watch, from start to finish. It could have been even better if some of the characters surrounding John’s Arjun Shergill were given more thought and leg-room.