ABCD was a film about dance which was very much in the line of “Step Up” but was indianized to a large extent with masala that we are all too familiar with. The film was short and it had some good performances from its ensemble cast especially from Prabhudheva who played Vishnu. The film also had a superb villain in Kay Kay Menon. What ABCD 2 has is a lot more dance and extravagant sequences than the first installment. It has big stars in Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor. It has exotic locales and yes the much hyped 3D to make everything jump out of the screen. However somewhere in the hullaballoo of all this, the film forgot to get for itself some much needed heart without which it practically falls flat on its face in many sequences.
The film starts off with a tremendous dance performance by Suresh (Varun Dhawan) and group known as “Mumbai Stunners” in a TV Show. They are then disqualified for copying their dance moves from some foreign troupe. The team breaks under the pressure of being branded traitors and scatters. Suresh who is the son of an accredited “dancer” mother finds it extremely hard to accept his loss of pride. In desperation he decides to join a Hip Hop dance competition to be held in Las Vegas but he needs a choreographer to train and choreograph their moves. In walks Vishnu (Prabhudheva), now an alcoholic and reluctant to help dance maestro who catches Suresh’s attention. Mumbai Stunners starts revamping as Suresh goes all out to bring back the team together. The team pesters Vishnu to be their coach and he finally gives in. The team starts blossoming under his guidance and finally wins a ticket to Vegas where another hour of drama unfolds before the curtains falls after many many dance sequences.
The first film worked because the director chose to keep the jingoism to a bare minimum and the characters felt real. Here Remo gives in to the desire of doing too many things and dancing all around it at the same time. The emotional sequences just don’t work. Even under a situation where the team is about to be thrown out of a competition without performing, Suresh looks calm and composed and mouths scripted line which reek of a lack of heart and belief in whatever he is saying. These sequences melt and practically destroy any buildup that was possible. Even when Suresh’s dignity is questioned he somehow manages to maintain a strange calm in those sequences which is devastating for the affectivity of the sequence as well as the following ones. Once the drama is liquidated, even the dance sequences feel forced.
The dance sequences are well choreographed and elaborately staged. It is safe to say that they are of international standard. That’s the least we expect when the film is helmed by Remo but the 3D is an unnecessary addition and is used just as a gimmick. Example is the “bubble coming out of Vishnu’s mouth” sequence. There are unnecessary sub plots that are jostled into an already over-crowded narrative and does nothing but swell the film’s runtime beyond what can be tolerated of such a film. The cast simply sleepwalk through their roles. Varun Dhawan who smashed like Hulk essaying the murdering Raghu in Badlapur cuts a sorry image here. He remains unconvincing and at many junctures appears plain fake. Shraddha is not a great actress and her role here only reiterates that fact. She is pretty as a doll and dances her heart out but that’s about it. Prabhudheva is disinterested.
Overall, ABCD 2 is a huge letdown for me. I liked the first part ten times more. This one is an underwhelming experience be it in terms of performances, story arc or the inspirational factor. The film has some great dance performances but for that we can always watch an episode of DID. No point watching this film which not only lacks a soul but also has no driving force which could fuel the motive of the leading man pushing him into being the hero that he becomes. Give it a miss.