Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Train Week: Tezz (2012)
I started this train week with Junya Sato's 1975 classic The Bullet Train and when I wrote that review I still had no idea that I would watch a Bollywood remake a couple of days later! Tezz sounded interesting, had good actors and the story was vaguely similar to The Bullet Train. But it took me a just a few minutes to realize that this was the exact same movie, just with the action boosted and more musical numbers.
The story is basically the same, except here Ajay Devgn plays an honest Indian business owner who works and lives in the UK without permit and also hires other Indians how hasn't got a permit to work and stay in the country. When he's busted his whole life is destroyed and he's forced to leave his family and is ruined. So he decides, together with two companions, to take revenge on the society with placing a bomb on the train to Glasgow and demanding a couple of millions to not let the bombs go off - because they will go off if the trains goes under a certain speed....bla bla bla, just read the synopsis on The Bullet Train instead.
Tezz is very much like any ordinary Hollywood-remake. The scenes that are smaller chase and action-scenes in the original are here blown up to ridiculous show-pieces of stunts, car crashes and shoot-outs. Far from the low-key realistic approach The Bullet Train has. This is of course nothing wrong, as long as it's entertaining and keeps us entertained. Shot in the
it also look bigger and more expensive than usual and most of the (aka
non-Indian) cast is actually good - which is a rare thing in Indian movies
where taking the first white person in the street seems to be the foremost
I've loved Ajay Devgn since I saw him in Singham, but here he plays a much more normal (but of course extremely talented martial arts fighter... don't ask, he just is!) man, with a lot of the machoism gone and some human emotions instead. Anil Kapoor is his nemesis, the police hunting him, and is also excellent. You could see him in the surprisingly entertaining Tom Cruise ego-trip
: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
The action is really good very James Bond-esque, especially the lengthy motocross chase and a Parkour-styled chase by foot. Lots of old-school stunts, which is something I appreciate from time to time (but not a must, the story is most important not how they do the stunts). The fights is also in glorious over-the-top Bollywood-o-rama style with people flying far and far away after being hit plus some ultra-slowmo intercut with normal speed á The Matrix. The biggest disappointment is that much of the excellent stuff on the train in the original movie is scaled down and most of the thrills is on the ground far away from the speeding train.
Like I mentioned above this is a scene for scene remake of The Bullet Train which means they even copied a technical mistake! Yes! In Bullet Train a character gets shot in slowmo but due to a technical problem that sequences got overexposed and looks totally surreal, but works fine and is dramatic enough for the filmmakers to keep it in the movie. In Tezz, in the same scene, the exact same thing happens - but the overexposure is created by processing the image to look the same! Fun detail, and I doubt director Priyadarshan had any idea about this!
Tezz is a fun and spectacular, but very generic and mainstream action movie. Don't listen to the idiots that claims it's a copy of Speed and The Taking of Pelham 123 - because it's not. They just copied The Bullet Train and nothing else!