Bollywood action films often try to emulate Hollywood. The trailer of Tezz had certainly set the stage to expect something on the lines of Speed. In case you have been expecting a premise that would swoon you over your feet, then you may be in for disappointment.
Tezz has nothing original. Whether we talk about the speeding train with a bomb on it, a threat from unknown miscreants who are in reality, good men turned bad to avenge wrongs of the past and a team of good civil servants who are willing to go to any extent to save the ill fated men, women and children on the train.
Akash (Ajay Devgn) sets up a bomb on a train running from Glasgow to London. Assisting him are Aadil (Zayed Khan) and Megha (Sameera Reddy). On the other side of the law we have Arjun (Anil Kapoor) who is a counter terrorism specialist and Boman Irani playing the role of a supervisor at the Railways control center, a Denzel Washington in Taking of Pelham 123 molded into an Indian avatar in the UK. Akash has a love interest, Nikita played by Kangana Ranaut. There is not much to delve into the plot. Akash and team set up the situation and make an anonymous call to the railway control center intimating them about it and demand ransom. Arjun is summoned to counter the pressing issue and save some lives. What ensue are heated arguments, fascinating chases, breathtaking actions and hopping around different locales in London and surrounding areas. In between we have the love story of Akash and Nikita and their back story running parallel to the action packed narrative.
The only aspect where Tezz justifies itself is the pace of the narrative and the pace of the train. Every other aspect of Tezz seems to be forcibly put into place. Neither is there any uniqueness in the story nor in the filmmaking. The only three aspects that deserve some noteworthy mention is Thiru S. Appun’s cinematography, the action direction by Gareth Milne who had been a part of National Treasure – Book of Secrets and had performed stunts in The Bourne Ultimatum along with stunt coordinator Peter Pedrero who has names such as The Wrath Of The Titans, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows and Prince Of Persia – The Sands Of Time under his belt and Anil Kapoor. Anil is the only one in the ensemble cast who manages to do some justice to his role.
In essence, Tezz is a half baked, poorly written, intellectually unchallenging film. The characters are as indistinct as the plot itself. There is no effort, apparently, on the part of the writers (Robin Bhatt and Aditya Dhar) to pump in some sequences that can stay with you after the run time is over.
Tezz excels with its background scores and death defying stunts. The stunts involving Zayed Khan and Sameera Reddy are highly impressive but these two characters are poorly written. Not only is there nothing on the platter to speak about where they come from, but their association with Ajay’s Akash is not established enough. Kangana Ranaut does not manage to impress and Ajay’s sequences with her does not help build the romantic elements in the film. If you look at Tezz closely then there is actually not much to be impressed with.
It is painful to observe and accept that two prominent figures, Boman Irani and Anil Kapoor, hold significant posts in the UK civil and policing departments and even if that is accepted, it simply does not make sense when the duo keep shouting at the top of their lungs in Hindi amidst a crowd of foreigners. Isn’t there a need for the larger section of a team to understand what the leaders are discussing or fighting upon? Similarly, it is scary to note that the ensemble cast does not have any foreigner, British in this context, which makes it an Indian film set in London for the sake of it and not because the story naturally demanded it.
Priyadarshan has widely been noted for spectacular outings with his films but very few Indians would actually know that he is also one filmmaker who managed to copy exact scenes from western movies. Do you remember the ending of Phir Hera Pheri where Akshay hands on to an over bridge trying to pick up the exotic and expensive guns? Those who have seen Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels would call it a shameless rip off. In Tezz as well, a small sequence where Akash makes a call and smartly dumps the cell phone in a trash bin can be connected to Jason Statham’s sequence in The Mechanic or the more recently Tom Cruise dumping the phone in a gutter in Mission Impossible – The Ghost Protocol.
The penultimate sequences do not impress and the climax where Akash and Arjun face off with a hand to hand combat reminds us of so many films. The action sequences in these stages would remind one of Ajay Devgn’s own film ‘Qayamat’ which was a rip off of the Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage blockbuster ‘The Rock’.
Tezz would satiate the Bollywood audience who are expected to be in awe with aerial shots of the Giant Wheel and zip zap editing along with some dialogues that are out rightly bland. Boman Irani is not utilized while Zayed Khan and Sameera Reddy hardly get some space. Kangana Ranaut has a pivotal role but she is not provided enough screen time to either set up her story or make an impact. Ajay looks unfit and Anil hasn’t managed to shed his 24 series appearance although he is the only one with a decent act.
Priyadarshan tries his hands in the action genre and clearly misses out on the opportunity. With his comic outings failing to make box office success, his tryst with the new genre may be short lived. Now, that the Bollywood audience has access to films from all over the world, pumping in high on adrenaline stunts, chases and fights without an intriguing story, unique premise or amazing performances would not make for a cinematic treat.