Movie Review: DON 2 (2012) – Failed Sequel Of Remake Of Original Movie
The original sequel to a remake comes 34 years after the original film it was based on. 2006 saw genius director Farhan Akhtar remake the original 1978 cult hit, DON, into an innovative suspense thriller with a massive twist from the original. This year, we got Akthar’s original sequel to that remake. However, it seems that without an original film to follow… the formula falls flat without any effect.
Rating: 1 Out of 5 Stars
DON (2006) follows the story of the titular villain Don, and his being a badass of major proportions and an utter psychopath. A role brilliantly done by Shahrukh Khan. SRK also does a double role, as a hapless and illiterate village idiot, who happens to be an exact look alike of the Don, known as Vijay.
Don is caught at the end of a high-speed chase, and eventually dies. The Cop in charge of his case, Boman Irani, uses this to this look-alike to his advantage. He teaches the moronic Vijay to infiltrate Don’s gang as a spy for the cops, pretending to be Don himself, but with amnesia. The awesome twist is obviously revealed by the existence of DON 2. (Vijay was replaced by the re-awakened Don during surgery, and then killed. So the entire movie is Don pretending to be the hapless Vijay, pretending to be the Don. ) Awesome-ness.
DON (2006) was a great reworking of the original DON (1978) with a twist to the original story. DON 2 however, doesn’t at all achieve the same kind of awesome-ness.
DON 2 starts off with narration by Don… which itself takes away from the film right away. Don doesn’t strike me as the type of self reflective and deep character, who narrates his own adventures. However he does.
Through him, we find out that it’s been 5 years since DON (2006) and he is now a supremely successful international mobster, who is trying to expand to Europe. Afraid of competition, the consortium of European Drug cartels want to kill him. In order to gain an unlikely ally to help him, Don has to go to jail to bust out his long time enemy (Boman Irani from the first movie, who was revealed to be a big time bad guy himself at the end of the original).
The rest of the movie plays out like a typical heist film, complete with an ensemble cast of supporting actors and double crosses and deceptive alliances. The people trying to catch and stop Don are the same crew from the 1st film, Roma (Priyanka Chopra) and Malik (Om Puri) from Interpol.
Here’s the problem with this movie. In planning this sort of heist-like film, complete with planning montages and a crew overseen by Don himself… isn’t something you’d expect from a movie about a lone wolf badass like Don.
Especially given the fact that the previously psychopathic Don, ends up being like an Ethan Hunt from MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, as rallying the rag tag group of misfits with intricate planning and espionage. It’s not Don!!
Moving on… there are quite a few discrepancies in this movie as well, that isn’t consistent with DON (2006). Roma, who in the first film, was a the avenging sister of one someone who Don killed, is now somehow, a high honcho of Interpol. And coincidently, she’s been assigned to the Don’s case as well. WTF?!
How does someone go from civilian to international Interpol Agent in charge of an International criminal in 5 years?? I don’t care how good your Sharpshooting or sexy fighting skills are, that’s not freakin’ possible. Also, even if she did somehow fast track her career into an international government agency: the fact that she was a victim and eye witness for Don’s antics in the first movie, should IMMEDIATELY disqualify her from being in charge of his case as being biased. Let’s not even get into the weird sexual tension between Roma & her brother’s murdered. Just weird.
Another pet peeve: Movies do this thing, where they show the bad ass main character in a scruffy, unkempt look in the beginning of the movie, long hair, beard, etc. And then somewhere down the line, they clean up to become the sexier badass that the actor playing the character actually is. (THE ROCK, THE LEGEND OF BHAGAT SINGH, etc.)
That same formula is applied to this movie, without any sort of explanation though. Don is seen in the beginning sporting a stubbly bearded look with long flowing locks. Then, without explanation, he returns to his more mainstream clean-cut short trimmed look. Why?! He wasn’t in prison in the beginning of the film. He wasn’t depressed or an alcoholic. He was living the life, grew out his hair and rocked a beard. But for absolutely no reason whatsoever, he’s the typical Bollywood hero, debuting his clean-shaven look in a song out of nowhere. That kind of inconsistency is by no means detriment to the movie as a whole, however it compounds existing issues.
The first half of this movie is a major overload of Shahrukh Khan as Don. The allure, mystery and psychotic nature of Don completely fades as we get this Don who seems more like a cool guy hero than badass villain… which was the entire selling point of DON.
The entire premise of DON 2 is flawed. In the first film, Don wasn’t an anti-hero, he was a full-blown villain. It was completely wrong and fucked that he won in the end. But that’s what made DON(2006) awesome! That the entire movie, we thought we were rooting for the good guy, when actually… we were mislead into cheering the bad guy to win. And he did.
In DON 2, we know that’s he’s evil. But he’s treated as an anti-hero. His ruthless nature has been toned down and he’s been stripped of everything that makes him awesome. Instead, he’s paired with Interpol agents that he’s soft with, and other bad guys, to make him look good and for us to relate and root for him. Horrible!!
DON 2 suffers from the same consistency issues present, not just in Bollywood, but Hollywood as well. The sole reason why DON was an amazing film, is stripped in the sequel, making it an attempt on your average spy thriller with a misplaced titular character who has changed drastically.