Director: John Pasquin
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Regina King, Enrique Murciano, William Shatner
The gags have turned into laugh lines, and the story is as good as Las Vegas rectitude ' but honestly, how does Sandra Bullock make it look as if the Miss Congeniality (Part I) beauty pageant five years back was, like, last weekend' Bullock hops, skips and jumps back to her role as the impulsive, lovable FBI agent Gracie Hart in this sequel ' looking absolutely stunning even as she goes around disobeying orders, pinning down Dolly Parton by mistake and generally being all over the place.
She’s no more the ugly duckling ' though she still snorts while laughing ' and that role is snapped up by Regina King as the tough-talking, butt-kicking agent Sam Fuller. And as Hart puffs and pants through Las Vegas with her retinue of bodyguard, attendant and gay stylist, the only person you really, really miss since last time is the irrepressible Michael Caine.
khullam khulla pyar karenge
Director: Harmesh Malhotra
Cast: Govinda, Preity Zinta, Prem Chopra, Kader Khan, Sadashiv Amrapurkar
With the possible exception of his wife and the man in the projection room, nobody really watches a Govinda film these days. Some young couples do go to his movies. But that is only because the hall is usually empty. Even the front benchers, his most loyal fans, have long deserted him.
It’s their loss, though. For the actor, who made parrot green shirts and funky pink trousers fashionable long before the designers at the Lakme Fashion Week discovered them, has lost none of his incredible comic timing. KKPK proves that.
Here, Govinda hooks up with director Harmesh Malhotra. Back in 1973, Malhotra made Gaddar, one of Bollywood’s finest crime thrillers ever. But recently, he has come up with low-brow comic capers such as Dulhe Raja (1998) and Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare (2002) with Govinda playing the Bihari bhaiyya with elan. In KKPK again, Virar’s middle-aged chhokra plays a smart, slick-tongued Bihari out to woo a don’s daughter (Preity Zinta).
If Govinda makes you laugh, this film will make you roll in your seat. And, hopefully, the few young couples in the backseats won’t mind.
A laugh at espionage
XXX-2: the next level
Director: Lee Tamahori
Cast: Ice Cube, Samuel L. Jackson, Willem Dafoe, Nona Gaye, Scott Speedman.
Who expects anything from the XXX franchise, designed as long, explosive, inspirational demos for underage (PG 13) video-game junkies, other than loud, raucous, thumping and mostly preposterous action, anyway' Of course, one of its additional guilty pleasures is the special agents themselves, classic American misfits with badass attitude, who effortlessly turn the entire line-up of hi-tech gadgetry into vestigial add-ons.
New XXX-2 director Lee Tamahori, of Die Another Day, plays along with the express intent to ridicule the finer aspects of espionage immortalised in the James Bond legacy, with the usual compromise on retaining the babes with the plunging necklines. A distinct 007 theme (with the classier shrieking violins and all) plays pumped up with very loud hip-hop. And now that first blood Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) has tragically died in some kind of extreme sports hookup in Bora Bora, a very surly Ice Cube plays XXX Agent D, trying to rope his anti-establishment leanings from the ‘F*** Da Police’ era to foil a military coup to murder the President, while poking some hilarious anti-racist barbs on the way (posing as a fake Reverend, he recommends serving free food 'preferably fried' to attract Black support to a cause). Part 3 will certainly need a Pink or a Missy Elliott to hotwire the tradition into life again.