Logic takes a flight from Action Replay the moment Vipul Shah brings in the time machine. And from then on, it's mostly an amorphous cloud of insanity that grows foggier and foggier as the film progresses. Indeed, going to Action Replay looking for intelligence and discerning, sensitive cinema is like going to Little Italy
for Chinese food - it's the wrong genre
The film's idea of '70s fluorescence, however, goes straight for the kill. The result is far from a true-to-life depiction of retro-ness in Mumbai: it is an indulgence in the '70s as Bollywood sees them through the eyes of Bollywood, including all things coloured bright and silly, women dressed in Manish-Malhotra-esque '70s disco wear, and characters that belong to extremities of the human-nature spectrum.
So Bunty (Aditya Roy Kapoor) is the son of a lousy marriage, and his parents Kishen (Akshay Kumar) and Mala (Aishwarya Rai) can't tolerate each other. Bunty's girlfriend's grandfather (Randhir Kapoor) has a time machine, which Bunty uses to go back to the past to get his parents to fall in love with each other.
The gags and Akshay Kumar are one thing about Action Replay, and the eclipsing of the screen by Aishwarya Rai is another. Between these elements, the film ends up being immensely watchable and campy, despite being peculiarly kitschy.
Akshay Kumar begins by being loud, being the one half of the cacophonic couple that Kishen and Mala are, and the movie threatens to degrade into a Priyadarshan orgy of clamour. Characterizations are black and white, too, and are far from realistic. However, the comedy gets cuter as the film progresses, and the jokes aren't too tiresome.
Performances are skilled, and the stars give their all to the proceedings despite seeming slightly out of place in the broad-stroked roles that they are given (Kishen Kumar is a spineless weakling, and Mala is a silly, arrogant brat who loves being mean to weaklings). Both Kumar and Rai make this a bubblegum fest. Aditya Roy Kapoor is a good find, and Rannvijay Singh, though stuck in a bad wig, is pretty good as the villain. Rajpal, Yadav, Om Puri and Kirron Kher have their moments.
Pritam comes up with some disappointingly bizarre music, except for the zor ka jhatka
song, and a romantic number towards the end. During one particularly airheaded "music" competition between the hero and the villain, there's a medley of songs and sounds that are barely a blast from the past, and contain some bad '00s pop.
The visuals are suitably jazzy, and are part of the reason this film is easy on the senses. The idea is, like we said, to keep it low on fuss and high on splashing the colour and the mood all over.
Watch Action Replay knowing what you're looking for, and it might be an easy way to lighten the weekend.