'War' Review: Entertaining and worth every penny

By Murtaza Ali Khan

War revolves around Indian soldiers who carry covert missions in order to eliminate international terrorists. It is closer to Ek Tha Tiger than The Family Man in its approach to counterintelligence. It wouldn’t be wrong to look upon it as an Indian version of James Bond or Mission: Impossible films. Directed by Siddharth Anand, War stars Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff in the lead roles. This marks Anand’s second collaboration with Hrithik Roshan after the 2014 action comedy film Bang Bang! The film’s screenplay is co-written by Shridhar Raghavan and Anand himself.
During the opening scene of War a senior analyst working with the Indian intelligence in Delhi is shot dead by a decorated soldier (Kabir) who is supposed to be on a foreign mission to eliminate a major terrorist. The soldier is declared rogue and the agency sends another soldier (Khalid), once his protégé, to neutralize him. But the young soldier doesn’t want to kill his mentor before finding our why he turned rogue in the first place. What ensues is a game of cat and mouse between the two daredevils with Kabir somehow staying a step ahead of Khalid.

A major shift happens at the halfway point when Kabir finally decides to confront his former protégé in a heavily packed metro coach. The wonderfully shot scene is set in the Pink Line of the Delhi Metro. It’s straight out of a Hollywood film when the protagonist meets his arch nemesis for the very first time. Khalid badly wants to capture his erstwhile mentor but it would unnecessarily create panic amongst commuters. He finally realizes that he has been hoodwinked yet again by the old pro. But Kabir gives him a choice. Khalid can either ask him about the reason why he turned rouge or who is his next target. In choosing the latter, Khalid once again misses the opportunity to find out the truth. This epic encounter paves way for an electrifying second-half that takes us to some of the most scenic locations in the world.
War has everything that a movie of its kind promises: adrenaline-pumping action, breathtaking chase sequences, death defying stunts, beautiful girls, scenic vistas, and a cool background score that brilliantly elevates the mood. It can be safely said that Hrithik Roshan is back to his lair with War. This is his home turf and after the interesting experiment with Super 30 this is exactly what his fans would have been looking for. Every time Tiger Shroff and Hrithik are together they simply set the screen on fire. They get good support from Ashutosh Rana, Vaani Kapoor, and Anupriya Goenka. Also, Arif Zakaria makes yet another interesting cameo appearance. Siddharth Anand and team succeed in delivering a bag full of tricks. While the film has a lot of unforgettable moments, the breathing bike chase sequence shot in Portugal stands out. War is far from being a perfect film but when a movie has so much fun to offer one can’t really complain.
Rating: 7.5/10

A version of this review was first published in The Sunday Guardian.
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