Finally we have a Desi James Bond. Alright, not quite. Nor is he Jason Bourne. He's somewhere right smack in the middle. Saif Ali Khan, with his home production, takes us on a whirlwind tour of the world as his Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent goes about trying to find a nuclear suitcase bomb and diffuse/destroy it before it is used to start a war.
Agent Vinod is a good attempt at the genre. It's not the best as it lacks a lot in execution. The editing is choppy and shoddy at times, which I found to be rather annoying. The dialogue, I'm guessing meant to be funny, is atrocious. Take for example Kareena Kapoor, the only character in the film who has some shades of grey, calling Agent Vinod and telling him that she's been shot in the lungs twice and has had a lot of blood loss and then goes on to divulge some rather important information to him. I mean, seriously. Two shots in the lungs, a lot of blood loss, and you are still having a conversation over the phone. Yes, I know when it comes to saving the world, everything is possible and allowed, but let’s get real a little. There are many other instances where the dialog just seems cheesy and so out of place.
Thankfully, while the dialogue might be cheesy, the film is not. It's well made with some rather brilliant scenes. A fight scene that takes place in the past and present simultaneously is beautifully executed. Or the scene wherein a sniper is about to attack Agent Vinod and the camera just holds a view from behind our hero for a minute, with nothing happening, and the anticipation builds up the tension gorgeously.
The music and background score surprisingly plays along well with the movie. It's very different and unexpected, but fun. The acting isn't all that bad. Unfortunately, the film is all about Saif Ali Khan, so much so that even Kareena Kapoor despite having a prominent role doesn't get much opportunity to shine. The supporting actors on the other hand do wonders with the little screen time they have, especially Ram Kapoor as Abu Nazer who is hard to recognize and proves to be quite the character actor.
Agent Vinod is a fairly well made film. One that, seeing the ending, can lead Saif into a good movie franchise provided it stays clear of the typical Hindi cinema clichés. It's also probably because of a few superbly executed scenes that I've given it a 3.5/5 start rating and mind you, it is also because of the rather absurdly horrendous dialog that it falls short of 4 stars.
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