Change is a perception that takes some time for a person to accept, depending on how favourable conditions are for the change to happen. This is applicable for anything, be it the disposal of headphone jack in the new iPhones or change in the lead cast of your fave movie (imagine a Munnabhai without Sanjay Dutt or an Iron Man without Robert Downey Jr!). Akshay Kumar certainly had an uphill task in his hand when he replaced Arshad Warsi as the lead in Jolly LLB 2. It was not that Arshad Warsi's acting prowess made the first Jolly LLB movie such an entertaining watch and the sleeper hit of the year - it was that it was a good package of a nice premise with a good message, great performances and subtle humour. Even with a huge star like Akshay Kumar in the mix, it's not easy for the the makers to repeat the quality of their first work. But it's not impossible either.
However, Jolly LLB 2 fails to meet the high standards of its predecessor, despite having a fine cast of Akshay, a returning Saurabh Shukla, Huma Qureshi, Kumud Mishra and Annu Kapoor. Sure, it's not exactly a bad watch, thanks to the performance of the supporting cast but it's not enough to make the movie engaging. Here are five reasons why Jolly LLB 2 failed to make a mark for me as a viewer.
The superstar hangover
Sometimes it's good to not have a star in a movie that is completely plot driven. If Salman Khan or Aamir Khan were cast in A Wednesday, can we expect the movie to have the same impact as the original film? Arshad Warsi may not be a superstar, so that's why his casting as the underdog lawyer worked perfectly for the first movie. Akshay Kumar, however, retains his superstar aura in the sequel, thereby losing that underdog quality. His trademark goofiness is good per se, but tends to be distracting at times. Unlike the case of Arshad's where we had a fear that he might lose the case, here we know whoever Akshay is playing will easily win the case. It also doesn't help matters that he is often overshadowed by the talented supporting cast, including the terrific Sayani Gupta.
Misplaced Ha Ha Hee Hee Ho Ho
Humour has always been strong point in the first movie, and also in the case of the sequel as well. But in Jolly LLB 2, things do go a overboard at times when it comes to eliciting a chuckle from you, especially with the timing of certain skits. There are random instances of humour when the proceedings are getting serious and sticking the main plot. We don't mind a witty dialogue here and there (like the judge comparing Jolly to Sunny Deol), but when you cannot just add comic scene into the proceedings when we are so curious to know how Jolly gets justice (like how the same judge tries to correct the typos in his daughter's wedding card just before the final court scene).
In the first movie, Jolly does have a couple of sheer lucky moments but he overall wins the case bringing in the right kind of witnesses. In the sequel, Jolly could have easily won the case and saved enough of our time if he had brought in the main culprit early on, instead of having forced squabbles with his opposing lawyer. Just how he realises the police knew about the real culprit and how he easily manages to push the right buttons are just shrouded with disbelief. Moreover, the fact that the fact that opposition lawyer had lost his family members to terrorist attacks serves as a more lazy excuse for the defence to not build any more argument.
Papa, don't preach!
We can't blame Hindi movies for being bombastic, can we? And Akshay Kumar, who is now seen as the most 'patriotic' actor in town, doesn't leave a chance to be preachy. The way Jolly shouts his adarsh statements in the face of Annu Kapoor's lawyer, I was scared that the latter would drown in the pool of spit. Even the judge character delivers a long sermon towards the end of the movie, lamenting over the judicial system in India and how people still believes in justice, was quite unnecessary. Just get it done away with, man!
An overdrawn climax
The best part of the first movie was the last twenty minutes or so, that not only showed Arshad, Boman and Saurabh Shukla at their best, but also tied up the legal proceedings smoothly. In the case of Jolly LLB 2, it takes an awfully long time to get the point that has to be made, humour has been forcefully added and long speeches have been made without actual context. In short, these portions suck!
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