Sequels are a rage and rightfully so. Box office loves them. Tiger Shroff's Baaghi 2 is one of the highest grossers of this year. Clearly, it's a formula which has rarely failed at the box office. This Friday, we have another such sequel ready to cash in on the craze. Mostly because the original was the surprise hit of 2016. Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi however, has a few new additions in the form of Sonakshi Sinha and Jassie Gill. So does it manage to make the follow-up as funny as the original? Not quite! If you remove the gags, Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi doesn't stand a chance. Let's explain why.
What's it about
Happy (Diana Penty) and Guddu (Ali Fazal) are married now. Guddu lands a gig in China and is allowed to get his wife along. But at the airport, the people who invited them mistakenly take another Happy (Sonakshi Sinha) with them. Later it is revealed that she has been kidnapped by a gang in China who wants to keep Guddu as a hostage so that Happy can do as they instruct. They want her to make Bilal (played by Abhay Deol in the first film) ask his father to stick to his deal made to a Chinese company. But since they captured the wrong Happy, everything goes haywire. To persuade Happy, they even get Bagga (Jimmy Sheirgill) and Usman Afridi (Piyush Mishra) in the chaos. But the other Happy too has a reason behind her stay in China. She can only seek help from Khushwant Singh (Jassie Gill). However, someone from her own team is behind all this mess. The unmasking of the real culprit only worsens their case.
That's easy! Every comedy film that comes out of Aanand L Rai's stable has some of the best and relevant jokes we have ever heard in recent times. His team just never goes wrong with that. Here too, the gags are the only thing that saves the film from being an unbearable mess. If there is an obvious pun on a Ghaziabad boy trying to be Chinese, there's also the Chinese name of an India man Fa....Qu! Not cussing... that's actually the name of a person in the film. Funny one-liners are mostly reserved for Jimmy Sheirgill and Piyush Mishra. They are simply outstanding in the film. Keeping the India-Pakistan war on a lighter note, these two actors have managed to outwit everyone in the film. Their love-hate relationship is what keeps the film from faltering terribly. Without them, Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi doesn't have anything to write home about.
If we talk about Sonakshi Sinha, the actress manages to gel well with the theme of the film. Although her Punjabi seems a bit forced at times, her comic timing does deserve a mention here. Jassie Gill impresses as a debutant but has a long way to go. While Diana was the usual, it was Ali's Fazal's quirkiness that will catch your attention. His character undergoes some change here as he is a lot goofier than he was in the first film.
Special mention for Jason Tham who plays Chang in the film. He doesn't really have big jokes to crack but still manages to leave you in splits. Now that's talent!
Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi is unnecessarily long. It can be trimmed at several places. By the time it ends, it exhausts you because the chasing and running around stop making sense after a point. Also, the setting doesn't look like China at all.
Plus, the joke 'ye saare ek jaise dikhte hai' is something we cracked in the 90s. This time, the director has not just used this phrase at every opportunity but even showed Jimmy hallucinate the same. Sorry...but that's not funny at all!
What's with making Chinese people sing a Hindi song? Also, I have a question. Why wasn't XiéXié subtitled as Thank You? That's what it means in English. So why write Shey Shey? It's not some kind of noise that Chinese people make. Maybe it was done deliberately to elicit laughter. It didn't make me laugh though!
Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi has its moments but don't expect it to be better than the original. Watch it if you want to laugh on 'Ye saare ek jaise dikhte hai' being said over and over again. After all, that's India's favourite racist joke!
2.5 out of 5
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