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Tiger Zinda Hai review: Hero lives on, but logic dies

Release Date: 22 Dec 2017 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 41min

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Keyur Seta

The Salman Khan starrer is entertaining for sure but has major logical flaws.

Ali Abbas Zafar’s Tiger Zinda Hai is one of those rare sequels that belong to a slightly different genre than the original. And that is not such a bad thing considering the film's story. However, the loopholes in execution leave it as just another Salman Khan movie rather than a convincing action thriller. In other words, it does not achieve the same result as Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) or Sultan (2016), which were appreciated even by those who are not Salman Khan fans.

After abruptly quitting the Indian and Pakistani espionage agencies, respectively, Tiger (Salman Khan) and Zoya (Katrina Kaif) settle down in Austria. They are soon blessed with a son and are happy in their simple, little world.

But Tiger and Zoya are then compelled to go on a mission to rescue 25 Indian and 15 Pakistani nurses who are being held captive by the deadly terrorist organization, ISC. They have their task cut out as they are pitted against the world’s most wanted terrorist Abu Usmaan (Sajjad Delafrooz).

The runtime of Tiger Zinda Hai is 161 minutes. But you hardly feel the length thanks to the taut, fast-paced screenplay that leaves you hardly any time to think. Or blink. Though the issue of nurses being abducted is serious and real, the film has all the masala needed for an action thriller. Needless to say, there are various whistle-worthy moments featuring Salman Khan, especially his entry in the film. And yes, he does take his shirt off.

The stunts and action live up to the needs of the era and provide the thrills that the Salman Khan fan expects to see on the big screen. The production design is superb and takes you into the heart of war-torn Iraq. The camerawork, background score and editing also fit the need.

The one aspect that is disappointing, however, is the logic, or the lack of it. The flaws are too big to ignore, particularly since the film tackles a serious subject. First, Tiger and Zoya have been living the good life in the snow-capped mountains of Austria for eight years and also have a son. However, their occupation is a secret. We know not what they do to fund their lavish lifestyle.

But the bigger problem is to see 'deadliest' terrorists demonstrating their dumber side, including their 'supreme leader'. They have a chance to kill Tiger on various occasions, including during the climax, but they don’t. Either they don’t shoot him or, in one sequence, they attack him with rods. Imagine bloodthirsty terrorists who don’t hesitate to pull the trigger attacking Tiger with rods! And even the spy agencies of India, Pakistan and America act silly at times.

On the positive side, Tiger Zinda Hai fearlessly promotes Indo-Pak friendship. The idea is noble even if the situations are far-fetched. 

As expected, the song ‘Swag Se Swagat’ plays during the end credits and suits the situation perfectly. Thankfully, the other two songs aren’t forced into our faces. This reviewer would have liked to hear more of the ‘Zinda Hai’ track in the background during the action sequences. That would have increased the thrill quotient.

Given the film's genre, it would have been unrealistic to expect great performances from the cast. Salman Khan gets into the groove as Tiger and scores for his action and style, effectively masking his limitations. Katrina Kaif isn’t as unconvincing as in a whole lot of her previous films. But Sajjad Delafrooz is the best. He evokes fear just through his expressions, commendable for a newcomer. Anupriya Goenka, as one of the nurses, displays fine acting skills.

Kumud Mishra and Paresh Rawal are impressive as ever. Girish Karnad continues his good work from the first film. Angad Bedi and the other ISI officers are passable. Anant Vidhaat, who was last seen in Sultan (2016), also puts in a great performance. 

Overall, Tiger Zinda Hai is a regular action flick with a lot of flaws.