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Film: Ab Tak Chappan 2
Cast: Nana Patekar, Vikram Gokhale, Ashutosh Rana and Gul Panag
Stars: 2 out of 5

Bollywood crime epic Ab Tak Chappan 2 is right up actor Nana Patekar’s alley. No one seems to know it better than him as he embraces the role of an encounter squad leader Sadhu Agashe with endearing earnestness.

However, a consummate actor cannot elevate a been-there-seen-that script. Ab Tak Chappan 2, directed by Aejaz Gulab, treads the familiar path of brutal gangster-cop dramas. There’s an honest cop, unwashed henchmen and corrupt politicians on the loose and it’s up to Agashe to clean up the system.

The film, which is a sequel to the 2004 crime drama, opens with Agashe who’s retired and is content with living with his son in a village. He has swapped his guns for a fishing rod and is awaiting the verdict of the legal cases that have been mounted on him due to his radical method of wiping out baddies.

He’s content living with his teenage son in obscurity and reminiscing about his wife (Revathi) who was murdered by criminals in the first instalment. But he’s abruptly called back because Mumbai is on the verge of a gangster group wars.

It’s a familiar story, but what makes it engaging is the no-frills approach to how the events unfurl. There are no songs or unnecessary dialogues to put the brakes on the story, but there are no riveting twists either to make it entertaining from start to finish.

The twists are far too predictable and lame. Also, stereotypes such as the villains being dark-skinned and unwashed are peddled with cheerful abandon here. While Patekar takes up every frame, actors such as Gul Panag who plays a crime reporter and Ashutosh Rana who plays Agashe’s jealous colleague, provide him support.

Watch this if you are a fan of Patekar and have an appetite for gory gangster-cop films.