A scene from "Welcome Back". Image Credit: Disney Pictures/REX Shutterstock

Anees Bazmee is back with the sequel to his vacuous 2007 comedy Welcome and once again it proves to be a laugh riot — at least in the first half of the film. Yes, with nearly 10 main characters trying to run each other over, it is a riot.

Welcome Back takes off from where the story ended. The now reformed but still bumbling bhais Majnu (Anil Kapoor) and Uday Shetty (Nana Patekar) – the “Laurel and Hardy” of the underworld, as Wanted Bhai (Naseeruddin Shah) calls them, are again seen trying to woo a pretty young thing with the desire to finally settle down after eight years of marrying their sister Sanjana (Katrina Kaif) off to the “decent boy” Rajiv (Akshay Kumar). Their object of desire is Chandni (Ankita Srivastava), a con woman who, along with her mother (Dimple Kapadia), decides to use the foolish millionaire gangster bros as their personal ATM.

Majnu and Shetty have reluctantly left behind their days of hoodlumism to become respectable businessmen in Dubai, when Shetty’s father (played by Patekar) arrives to announce he has a daughter by another marriage and Shetty, as the older brother, should take on the onus of settling her. And once again, Majnu and Shetty set out to find a “decent” boy for her. Who else should they approach but the staunch Dr Ghungroo, Rajiv’s uncle — only to discover his wife has a son by a previous marriage, who would prove to be the “perfect” match for their sister Ranjana (Shruti Haasan)? But the tables turn as they discover that Ghungroo’s (Paresh Rawal) step son Ajju (John Abraham) is actually a gangster.

Trying to uphold the values Rajiv left them with they try to avoid Ranjana marrying Ajju, who are already in love.

Hilarious events lead to the entry of Wanted Bhai, a don 10 times more dangerous, yet funnier, than RDX (played by the late Feroz Khan in Welcome). Turns out Wanted’s druggy son (Shiney Ahuja) is obsessed with Ranjana. What follows is Majnu and Shetty trying to keep Ranjana being married either to Ajju or Wanted’s son while Ajju and Ghungroo try to get Ranjana and Ajju married.

Confused? Don’t be. Simply leave your brains at home – definitely don’t try understanding the climax – and go have a few laughs this weekend.

Acting by Kapoor, Patekar and Shah will have you in splits. However, Dimple is quite wasted and Shruti Haasan just replaces the pretty face Kaif represented in the earlier film. The music by Anu Malik, Abhishek Ray, Meet Bros Anjan and Mika Singh is just OK, bordering on cacophony at times. But don’t miss cinematographer Kabir Lal’s excellent capture of UAE locales.



Out now

Film: Welcome Back

Cast: John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar

Stars: 3 out of 5