Review: Agent Vinod

Agent Vinod
Saif Ali Khan and director Sriram Raghavan come together after their cult hit Ek Haseena Thi to create a Hollywood style spy thriller. Khan plays the highly trained and skilled RAW agent Vinod. And much like the Bourne, Mission Impossible and Bond franchises, Raghavan follows the formula of a spy thriller, traversing continents at lightening speed, cutting scenes with a breathlessness and slapping on a pulsating background score.

When his partner Rajan (Ravi Kishan) is killed in Russia while on the tail of a money launderer-racketeer called Abu Nazer (Ram Kapoor), Vinod is given the mission to pick up where Rajan left off. He must find out what the numbers ‘242’ signify and what major plot is involving Kazaan (Prem Chopra), a dangerous go-between in Morocco. It is while in Morocco, the reluctant house guest of Kazaan, that Vinod meets the lovely Dr Ruby (Kareena Kapoor, looking gorgeous). Intrigued by her he finds out her true identity and becomes her self-appointed protector as the pair team up and travel to Latvia, Pakistan and Delhi chasing a nuclear device in order to get to it before it explodes. Along the way Vinod will find himself double-crossed and compelled to think fast and feel less.

Agent Vinod, derived from so many Hollywood movies, is more about the packaging than the content. The narrative skips along without enough milestones or guidance for the audience; it doesn’t even manage to carry you along for the ride during the frenetically shot and cut action scenes.

Saif Ali Khan looks smart, oozes nonchalant charm and plays the poker-faced spy with constructed whimsy. He punches out some witty lines without skipping a beat. Raghavan is clever not to let a potential romantic track derail an already convoluted plot that needlessly involves so many players and countries. The makers have left it open enough to make a part two. Hopefully then the focus will be more on the story and less on the styling and Raghavan will show some more of the skill as he did in Johnny Gaddar and in some scenes in Agent Vinod, like the action scene cut to the ballad ‘Raabta’. If you contain expectations and have not seen too many international spy films, then Agent Vinod is worth a watch.

Rating: **1/2