Sci-fi on steroids, but lacks solid stuff
2.0 Story: Dr Vaseegaran ( Rajinikanth ) and his android assistant Nila ( Amy Jackson ) are called in for help after mobiles start mysteriously flying out of the hands of people in Chennai. Vaseegaran summons his trusted robot Chitti (Rajinikanth) to ward off the bird-shaped supernatural powers of Pakshirajan ( Akshay Kumar ).
2.0 Review: South films and filmmakers seem to have a handle on out-of-the-box ideas for cinema. Director Shankar has dabbled with such high-concept movies like Robot (2010, Tamil title Enthiran) and I (2015) before, too. While he’s no stranger to depicting far-fetched and creative ideas, the unique story of 2.0 does feel a bit underwhelming, especially in the wake of the spectacle created by the CGI-driven execution. The slick visual presentation though, more than makes up for what the story lacks.
The twists and surprises of 2.0 are predictable and the fact that the story follows the template set by the first film, doesn't really add to the experience. But Shankar’s vision and his team’s technical wizardry with the visual effects creates a positive impact. Akshay Kumar’s shape-shifting antagonist Pakshi, made up of millions of cellphones is impressive to say the least. There are several moments in the movie that are quite memorable too. The sight of mobiles covering up an entire road, a forest and forming the giant eagle, are most certainly ‘wow’ worthy. But the scientific explanations provided for telekinetic control of mobile phones and the antagonist’s supernatural abilities aren't all that convincing. Nevertheless, this is a Rajinikanth movie and questioning cinematic liberty and logic-defying creativity is unwarranted.
Rajinikanth’s performance and presence dominates the narrative. Shankar’s screenplay gives fans of the superstar plenty of moments to cheer for, especially with the fact that there are not one or two, but three iterations of his robotic character Chitti. Not just that, even the one-liners in the movie and the reference to Rajini’s numero uno status gives the fans plenty to cheer for. Akshay Kumar also gives a solid performance as the antagonist, especially in the flashback that reveals his character’s ornithology background. The presence of these two superstars is one of the main reasons why 2.0 feels like a grand, big-ticket movie.
The makeup and costumes are highlights of the movie, too. The effort to create Akshay’s character is really detailed you don’t need to be a VFX guru to realise that the characters of 2.0 really look authentic. The background score by AR Rahman and Qutub-E-Kripa also adds to feel of this futuristic film. While the movie certainly looks world-class, the writing doesn’t always live up to the expectations. It’s Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar’s star power that really saves the day for this magnum opus.