My Cultural Diet

409 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info). Star ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links, which support Opus.

I really enjoyed Siddharth Anand’s War, starring Hrithik Roshan; with its crazy action sequences and wild twists, it felt like a Bollywood version of a Mission: Impossible movie. So I was excited to see the two reunite for Fighter, which looked like it’d be the Bollywood Top Gun. Alas, Fighter is nowhere near as enjoyable as War. Or Top Gun, for that matter. Given that it’s an Indian film, wild tonal shifts are to be expected. Even so, Fighter puts you in a tailspin as it veers between war carnage and brutal terrorism, goofy “buddy film” hijinks, overwrought melodrama, and smoldering romance, with the requisite dance numbers thrown in. (For the record, nobody, and I mean nobody, smolders like Hrithik Roshan, especially when he’s walking in slow motion, which constitutes approximately a fourth of the nearly three-hour film.) What makes Fighter especially eyeroll-inducing, though, is that nearly all of its scenes are slathered in jingoism and over-the-top nationalism that just suck the fun right out of the film. Meanwhile, the surprisingly shoddy CGI and visual effects render the many dogfighting scenes more silly than thrilling.

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