Rocky Handsome Review by Indicine
Nishikant Kamath is out of form with this film. What’s lacking is a narrative coherence and a soul to the proceedings. He shows the emotions but hardly anything registers in the viewers’ hearts because the action is too bang-bang loud. The action here supersedes the storytelling and that’s what derails the film. The scenes are cut in a confusing manner and the tone is too depressing. The tone mismatch is a byproduct of the director’s decision to remake the Korean film. The cinematography of Rocky Handsome is top notch and probably one of the best things about the film. The production design is good too. The detailing of Goa and the drug racket is worth the effort. The action choreography is marvellous, especially in the last few scenes. Credit must be given to the Thai action choreographer. The music of Rocky Handsome is nothing to write home about. Songs like Rock The Party should have been left behind in the last decade.
Rocky Handsome Review by Bollywood Hungama
ROCKY HANDSOME has a story (Ritesh Shah) that is extremely average, which could have been much better. The same holds for the film’s screenplay (Ritesh Shah) that definitely could have been tighter at many places. Despite the fact that the film has a small runtime, the film’s story and narrative looks highly disjointed at places, which may just act as a speed breaker with the audiences’ likings. The film also sees many clichÃ©s, which just could have been avoided. The flip side is that the film boasts of some of the high-octane action drama (including the blood soaked action punches and gun fights) that Bollywood has never witnessed before. The film’s adrenaline rushing action provides reasons enough to keep the audiences engrossed till the end of the film. The film’s first half takes some time to firmly establish the plot; the real story starts post the kidnapping of the girl and her mother. One has to give it to the director Nishikant Kamath for having wonderfully combined nail-biting action in the song ‘Teri Toh Yaad Sataye’. One word to describe the unusual combo of fight and song is ‘outstanding’. The USP of the film, however, has to be its climax, wherein John Abraham enters the villain’s den and the action that follows after that. One really has to applaud Nishikant Kamath for the way he has presented the film – extremely stylish.
Rocky Handsome Review by Manjusha Radhakrishnan on Gulfnews
The biggest let-down are the bad guys who run a drug and organ-racket cartel. They are unintentionally laughable and come across as a bunch of clowns who mouth ridiculous dialogues. Lines such as ‘never hunt a wounded lion’ and evil laughter to underline the meanness of a character isn’t exactly inspiring. Even director Kamat, who plays the bald unscrupulous criminal Kevin Periera, isn’t memorable in his first acting role. But the same cannot be said for Abraham’s ripped torso, which is rock sturdy. We wish the film stood on a steady ground, too. Watch this if you are an Abraham loyalist, otherwise it’s a good idea to duck this all-brawn-no-brains film.
Rocky Handsome Review by Rohit Vats on Hindustan Times
Rocky Handsome may seem a jumbled up version of John Abraham to some, and this is the third time he is playing Kabir. Too much of self-introspection and alter ego, eh? John Abraham … err … Rocky Handsome is a very average film with some finely executed action sequences on display. But, make no mistake: Don’t expect anything more from this film.
Rocky Handsome Review by Sukanya Verma on Rediff
Cinema is a poignant medium where even fleeting screen time can effectively establish lingering emotionality. All it asks for are compelling performers. Rocky Handsome hasn’t got any and no decibel of background score can amplify phony affection nor can clunky dialogue sounding less like conversation and more as awkward Hindi subtitles. South Korean filmmaking isn’t one to hold back on violence. Gore and grace go hand in hand in its nimbly choreographed combats. Rocky Handsome disappoints on that front too. Kamath spends a sweet amount of time building up the hero’s arrival on the scene and projection but as soon as it’s slaughter time, the camera slips in a crazy rush to document the bloodshed. What survives is limp and spiritless.
Rocky Handsome Review by Shubhra Gupta on Indian Express
John Abraham’s Rocky Handsome is a double: the screen splits into two, with both Rocky and Handsome come striding towards us, just in case we were confused. He only appears bad, see, he’s actually a good guy with a terrible past. The rest of the space is filled with an eight year old (Diya Chalwad) who’s made to talk like she’s double that, and given a relationship with our hero which is meant to tear you up, but feels faintly creepy. Theres a young woman with a drug habit. Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, you come upon the gracious Suhasini Mulay trucked out as a sleazy peddler of kids. Everything is all over the place in this Goa over-run by ‘Roosis’, and dark night clubs, and organ traders, and scenes of extreme, hard-core violence.
Review by Shubha Shetty-Saha on Mid-Day India
The movie is so busy falling over itself to look stylish and slick that it forgets to focus on the emotional aspect altogether. There is zero connect between the two central characters, Rocky and Naomi, and the script goes haywire at many places, but the director was evidently concentrating on making the movie look cool by getting the cameras go back and forth with heavy doses of flashbacks and slow-mos drizzled in between.
Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies
Rocky Handsome is a rare Hindi film that is set in the coastal state and yet stays away from the beaches. The beaches that appear in the film are located in Seychelles and seen only in flashbacks to happier times in the hero’s life. A man from nowhere – the protagonist of Ramgopal Varma’s Satya – had strayed into Mumbai in the late 1990s and redefined Bollywood’s underworld dramas for good. This ‘nowhere man’ seems intent on a slow, unsteady walk back to where he has come from. Nowhere. That pretty much sums up the film. Rocky Handsome is strictly for fans of ultra-violent action movies
Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
John Abraham has finally got a role that fits him like a glove. A character acutely challenged by his inability to convey any emotion, who allows his fists to do the talking and his daggers do the dancing. If he could’ve shed a few kilos, he could’ve managed a few more flying kicks. Nishikant Kamat playing a bald Goan druglord is impressive, perhaps even more than he is behind the camera. Shruti Haasan’s cameo doesn’t contribute much to the film or her filmography. Given the film’s single-minded obsession with crime and given the setting, it could’ve well been titled Madgaon Vice. But since the lead here is also the producer, we’ll let this pass.
Review by Martin D’Souza on Glamsham
Cut to 2016. Nishikant Kamath has given us some intensifying moments on screen with his crisp direction and edge-of-the-seat moments. Now comes ROCKY HANDSOME, which is as imaginative and as naive as RGV KI AAG. Not only Nishikant Kamath, but Also John Abraham, whose production this is, decides to go the RGV way. Johnny boy decides to call it ROCKY HANDSOME, ensuring that viewers know that he is handsome. You are Johnny, of that there is no doubt! The movie is all about Johnny boy’s khadoos looks, well-toned body, some flashbacks, and some very good stylized fights. Johnny boy fights well. He is a killer. He works for an intelligence agency. He even takes off a bullet lodged in his abdomen, at his home. Doctor saab is not required.
Rocky Handsome Review by Indiaglitz
The story has shades from a Korean film ‘The Man from Nowhere’ followed by some glimpses from ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. The story takes lot of time to get established and till then the film looks quite abrupt. There are lots of stuffs happening in the film but, at the same time nothing concrete takes place in terms of the screenplay. The narrative pattern is slow and at times bland. The emotional bonding between John and Dia fails to connect due to which the whole setup of the film seems bit weak. Director Nishikant Kamat made his mark with some good films like ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan’, ‘Force’ and ‘Drishyam’. Thus, it’s a big letdown from this ace director who has displayed his potential in different genre and out here manages to deliver a half-baked product which only works in its brilliant action sequences.John Abraham fails to connect in the emotional scenes due to weak writing. Nishikant Kamat and Teddy overacts and hams to the fullest. Shruti Hassan, Suhasani Mulay, Shiv Subramanium and others are wasted.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
Nishikant Kamat the director (shows up on screen as the main villain) and all his goons try hard to sound thuggish. But everyone speaks in such thick Marathi accents, you wonder why the film is set in Goa. It’s a sound effects heavy film. So you will come away with a headache and the amplified stabbing sounds, ‘Khach-khach-khach-khach’ (yes, like apples being sliced!) stay with you longer than reasons why Handsome has a ‘code word’ Rocky assigned to him.
Review by Lokesh Dharmani on Masala
The action of the film is impressive but without much emotional context, it fails to leave an impact. Also, the film uses more knives than all the episodes of Masterchefs put together. It looks sharp and slick initially, alas turns into an unnecessary gore fest towards the end. There is also a certain Shruti Haasan who comes, sings a song, shows skin and disappears. We are not told what happened to her. The director doesn’t care. Honestly neither do we.
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
Like mentioned earlier, the action sequences are quite slick and Kamat has certainly pushed the envelope as far as that department is concerned. Had Kamat given the same attention to the screenplay, the characterizations and the dialogues, the film might have ended up being a decent rip-off. But the predictable storyline, the below average dialogues and the caricaturish characters, might surely prove to be the film’s undoing, notwithstanding the awesome action scenes. All in all, Rocky Handsome comes across as a film trying too hard to be ‘ohh-so-cool’.
Review by Tushar P Joshi on Bollywood Life
Rocky Handsome falls in the trap of making everything too complicated. Sometimes less is more and Kamat fails to realise that. His story and the format of switching between the past and present gets annoying. Also the baddies never really manage to scare us. These bad guys are shown to be capable of doing the worst thing imaginable yet they never really hold our attention. Diya Chalwad who plays the little girl and is a very important part of the film fails to create any emotional connect with John. Her one scene where she breaks down looks too rehearsed. An important action scene that happens in the restroom of a club is edited so badly that you almost get a migraine. Nora Fatehi gyrates to the Bombay Rockers track while John beats up some goons in the washroom. The climax is too rushed and doesn’t really give us a closure of any sort.
Review by Ananya Bhattacharya on India Today
However, underneath all the stylised action sequences and slick long shots in the rain, Rocky Handsome is not all flawless. The crispness of the story is lost in parts, and it is a bit difficult to keep your attention from swaying through the course of the film. In all, Rocky Handsome is a decent one-time watch for non-fans of Abraham. For a John Abraham fan, the film clicks several boxes. Above all, Rocky Handsome is a sumptuous feast for action-lovers. Watch it if you swear by punches and kicks and special, hitherto-unseen-in-Hindi-films martial arts.
Review by Renuka Vyavahare on The Times Of India
Barring the fast-paced fist and knife fights, the movie fails on various grounds. It is a classic case of style over substance. And sadly, it doesn’t look stylish either. The Hindi remake of a Korean film struggles to blend action and emotion. Its need to infuse drama kills the thrill of its sleek and ruthless action. Also, the whole patriotic backstory for Kabir further spoils the aura of his mysterious hoodie sporting character. The climax is stretched for way too long. Shruti Haasan looks pretty in her special appearance, adding life to the lovely song Rehnuma. John Abraham as the lean, mean, killing machine is perfect for the role of Kabir. It’s the execution and poor dialogue that makes this film a damp squib.
Review by Sarita A Tanwar on DNA India
The film’s biggest drawback is Nishikant’s inability to connect the action with the emotion in the film despite the fact that he had all the material. He fails most in establishing the bonding between Rocky and Naomi – which is actually the premise for all the action. Instead, there is more focus on Rocky’s past (Shruti Hassan), which has nothing to do with the film’s main plot-point. The screenplay by Ritesh Shah is very weak; the dialogues actually make the film look archaic at times. The director’s choice of actors in other roles is also disappointing – not one stands out, including Nishikant himself who plays the villain. The little girl meant to melt your heart ends up annoying you with her grown-up lines and acting. Rocky Handsome is meant for hard-core action fans. And for those who want to discover a bigger (much, much) and better John Abraham.
Review by Mehul S Thakkar on Deccan Chronicle
However, despite good performances from the leading cast, the film fails to hold the viewers’ interest. The pace in which the story moves ahead and the combination of many situations fail to leave an impact. In fact, cinematographer Shankar Raman has shot the film so well that you are always telling yourself, ‘okay wait the film will get better’. Then there is the background music, which again hits on the right note. The tracks really stand out in scenes bringing the boring screenplay of Ritesh Shah to life.
Review by Subhash K Jha on Bollyspice
It is unequivocally evident from the start of this dark gripping thriller about damnation and tentative redemption that Kamat is a director who understands John’s physicality as well as his emotional strengths. Kamat uses both the qualities to create a man doddering on the edge of self-destruction. At mid-point when John in shirtless splendour is required to display his heroic swagger by a camera that loves beauty as much the ugliness of existence, we know what Rocky doesn’t.
Review by Raghav Jaitly on Zeenews
Director Nishikant Kamat was not at all a bad choice for the antagonist and he decently takes his character forward as per demand of the script. Not to forget his directorial brilliance that takes this gripping storyline up a notch. If you are looking forward for nerve-racking with a pinch of emotional turmoil, then without-a-doubt ‘Rocky Handsome’ is what you need.
Review by meeta on Wogma
Rocky Handsome came out as rather poorly written than anything else. Maybe, we could have excused the lapses in execution and narrative had it been for a gripping story or even if it had somewhat interesting characters. Pure action it wanted to show you and that it does well.
Review by Rajeev Masand on IBNLive
Kamat, who has become something of a ‘remake specialist’ in Bollywood having last adapted Force and Drishyam from South Indian hits, fails to adapt the essence and the spirit of the original Korean film to this copy-paste hack job. This is lazy film-making of the highest order, and the only thing that deserves any mention are the relentlessly violent but riveting action scenes, including a few stylishly shot rain sequences. John Abraham performs these portions convincingly. He’s in beast mode for the bulk of the film, and there’s a strange thrill in watching him dispatch the bad guys systematically. He’s sincere even in the quieter bits with the little girl next door, but eventually let down by the corny dialogue and a script that’s steeped in cliché, right down to the assassin’s tragic back-story.
Review by Sonia Chopra on Sify
Director Nishikant Kamat makes films like Dombivali Fast, Mumbai Meri Jaan and Drishyam and then churns out films like Rocky Handsome. It’s puzzling, really, how talented filmmakers often choose to make sub-standard films for whatever reason. Kamat portrays the story in an old-school fashion with more knife fights than guns, hand-to-hand combats where the hero beats an entire army into pulp, and an item song interspersed with action. There’s a scene when the hero is upset and it suddenly starts raining (this moment is almost comical, when it should be making us emotional). The only action scene that one remembers is the finale round, where our hero gets to kill a villain in a rather innovative manner. But a film can work only if the viewer is emotionally invested in the character and their journey. That’s the reason Rocky Handsome doesn’t work neither as an emotional drama nor an action flick. This could’ve been a far better film.
Average critic ratings of other movies released in 2016
- Kapoor & Sons – 3.7 stars
- Teraa Surroor – 1.7 stars
- Jai Gangaajal – 2.3 stars
- Zubaan – 2.6 stars
- Tere Bin Laden Dead Or Alive – 2.3 stars
- Aligarh – 3.6 stars
- Bollywood Diaries – 2.5 stars
- Neerja – 4 stars
- LoveShhuda – 2 stars
- Ishq Forever – 1.4 stars
- Fitoor – 2.3 stars
- Sanam Re – 1.6 stars
- Ghayal Once Again – 2.4 stars
- Sanam Teri Kasam – 1.6 stars
- Saala Khadoos – 2.6 stars