2.0

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

My worst fear came true–the action and CGI are good but not enough by themselves to pull you through the overdrawn public service announcement that the film ends up being.

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Director: S Shankar
Running time: 150 minutes
Genres: Action, Sci-fi, Social
More Movie Info

2.0 (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu) - Preview

In itself, that the villain is angry at all the mobile phone owners of the world is an amusing and interesting concept. The theme is certainly one with a lot of potential to be taken to unthought of directions in terms of backstory, conflict, resolution, sub-plots and so on. Technically of course, we can pretty much predict the route it is going to take - more of the kind in the climax of Robot. Fortunately, the vision is grand enough for us to not be bored by either the predictability or the repetitiveness. It will also be nice to see Akshay Kumar in a turnaround of an avatar.

Now, whether someone who has something really strong against mobile phones can really be called a villain is a question in itself. I am really curious to find out if and if yes, how the writers have explored the angle that the villain might actually be an anti-hero who might mean well for the world of mobile phone over-users. And that runs the risk of becoming a Public Service Announcement which is tricky.

Meanwhile though, you have to be wary of a film which has product placement in the trailer itself! And then there is the chance of the nuance in the dialogue and other writing being lost in translation. Let’s hope not!

2.0 releases on 29 November, 2018.

- meeta, a part of the audience

The opening sequence is pretty much indicative of what the film holds. It wows you with an awesome first impression and then beats the coolness out by repeating it to death. Whether it is the concept itself of someone having the super-power to pull all the mobile phones in a town towards themselves or the jaw-dropping execution of a not-so-grand vision–2.0 manages to lose its spunk because it does not add anything new to what you’ve seen either in the trailer or in the first few minutes of the film.

while the manner in which Akshay Kumar’s character is visualised is amazing, all he has to do is scowl.

The little bit it does add in the second half of the film is what I feared the most–a sermon on some or the other undesirable human habit. What lies between the concept and the conclusion is the vision with the concept is executed and the details of the story–both of which fail the film.

The execution of the vision is top-notch–the special effects do make your jaw drop the first time you see them. But, two things happen after that. First, of course is that the sad cool effect is repeated ad nauseum. More problematic though is the second bit–the vision isn’t grand through the film. The imagination falls short of what the concept could have achieved, both in terms of story development and visual and sound effects.

One instance that sticks out. A mega-sized robot is in a fist-fight with a mega-sized supernatural being. They uproot huge poles from their surroundings–and fight each other with the poles. So far, so good. This pole-fight looks like a dandiya dance rather than say a sword fight. This is where the vision falls short because once you accept the dance for what it is, the special effects are great. But, Robot’s climax had made me look forward to the 2.0’s climax. Unfortunately, that is quite a downer too.

It doesn’t help that the details of the film are filled with elements such as technical mumbo-jumbo that even a non-technical person like me can call out for being ridiculous. Also, you can’t stop wondering why and how the phone-monster disappears like a ghost. Sure, it is sci-fi but within its realm it has to make sense, right? A ghost can disappear, but the phone a ghost holds cannot, right? Here the bunch of phones not only shape and re-shape like Terminator, they can change form too–like they were wizards or ghosts. So what are they actually–spirits or magicians or machines that have developed super-powers? My bet–writing conveniences and connivances. Oh-oh! And what’s with robots manufacturing other robots–manually!?

While these writing elements make you laugh unintentionally, the scenes that intend to make you laugh, don’t. Then you have silly scenes where emotions move from one end to another with just one trigger-line. Of course, these scenes are accompanied by background music to indicate that the emotion has moved–yes, worth many an eye-roll. That’s not all, product placements are as in-the-face as they can be–maybe an attempt to keep your eyes from rolling! And let’s not even get started about the gender themes that run through the film!

The one thing that still could have pulled the film through is the concept of mobile phones being the menace of our times. Unsurprisingly, it gets preachy. But shockingly, it is outright hypocritical. I am not talking about a simple man wearing black nailpaint after he dies and becomes this behemoth villain. I am baffled by the over-arching mockery. Was this 2.5-hour long speech made without use of mobile phones? Are the amkers saying their usage is ok, but the common man’s is not? Because 2.0 is not an attack just on the Indian businessman-bureaucrat-politician nexus, it is a harsh criticism of how lay people live their lives.

what’s with robots manufacturing other robots–manually!?

All this put together, actually put me off to sleep for a few minutes in the second half. It is not like we were expecting much from the performances. Sure, Rajnikanth does have variations with his performances as the scientist, the good robot, the bad robot, the big robot, the human-size robots and the tiny robots–yes, lots of thalaiva for the Rajni fans. But ultimately, it is one robotic performance after another. Amy Jackson too holds a steady expression and while the manner in which Akshay Kumar’s character is visualised is amazing, all he has to do is scowl.

The only half-chance 2.0 has is with kids. Kids–even those exposed to action and 3-D films from around the world might find the visuals appealing. However, they too would expect much more story and much less gimmickry than 2.0 has to offer.

~ ~ ~

I saw the Hindi, 3-D version.

- meeta, a part of the audience

31 reviewers(?) - 8 yays 14 so-so 9 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, 2.0 is a cinematic marvel which has the style as well as the substance. The VFX especially during the last 30 minutes is something which has not been watched on Indian screens ever. At the box office, it is a sure shot blockbuster and will set new benchmarks in the days to come. Highly recommended!... full review

Thumbs up, by Tushar P. Joshi, Bollywood Life : ...2.0 is a landmark film in Indian cinema and captain of the ship Shankar deserves all the credit. Watch it for Akshay Kumar’s crazy act as the menacing bird man and of course the superstar Rajinikanth is a bonus thrown in the mix.... full review

Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Shankar’s influences may have been Western but he remains quintessentially Indian. His films may dazzle you through SFX but remain quite humane at heart. 2.0 reminds us how good can get corrupted into evil and also cautions us about our overdependence on mobiles. The film is totally paisa vasool and makes for a complete family entertainer. It's production took a lot of time but the wait has been worth it...... full review

Thumbs up, by Madhuri V, Flimi Beat : ...2.0 excels when it comes to the technical department. Shankar together with his VFX team, sound specialist Resul Pookutty, cinematographer Nirav Shah and editor Antony put up magnificent visuals that's rarely seen in Indian cinema. Read more at: https://www.filmibeat.com/bollywood/reviews/2018/2-0-hindi-movie-review-and-rating-rajinikanth-akshay-kumar-279921.html... full review

Thumbs up, by Raja Sen, Hindustan Times : ...Actually, don’t. Despite the tedious climax, 2.0 is a blast. It could have been a smarter film, but it is a mostly fun Rajinikanth ride, with solid 3D and great Atmos sound — so good is the mastering that at one point when Kumar sets many a phone ringing, I hissed at the person next to me in the theatre.... full review

Thumbs up, by R.M. Vijayakar, India West : ...The film is decidedly worth a watch and your money with snacks and drinks. Perhaps, the urge for later revisits is where it really falls short of “Robot,” to which we had given five stars and which can STILL be watched any number of ‘agains.’ We may love and be amazed by this film’s various parts, as enumerated above, but the final effect is not in that league. Despite, to reiterate, the magnificent VFX and action and also the crack work by all technical departments, especially DOP Nirav Shah.... full review

Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, 2.0 is a fully fledged package having a good looking body & a soul to which you’ll connect instantly. There’s a lot for both Rajinikanth & Akshay Kumar fans; not a single person will leave theatres half-heartedly. A MUST WATCH in cinema halls! (if possible – 3D).... full review

Thumbs up, ZEENEWS.COM : ..."2.0" is Shankar's glorious return to form after the highly disappointing "I" featuring Vikram. He draws us into a world of humanoid robots, artificial intelligence and electromagnetic radiation. Unlike most science-fiction films, 2.0 takes the commercial route to entertain, thus does come across as illogical at places but that's what makes it insanely fun.... full review

So-So, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...In all, the message of mobile phone radiations affecting the life of birds as well as the humans remains the best part of the film as I strongly felt. Otherwise, apart from the grandeur, 2.0 doesn’t turn out to be as entertaining as expected wasting an unusual, rare casting. Moreover, may be it was the faulty projection in the multiplex, but I did have a terrible time watching the film’s 3D version (probably the first Indian film to be actually shot in 3D).... full review

So-So, by Suman Sharma, Deccan Chronicle : ...The only historical purpose 2.0 will serve is that at some point a thesis will be written on Dr Vaseegaran who didn’t just design a male robot that looked just like him but was evil, more powerful and horny. But also modelled a female robot whose pornographic proportions rival that of Barbie. I hope I live to read it. That’ll give some meaning to this meaningless ordeal.... full review

So-So, by Meena Iyer, DNA : ...If you wish to pat Indian cinema on the back for getting their 3D right, watch this one. Else, go watch James Cameron’s Avatar (2009) again!... full review

So-So, by Baradwaj Rangan, Film Companion : ...If the film works to an extent, it’s due to the big set pieces. This is where Shankar the Imaginator shines brightest.... full review

So-So, by Sreedhar Pillai, FirstPost : ...Shankar, for a change, has only one full dance song, the hit number from AR Rahman — 'Enthira Logathu Sundariya' that plays out only with the end credits. The fight in the climax between the giant robots reminds you of the action scenes from the Transformers franchise. The film works largely because of Rajinikanth and the amazing 3D format, the closest an Indian film has reached to Hollywood standards.... full review

So-So, by Janani K, india today : ...Shankar-directed 2.0 starring Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar is a fun entertainer with brilliant visual effects. But the story turns predictable post intermission, says our review.... full review

So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...This one, aimed at theatres across India, stars super-heroes from both the North (Akshay) and the South (Rajini). The star is the director Shankar still. As a story-teller, you can tell, he could do with simplicity, and a better sense of proportion. As a filmmaker, he's sheer genius. Need better proof? Yes, you could catch 2.0.... full review

So-So, by Pankhurie Mulasi, Movie Talkies : ...2.0 doesn’t hit you emotionally, you don’t connect with any character and that is one of the weak points of this movie. The film is a crowd-pleaser and has some ‘seetimar’ dialogues. Watch this film for some great visual effects and of course to see the epic face-off between Akshay Kumar and the Thalaiva.... full review

So-So, by M Suganth, Mumbai Mirror : ...Even though some of the surprises in this segment have been Read more at: https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/entertainment/movie-review/2-0-movie-review-rajinikanth-akshay-kumar-shine-in-sci-fi-s-shankar-disappoints/articleshow/66859203.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst... full review

So-So, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...The right-versus-wrong tropes that 2.0 employs are trite, but the battle at the heart of the film - it pits a warped model of development against the need for ecological conservation in a no-holds-barred fantasy - has moments that are thought-provoking and entertaining at once. But even for Rajnikanth, pulling this erratic, messy epic out of the fire is no cakewalk. He comes pretty close. Watch 2.0 for its scale and ambition, if not for the superstar who can do no wrong.... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, News18.com : ...Sure 2.0 is mostly humorless and doesn’t have the lightness of touch that it could’ve done with. But the action, the VFX, and the sheer spectacle on display allow me to forgive many of its faults. Shortcomings notwithstanding, it is the victory of vision. Shankar has shown us that slick special effects blockbusters are very much within our grasp.... full review

So-So, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...I am the only one. I am the super one,” Chitti declares. As in Enthiran, 2.0 has fun channelling Rajinikanth’s flamboyance, but the actor remains a prop for his director’s grand ambitions of delivering a Hollywood-style spectacle. Rajinikanth’s sly charm is allowed to peek through in some scenes, but his Chitti is too human for a robot and not machine-like enough for an android. The show surprisingly belongs to Akshay Kumar’s Pakshiraja, who generates some pathos for his concerns although they are based on pseudo-science. Even here, his mutant version is always more engaging than the human. Two legs bad, two wings better.... full review

So-So, by Srinivasa Ramanujam, The Hindu : ...2.0 has been in the making for a long time, and the makers kept attributing the delay to the special effects’ department. When you watch this two-hour-48-minute drama unfold on the big screen, you understand why. This business called 3D...that’s the future. If director Rajamouli proved that you could delve into the past and create engaging stories with rajas, Shankar affirms that a peek into the future and a storyline revolving around robots can be worthwhile as well.... full review

So-So, by Rachit Gupta, Times of India : ...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.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vertticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...Be that as it may, after this song comes an epilogue featuring Dr Vasigaran and Chhota Chitti a.k.a. 3.0, which amounts to an announcement of yet another sequel. Considering how steel cold and yawn-worthy 2.0 is despite its top-notch special effects, the thought of more Chittis is hardly worth celebrating.... full review

Thumbs down, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...The agonizing film has hundreds of junior artistes who have to look startled/scared/traumatized. I’ve never seen a mob of actors hamming so much, and enjoying it to the hilt.... full review

Thumbs down, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...The plot has little substance and even the allusion to environmental degradation (radiation, loss of sparrows) appears facile. The unaccomplished mingling of multiple genres only makes it all the more implausible. The grand canvas, the special effects and 3D have little influence on the overall impact. All the vaunted VFX just flashes through and is just as quickly forgotten. This is basically comic-book spectacle without heart!... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...2.0 is dull as ditchwater in the first half, perking up a little in the second, with a half-way watchable Akshay Kumar, and a Rajinikanth coming into his own right towards the end, for a bit.... full review

Thumbs down, by UDITA JHUNJHUNWALA, Live Mint : ...A film that pivots around technology and artificial intelligence should have laid as much emphasis on artificial (special effects, computer graphics, robots) as intelligence. But writer-director Shankar’s focus is largely on visually wow-ing the audience. Moments in this ‘superstar’ Rajinikanth vehicle are amazing indeed, but the director takes too long getting to the crux of the story and then, disappointingly, compromises on the message. The result: that like the robots and cell phones that keep running out of battery, at the end of 148 minutes, the viewer too needs recharging.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rohit Vats, News18.com : ...Not that the film hasn’t been visualised well, but the final product is terribly repetitive. What made Enthiran endearing was the surprise quotient brought in by Chitti and how humans react to it. Plus, it was mostly a scientist versus scientist story before the big war. The new film follows a reverse trajectory and loses grip in the process.... full review

Thumbs down, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...What happens when souls of dead birds and an angry ornithologist snatch all your cell phones and decide to kill you for overuse and radiation from cell towers? Hokey science, meet Rajinikanth. This odd film ODs on special effects but is neither an Akshay Kumar film, nor is it a Rajini film... full review

Thumbs down, by G.C. SHEKHAR, Outlook India : ...By choosing to film in real 3D rather than convert 2D into 3D, shankar has pumped in enough elements to keep the film visually enthralling but the absence surprise element in the narrative pulls down the overall impact of the movie.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...2.0's cursory ticking of the downsides in clumsy common man conversations and confusion over 'all life forms matter' in an absurd, tiresome climax ensure it remains hidden.... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

2 readers - 2 yays 0 so-so 0 nays

Not Interested in Watching, by TimELiebe : More Like 'Not Sure If I Want To Watch....'

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Laxman Arukala : 100

Yay! Thumbs Up, by viiralfest

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads and some gory too.
  • Language: A lot of words censored but didn’t quite get why they were censored. The spots they were used at didn’t look like they were abusive words
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Chetti unzips the back of a ‘woman’ robot’s dress
  • Concept: A dead man doesn’t want people to use mobile phones
  • General Look and Feel: Slick and gray action

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

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2.0 - Cast, crew, links

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Running time:
150 minutes
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Comments (4)

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2.0 is a fantastic movie
Watch on Movie Review

Raj

Good review Meetu.
Though now a days I do not post my comments. Sorry for that.
I always come here to read your reviews of all the movies you see.
Thank YOU so much for keeping this WOGMA project going.

Just for laughs:
When I tried to click below
Are you human?
"I'm not a robot- "
I was searching for the captcha code "2.0"

Huh - so is this ROBOT 2.0...?

Only not as good?

@Raj ha ha ha ha ha and thank you much for your kind words

@TimELiebe yeah, more or less.

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