Revenge is a dish best served cold and debutante director Karan Malhotra serves up an offering straight from the freezer in his reworking of the 90s cult original. Well, at least for the first 90 minutes anyway, wherein the film plays out like a taught gangster film worthy of the RGV stable. You then wish that RGV actually directed the rest of it, because, thereafter, it descends into mindless melodrama and culminates in an extremely poorly etched climax.
While it would be unfair to compare this to the original, one can say with certainty that the KJo redux does hold its own as an independent film, with its heart in the right place. There are many faults that the film carries - the needless length, the caricature like main antagonist Kancha Cheena, the unnecessary song and dance sequences and the rather sub par soundtrack.
But what really lifts this film are the intense performances from the principal cast. Hrithik Roshan, with his understated and simmering turn as the vengeful Vijay Dinanath Chauhan steals the acting honors here and is closely followed by the ever dependable Rishi Kapoor who does what will probably be an award-winning turn as the Mumbai gang lord Rauf Lala, a new character introduced in this version. Agneepath loyalists will see him a sort of combined embodiment of Tereline, Usman and Shetty and what a worthy embodiment he is, managing the difficult task of being both evil and human at the same time. Sanjay Dutt as the Bhagwad Gita spewing Kancha is a bit over the top. Priyanka Chopra has precious little to do and Om Puri as Commissioner Gaitonde is adequate. The film pays homage to the cinema of the 80s and 90s and is in a way a break from the obsequious urban yuppie cinema we see today and in being so is a clutter-breaker. While it may not satisfy the groupies of the original, it is worth a watch.