Rating: 3/10 (Stupid and Boring)
Ram Charan, the son of megastar Chiranjeevi has been heavily criticized for being stone faced throughout his films and repeatedly having the same expressions every time. He's teamed up with Srinu Vaitla who just delivered an epic disaster with Aagadu to try and unlock his comic talent. Did they succeed in this awkwardly titled film? Read my review to find out.
Story: Karthik aka Bruce Lee (Ram Charan) is a stuntman who works in the Telugu film industry for Dangerous David (JayaPrakash Reddy). His nickname is Bruce Lee because of the dangerous stunts he performs. His sister Kavya (Kriti Kharbanda) means the world to him and his father (Rao Ramesh) generally neglects him and doesn't like his profession. Karthik made a sacrifice at a young age so he could see his sister grow but he never tells his father.
In the process, when filming a fight scene for a film, a gullible video game designer named Riya (Rakul Preet) sees Karthik and thinks he's saving people for real and falls for him and they eventually fall in love. One day, Kavya is kidnapped by Deepak Raj (Arun Vijay) and drugs her thinking she is someone else's daughter who he is asking ransom from. Karthik comes and rescues her and beats the crap out of Deepak Raj and sends him into a coma and this brings him into direct conflict with a businessman named Jayaraj and his family. How is Deepak Raj related to Jayaraj and how Karthik saves his family from all the problems that arise forms the rest of this ridiculous film.
Performances: You will see a new Ram Charan in this film and he has definitely improved his acting skills in this one. He dances, fights, and actually shows decent comic timing and is exceptional in the emotional scene with his sister in the pre-interval. He delivers an all around performance and carries this weak film on shoulders and tries to save it.
Chiranjeevi in a special appearance is the highlight of the film. He easily has the best scene in the whole movie and it is a sheer delight to watch the Megastar back on the screen again after such a long time. But he is a bit corpulent and should reduce his weight before he attempts to do his real 150th film.
Rakul Preet Singh does the typical Telugu heroine role. Dumb, falls for the hero, has about 5 to 6 scenes and shows up for 4 songs and then leaves. She is ok as Riya.
Rao Ramesh as usual puts in a sincere and sympathetic performance as Kavya and Karthi's father. Sampath does the routine fare as the main villain Jayaraj. Arun Vijay makes the most of his presence and does a good job.
The comedians in the film have failed utterly and provide almost zero entertainment at any point. Saptagiri, Ali, Brahmi, Vennela Kishore, JP, Satyam Rajesh, are all wasted and have nothing to contribute to the film.
Nadiya does a useless role and one wonders why Amitaash Pradhan chose to do this role after a stunning debut in Raghuvaran B. Tech.
Technicalities: Music by Thaman and Background score are excellent. This is one of Thaman's best works he's ever done. He is one of the highlights of the movie. Cinematography by Manoj Paramahamsa is world class and his taking is incredible. Be it a song, fight, or family scene, every scene in the film is rich and vibrant and the visuals are a treat in this film. Another half reason to watch the movie is him. Editing by MR Varma is alright. Script and Screenplay by Srinu Vaitla and Kona Venkat are poor. Dialogues are alright. Story by Gopimohan is average. Fights by Anal Arasu are top class and excellently choreographed. Production values by DVV Danayya are grand and superb but he wasted his money on this one.
Analysis: Ram Charan is not stonefaced as everyone thinks. It's the characterizations of the roles that he plays that tell him to act like that. This movie has given him the maximum scope to show his comic timing and Srinu Vaitla has done a good job in exploiting it. But this film once again proves that not one man alone can save a commercial entertainer that's not well made.
The blame on this film is once again on Vaitla and his arrogance is on full display here. Despite reuniting with his old associates Kona Venkat and Gopimohan, Vaitla has once again taken the responsibility of writing the script and this script is even worse than Aagadu believe it or not. Vaitla said he learned from his misatkes in Aagadu but clearly not. He wanted to make a film that where entertainment was infused into the script but the end result is a half baked product that has no taste or gas in the tank. Bruce Lee the Fighter is a below average film that barring Ram Charan's all around performance, falls flats on it's face and never gets back up.
Vaitla succeeds in getting the sentiment part right but the rest of the film is just idiotic. The first half runs in typical commercial format with hero intro, intro song, comedy, songs, and a barrage of fights to keep ypu entertained. After the twist is revealed in the 2nd half, Vaitla has once again infused nonsense into the script and tests your patience just like he did in Aagadu. There is literally nothing that keeps you entertained or makes you laugh in the 2nd half of Bruce Lee and Vaitla then used Chiranjeevi in the climax to light things up but by then the film had already met it's fate from the audience. Srinu Vaitla films are known for their wafer thin plots but his brilliant ability to keep the audience engaged with superb knack for comedy. Even tho Aagadu was a flop, that film still managed to make you laugh every 2 minutes or so with the funny dialogues or brilliant comedy scenes such as Saroja Sweets or the Potugadu quiz episode. Bruce Lee contains no substance or comedy at all and this is Vaitla's least entertaining film to date. Had Chiranjeevi not been at the end of the movie, this film would be even worse than it already is.
On a whole, Bruce Lee the Fighter is the most boring film ever made by Srinu Vaitla and makes Aagadu seem like a more entertaining film than this one. Weak story, poor screenplay and direction, and lack of entertainment are the highlights of this action entertainer that no has muscle. One wonders why the film was named Bruce Lee the Fighter as it has nothing to do with the great legend himself. If the real Bruce Lee were still alive and he saw this film, then this movie would probably be the reason he commits suicide. Yes it's that boring.
If you're a die hard mega fan, I'd still recommend skipping this one and if you want to watch it just for Chiru's cameo, type Chiranjeevi Bruce Lee Scene into YouTube and just watch that for it's far better than this useless film. I'm going with 3/10.