I’m a big Hindi-movie fan, and I just got back from a showing of a Bollywood superhero flick called Krissh 3, which I really enjoyed. It was made by a production company called FilmKraft, which is the brainchild of the Roshan brothers, Rakesh and Rojesh, and they make the kind of films that Aintitcool folks like. Back in the nineties, they did this blood-soaked action-supernatural movie called Karan/Argun, which featured Sharukh Khan and Salman Khan as brothers reincarnated to avenge their own murders on Temple of Doom villain Amrish Puri...Mr. Puri also handled the bad guy duties in another FilmKraft actioner called Koyla, which had Sharukh in it too, and was an brightly-colored mashup of Forrest Gump, Rambo, and Braveheart. In the 2000's the Roshans branched out into science-fiction with Koi Mil Gaya, which was part Charlie and part ET, with cuddly alien Jadoo bestowing smarts upon super-handsome Hrithik Roshan (Rakesh’s son), who does a mean turn as a simpleton who sure can dance and gets the girl.
In Krrish, which is a sequel to Koi Mil Gaya, we skip to the simpleton’s titular son, (also played by Hritihik,) who, because of Jadoo’s intervention, has a bunch of super-powers, his exploits choreographed for us by HK action genius Ching Siu Tung. To make a long story short, dad gets kidnapped by evil genius Naseruddin Shah, who’s plotting to supplant himself God Almighty by means of time travel...much mayhem ensues, and the son gets the girl (Priyanka Chopra) this time.
Okay, so, even though there was no Krissh 2 because you had Koi Mil Gaya and then Krissh, we get Krissh 3, and it’s an improvement in many respects on the second installment. A lot of Indian movies go on so long they seem like double features, and sometimes the halves are radically different, say, the first half being a lot of horrible comedy, and the second being a fairly good, vicious revenge yarn, with no attempt whatsoever to paper over the change in tone.
But while Krrish took forever to get past the comedy/romance stuff, and there were a number of distracting musical numbers, 3 holds the singing, dancing and mush rather to a minimum; the villain’s introduced right off, and that’s followed by a bunch of pretty competent special effects/ superhero whatnot involving a jetliner with stuck landing gear. You can tell that about eighty percent of the special effects are going to be up to western standard, and you can kind of relax. A grisly plot unfolds...our heavy is a crippled telekinesis-using bad guy named Kaal (Vivek Oberoi) who has a pharmaceutical company...in order to get his quadriplegic body up and going, he inflicts horrible plagues on places like India, then rakes up tremendous profits by dispensing the cure. Kaal also has a small army of mutants that do all all sorts of freaky things (one has a really long froggy tongue and Krrish swings him hard into into things with it), my favorite being a shape-changing siren played by the luscious Kangana Renaut, whose ability to morph results in a slew of story twists...she falls in love (of course) with Hrithik. The final dustup in downtown Mumbai is a far cry from your usual Indian FX fare, blending good-to-excellent CG with great wirework and action directed by the aforementioned Mr. Ching. Hrithik is a pretty damned awesome athlete, and looks great in his impeccably-choreographed fight scenes...he and Vivek Oberoi destroy quite a bit of Mumbai skyline line, smashing each other straight through skyscrapers like planes on 9/11.
The story doesn’t serve up anything as clever as the time-travel element in Krrish, but it’s still serviceable, the subplot with Kangana Renaut is surprisingly effective, and Vivek’s malefactor is well-drawn and has a fiendish secret. Rakesh Roshan is a good director, and knows when to step back and let Ching Siu-Tung do his thing...the music by Rajesh Roshan goes down easily enough. All in all, I had a better time with this epic than with many western superhero movies, and you should catch it...given the fact that Hollywood isn’t turning out so much product anymore, Hindi films are appearing in our multiplexes more and more. They also show up on Netflix. I particularly recommend the straight-out gangster slaughterfests.