Story: Charlie (Abhishek Bachchan) is planning a major robbery of gold worth crore which is being transferred from Russia to Romania. In order to accomplish his task, he seeks the help of his role Victor Dada (Vinod Khanna). The duo has a common aim of building an educational institution in their hometown, catering to children of all status. Victor Dada puts forward five names such as Ronnie (Bobby Deol), Riya (Bipasha Basu), Spider (Neil Nitin Mukesh), Bilal (Sikander Kher) and Sunny (Omi Vaidya) who have mastered in their respective arts. Charlie ropes them in for the burglary and eventually succeeds in their task. Victor’s daughter Naina (Sonam Kapoor) knows the art of hacking and also, gives her bit of help. But, hell breaks loose when one of them turns out to be traitor and flees away with the entire gold. Now, who is this traitor and whether the dream of Victor and Charlie to put up a school will be fulfilled by defeating the traitor is rest of the story.
Story Treatment: Touted to be an official remake of Italian Job, Players however, cries out a difference as the story is served with a desi tadka. Also, new dimensions in terms of characterization have been added. Like Vinod Khanna plays a passive player unlike the original character of Italian Job who leads the actual robbery. Also, Players is technologically well-advanced than original Hollywood flick although, original is rich in terms of content. But, the flipside is the length of the film and performances which leaves an intelligent direction in dilemma. The lack of energy in the actors barring Bipasha and Neil leaves on yawning at most of the times.
Star Cast: Abhishek Bachchan reminds of Dhoom series with no set demarcation in his acting as he gets to switch lanes between good and bad guy. Bipasha Basu leaves a mark with some apt expressions and confidence in her voice. Sonam Kapoor finds it hard to act and looks fake at some points. Neil Nitin Mukesh is outstanding and surprises with oodles of style in his body language and dialogues. Bobby Deol is mute spectator most of the times. Sikander Kher and Omi Vaidya are strictly ok. Vinod Khanna is excellent in his small but pivotal role. Johny Lever as a car mechanic induces pleasant light moments in the film.
Direction: Abbas-Mustan as director duo rock but at times succumbs to the poor screenplay and dialogue writing by Rohit Jugraj and Sudip Sharma. The betrayal in love and swapping the partners brings back the memories of Race, Abbas-Mustan’s last release. Nevertheless, full marks to the robbery sequence with high-end technology worth giving a watch. But again, as mentioned earlier, dragged screenplay and low enthusiasm takes away the charm.
Music/ Cinematography/ Dialogues/Editing: Music doesn’t ring the bell at all. The background music in the climax during run and chase sequence doesn’t sync with the style which looks bizarre. Cinematography is ‘A’ class complementing everything from capturing locations to robbery. Dialogues are impactless and further ruin the efforts put in by the actors. Editing could have been crisper.
3 Ups and 3 Downs: Direction by Abbas-Mustan, Cinematography and edgy plotline are the strong points. Music, dialogues, performances besides Bips and Neil are the weak points.
On the whole, Players is not flawless but can be given a shot for once.