'Cobra' review: 'Chiyaan' Vikram sole saving grace of chaotic mess
While offering multiple genres in a single film gives a satisfying pay-off when done right, it's draining to watch if done as chaotically as in Cobra. Directed by Ajay Gnanamuthu, Cobra swerves between action to romance to family-friendly to mental health in the blink of an eye. Cobra would've been a perfect comeback for 'Chiyaan' Vikram had it been tightly packed. Here's our review.
Hero keeps locking horns; but with whom? And for what?
There are numerous questions that may pop up in your head while watching Cobra. The only answer is: Nothing is impossible for the hero, who keeps oscillating between Switzerland, Russia, Hong Kong, Chennai, and Kolkata as an assassin to execute high-profile murders. Police, CBI, and international intelligence agencies are mere jokes. But why is he murdering them? It remains unanswered till the end.
Different getups of Vikram have nothing to do with story
Vikram appears in countless avatars with juvenile prosthetic makeup. While the makeup techniques are unnecessarily implied in irrelevant situations, the flashback portions of his younger self are played by a different actor altogether! Rather than investing in different avatars that contribute minimally to the story, the flashback portions could have been elaborated to lend support to the screenplay that suffers from lack of continuity.
All of Vikram's efforts spoiled by ridiculous characterization
Vikram is earnest as a man with an attachment so intense for his twin brother that he is willing to go to lengths for him. But his passion is wasted on the ridiculousness of his character's actions. The similarities between his characters in Anniyan and Cobra are pronounced. Meanwhile, the pre-interval block and a few post-interval portions somewhat compensate for the fatiguing first half.
Other actors have little to nothing to contribute
There are several other actors. Cricketer Irfan Pathan, for example, has delivered a decent performance. But he has no scope owing to poor characterization. Srinidhi Shetty appears on screen to shed tears and beg the leading man to marry her. We don't even know what KS Ravikumar does in the film. Interestingly, there are a few portions where actor Anand Raj makes whistle-worthy appearances.
Verdict: Watch 'Cobra' only for a few post-interval sequences
Probably Vikram would have been convinced by the premise that looks rock-solid on paper, but when executed on screen, the film comes across as a jumbled mess. The action sequences are lousy, gore laughable, romance nauseating, humor non-existential, and emotions inorganic. Vikram's charisma is the only saving grace of this multi-genre film. We are going with 2/5 only for Vikram's splendid performance.