Pathaan is Shah Rukh Khan’s kick-ass Bollywood answer to Mission: Impossible

We’re all excited for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, right? The seventh installment of one of Hollywood’s most beloved franchises returns, promising world-travelling thrills and death defying Tom Cruise stunts. The movie’s biggest problem: It comes out in July, a whole four months from now.

Would you believe me if I suggested that there’s a new film out that will help with these exact same problems? It’s available for you to watch right away at home.

PathaanPrime Video has just added a new Indian film, titled, to its collection. It is currently the 5th-highest grossing movie of all time and 2023’s highest-grossing Indian movie. The fourth installment in the (loosely connected) YRF Spy Universe series, and the second directed by Siddharth Anand after 2019’s exciting War Tiger Shroff and Hrithik Rosahan PathaanThis spy thriller is set in the world of spy thrillers and heavily influenced by blockbuster espionage films like Turn-of-The-Century. Mission: Impossible 2 Die Another Day.

PathaanTwo former agents who were abandoned by their country react in different ways. The protagonist Pathaan is a loyal and unwavering patriot, while the antagonist Jim (John Abraham), is angry and vengeful. The plot is pretty perfunctory, as far as spy things go — there’s a complicated scheme with a virus and plenty of betrayals and double (or triple) agents — but it’s all dressing for gorgeous, globetrotting spy thrills with some very beautiful people.

Pathaan It has all you can want in an international spy thriller. There are car chases and explosions. Helicopters. Hot people wearing a variety of stunning outfits. Motorcycle chases. An impenetrable vault. Exotic locations. A train fight, sunlit beaches. Snowy mountains. And explosive set pieces after explosive set part. As Pathaan and Rubai (Deepika Padukone), a Pakistani agent, embark on their mission to stop Jim’s scheme, Anand gives them the flair that only spy movies can, complete with jaw-droppingly gorgeous outfits and stylish set pieces that make the most of their bodies in motion.

It is the main selling point Pathaan isn’t the continuation of the franchise, but the return of global mega star Shah Rukh Khan (Om Shanti Om, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa). SRK, once the largest movie star (and one of the most beloved) was one of the first to return after a short hiatus. He still brings the show at 57.

From his beginning, the film knows that he is a prisoner and has been tied in a chair. He is freed by wind (indoors) and his beautiful torso, which allows him to display his amazing kicks, gunplay and clever camera placement. Sometimes it can feel like the end of a game sequence. SuperhotPathaan, who uses all of his resources (including kicks to people for kicking out mags) in order to free himself in an entertaining sequence that uses speed ramping and slow motion.

Shah Rukh Khan with an open white shrt leans against a red car in Pathaan.

Image by YRF Films

John Abraham as Jim in Pathaan, wearing a leather jacket against a blue background

Image by YRF Films

Shah Rukh Khan, Pathaan’s character, is his typical easygoing, friendly, and shy selves in romantic scenes. (His many, many outfits, which are absolutely flawless, are also impeccable). However, when it comes to action sequences, the larger, more mature Abraham can match him toe-to–toe. Abraham’s deep voice and chiseled jaw (at certain angles, he literally looks like the Chad meme) with SRK’s charm makes them a dynamic duo.

Action beats are one the main highlights of the show. Pathaan experience. There’s a phenomenal fight on a train (that timeless action movie staple), a tense motorcycle chase in the snow, and a jaw-dropping final showdown that… Let’s just say it would make Icarus proud.

Like many big-budget spy thrillers, there is an undercurrent of jingoism (especially with regard to the relationship between India and Pakistan) that you’ll have to deal with when watching Pathaan (this is one of the things that makes the work of John Le Carré and the Bourne movies so special within the genre). There are also a few cases of patronizing attitudes towards other countries and peoples. It also focuses heavily on a particular article in the Indian constitution. Viewers who are not as familiar with Kashmiri politics may find it difficult to follow the story. It is possible that your mileage might vary.

But if you’re looking for something to hit those big-budget spy notes before the new Mission: Impossible You could be doing a lot worse. Pathaan. Set pieces that explode and star power you can’t deny. It doesn’t get much better than that in blockbuster spy movies.

Pathaan It is possible to view it Prime Video.

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