Chuck Russell is one director who has given iconic films like The Mask and The Scorpion King. Hence, there were a lot of expectations from his first Bollywood directorial - Junglee. However, the Hollywood film-maker, unfortunately, missed out this time on multiple aspects.
An animal doctor and a martial arts expert, Raj (Vidyut Jammwal) is away from his house since a decade as he is upset with his father (Thalaivasal Vijay) for not being able to save his mother from cancer.
While his father keeps asking him to come back home, Raj finally decides to visit his native. His father runs an elephant sanctuary, and Raj also is much familiar with the tuskers as he grew up among them, and loves them with his life.
Soon, Raj discovers that a massive poaching racket is active around the sanctuary, who is after the elephants for their tusks. However, before he could do anything about the issue, an entire herd of majestic elephants, get shot dead by the poachers and their tusks are stolen. Raj's father also gets killed by the criminals while he tries to rescue the animals.
Raj then sets off in a mission to avenge the deaths of the innocent elephants and his father. However, a number of dangers and shocking turn of events await him in the operation.
Vidyut Jammwal is absolutely brilliant in terms of action, but when it comes to acting, he still does not seem to be convincing. A film like Junglee requires the characters to showcase a special kind of emotional connect with the animals but Vidyut somewhere lacks in that in the film. Nonetheless, he is fabulous in pulling off some extremely impressive action stunts.
Atul Kulkarni as the leader of the poaching gang is good in his act. He portrays the evil side of his character well. The two actresses – Pooja Sawant and Asha Bhat are fine is their performances too. Makarand Deshpande and Akshay Oberoi also have small but pivotal roles in the film.
The USP of Junglee is undoubtedly the action sequences and the visuals. Vidyut is yet again absolutely amazing in pulling off high-octane action scenes and proves why he is one of the best in the genre. The director manages to capture some stunning natural beauty in the film. The movie holds a strong message and touches the heart of any animal lover.
Junglee has a strong subject matter but somehow fails to have the desired impact. From a director of Chuck Russell's stature, who earlier gave films like The Mask and The Scorpion King, a lot more is expected. The film gets over-dramatic at certain points making it look comical. For instance, a scene where an injured Raj sees his 'guru' talking to him in the form of Lord Ganesha. Junglee also fails in developing the desired emotional connect that a film like this calls for.
Overall, Junglee is blessed with some superb action sequences by Vidyut Jammwal and is a good watch for animal lovers. But it disappoints on various other aspects. A lot better is expected from Chuck Russell.