Crakk movie review: Vidyut Jammwal, Arjun Rampal-starrer has mindless action – Hindustan Times

Showing mindless action that sometimes doesn’t even pack a punch has been quite a favourite genre for Bollywood. And Crakk: Jeetega Toh Jiyegaa doesn’t do anything differently to stand out in the crowd. For the novelty factor, and make it look somewhat different from other actioners, the film infuses a lot of extreme sports with action, but it lacks the depth in its narrative and never appears fully convincing as far as the storyline is concerned. Also read | Crakk Jeetegaa Toh Jiyegaa trailer: Vidyut Jammwal pulls off jaw-dropping stunts in intense action thriller. Watch
Director Aditya Datt combines too many tropes to make an impact, and ends up with none of them striking a chord. At the outset, Crakk is clear in its intention – it wants to impress and not leave any lasting impact. But it struggles for most part even while doing so. Also, if watching action and stunts onscreen came with any sort of a disclaimer, Crakk should flash it every few minutes, for there is no dearth of adrenaline pumping sequences it offers. Some are actually quite exhilarating and give you goosebumps, while others end up as poorly enhanced using VFX.
The film opens with Siddharth Dixit aka Siddhu (Vidyut Jammwal), a slum dweller in Mumbai trying dangerous, life-threatening stunts on a moving local train. He leans out of the door, touches poles, climbs on the top and runs from one compartment to another like a cakewalk. His friends call him crack (crazy in the head). Though crack is also an adjective used for very well trained and skilful sports players, I’m not sure if Crakk actually intended to play on this very emotion. Here, it’s Vidyut’s eccentricities, his passion for trying potentially-fatal stunts, and extreme sports that form the crux of the plot.
The story also gives a flashback, where his elder brother Nihal (Ankit Mohan) lost his life in Maidaan, an underground survival sports competition, and hence the parents don’t want Siddhu to follow his footsteps. But, Siddhu couldn’t care less. He continues to film himself doing these dangerous stunts, often getting caught by the police, but he eventually makes it to Maidaan and from the streets of Mumbai, is soon smuggled to a sports arena in Poland.
Here, Siddhu must defeat Maidaan’s showrunner and formidable champion Dev (Arjun Rampal), and equally skilled entrants from other countries. It’s much later in the story that he figures some foul play in his brother’s death, and his motive shifts from just winning the competition to unravelling the truth about Nihal. In his journey, he also meets Alia (Nora Fatehi), an influencer in Maidaan, who considers herself ‘out of his league’, but falls too quick to his cheesy antics and chapri lines. And then the story continues as and how the director deems fit.
Crakk left me confused at many levels. It’s not an out-and-out revenge drama where one brother is avenging the death of the other. It is not entirely about this slum dweller whose dream is to become rich by winning the race money at Maidaan. It is also not about him becoming famous or earn a title by means of cashing in on his innate penchant for sports. Basically, Siddhu’s motive to try his hand at survival sports is never clear, and hence, as a viewer, we are never clear about what the film wants to say either.
Once the story reaches Maidaan, I was pleasantly surprised to see the adrenaline-heavy action and stunts, but the excitement only lasted for those few moments, while the do or die race was on in the battlefield. Once over, the narrative switches back to being lame and meanders to find its ground. The story that Datt has co-written with Rehan Khan, Sarim Momin and Mohinder Pratab Singh doesn’t let you stay in that moment and keeps moving from one point to another without getting the answers to the previous riddle.
Further adding to the misery, Sandeep Kurup’s shoddy editing only mars the whole experience. It’s inconsistent and patchy, and fails to keep you invested. And what’s with the length of the film? At 2 hours 26 minutes, it’s way too dragged and lets boredom seep into it pretty easily.

Vidyut Jammwal’s daredevil acts, electrifying action sequences and dangerous extreme sports offer a visual spectacle for all adrenaline junkies. It doesn’t matter from what cliff or mountain Sidhu takes a leap of faith and jumps, we never see him break a bone or at least get some bruises. For those who have been watching Vidyut’s workout videos in the gym, Crakk offers him a bigger playground, and his fans, a chance to drool over his chiselled muscles a little more. Though in the expression and dialogue department, the actor does struggle a bit and it’s evident.
Then there’s Arjun Rampal aptly playing the antagonist, who bears solid substance and puts up a great show. Amy Jackson as police officer Patricia commands a good screen presence but you can’t help not being distracted by her dubbed Hindi lines, some often out of sync. Nora is once again used as a mere prop and even though her character arc takes the story forward, she doesn’t get ample scope to perform. Jamie Lever’s one-liners and punches peppered cleverly offer the much needed comic relief, and they never sound forced.
It’s evident that Crakk isn’t just calling all adrenaline junkies to enjoy the kick, but it wishes to cater to that particular niche who has a penchant for these extreme sports and action. However, it gets overboard in the process, and goes off track at many places.
I am not sure whether or not Crakk will inspire youngsters to try their hand at extreme sports and take it as a professional career, but Jammwalions (the actor’s fans) would definitely not want to miss this thirst-trap sort of an experience on the big screen that honours muscle over mind, while everything else takes a backseat.
Film: Crakk
Cast: Vidyut Jammwal, Arjun Rampal, Nora Fatehi, Amy Jackson
Director: Aditya Datt
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