'Wild Dog' is out in the theatres from today (April 2). When the film was launched in 2019, it was planned as a quick film. But the pandemic resulted in a chaotic delay. The action drama is finally out and is determined to draw the Summer crowds. Can the film work with its target audience? Let's find out.
ACP Vijay Varma (Akkineni Nagarjuna) seethes with rage when the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks in Hyderabad and Pune in 2007 runs away from India and lives the life of a religious preacher in Nepal. Due to his anger issues, Vijay Varma gets suspended from leading an NIA operation against the mastermind. This is when he launches a guerrilla operation without official approval. RAW agent Arya Pandit (Saiyami Kher), DGP Hemanth (Atul Kulkarni) and his patriotic team comprising of four men (played by Ali Reza, Mayank Parakh, Prakash Sudarsan and Pradeep) rise to the occasion.
Action roles are not new to Nagarjuna, with him having tried films like 'Officer' in recent years. 'Wild Dog' is in a more authentic space, considering that director Ahishor Solomon has staged it as rawer than polished. Nag completes his director's efforts and delivers a dekko in the intense scenes of the film.
Dia Mirza is good in the role of Nag's wife. Ali Reza, Mayank Parakh, and the other cops are very good choices. Atul Kulkarni is at his usual best. Malhottra Shiva as a terrorist, Rahul Singh as Nawaz, Avijit Dutt as a shady political leader, Dayanand Reddy as a jailed terrorist are cast for the right roles.
Shaneil Deo's cinematography is in step with the nature of the screenplay, especially in the tense scenes. The action scenes are elevated by the smart edits as well. S Thaman's BGM is remarkable in the more crucial scenes of the movie.
Sham Kaushal, the Bollywood action director, imbues the film with some breathtaking stunts. David Ismalone of 'Fast & Furious 7' fame couldn't work on the film in a full-fledged manner because of Visa issues during the pandemic. It was he who had trained the actors with how to use the guns, etc. The Kaushal-Ismalone duo leaves a thorough impact. Shravan Katikaneni's editing and the production design (by Prashant Deshmane and others) are sincere.
Director Ahishor Solomon delivers a mixed package of sorts. If he marshals the talent of his technicians, he could have done better as a writer.
Films dealing with how RAW, IB, Police or NIA nab terrorists on the run are not unfamiliar. Only the name of the organization changes. In 'Wild Dog', Nag plays a suspended NIA sleuth who leads the pack. Even this is not a novel element. To be fair to the makers, they didn't make tall claims about the premise of the film. Nagarjuna and Solomon projected the film as different in terms of how the plot unfolds and is treated.
The technicians do a largely praiseworthy job. The fights are watchable. There are chases, there is a forest-based sequence... As far as Nag's filmography goes, he hasn't done an action film of this scale in years.
That said, 'Wild Dog' lacks the capacity to keep the audience on the edge of their seat. We are told that Vijay Varma and his team are terrific. But we get only a sketchy view of their impeccable calibre.
There are stretches that are yawn-inducing. At the same time, the climax is narrated the right way. It's a blessing that this is a songless feature film. At 129 minutes, the film doesn't go overboard.
'Wild Dog' is nice as far as the technical elements are concerned. But when it comes to the story, it lacks thrilling sequences barring the climax.