"Double Dhamaal" — "Fun" in Hindi — features four goofy unemployed guys so desperate to strike it rich they will do just about anything to grab some cash. They are Adi (Arshad Warsi), Manav (Jaaved Jaaferi), Roy (Riteish Deshmukh) and Boman (Ashish Chowdhry), and they could easily be called the Four Stooges. The four hard-working comedians, director Indra Kumar and writer Tushar Hiranandani are awe-inspiring in their sheer stamina and seemingly inexhaustible energy in sustaining a 138-minute running time that by Hollywood standards is about 50 minutes too long for comedy but is typical for Bollywood.
The film is amiably silly, gaudy and even pleasantly diverting for the non-Hindi-speaking viewer who realizes that the verbal gags that elicited laughter in the original language tend to elude translation via English subtitles. The comedy, however, is also heavy on slapstick, pratfalls and crazy disguises.
At any rate, the doofus quartet is somehow acquainted with Kabir (Sanjay Dutt), a rugged-looking, middle-aged and decidedly shady Mumbai tycoon who pretends to take them on as investors in a fake oil field scheme in order to set them up to ensnare and bilk a rich, phony preacher. That's barely the beginning of the nonstop shenanigans and adventures, which eventually proceed to Macao, where Kabir has just bought a fancy casino. He also has two gorgeous girlfriends, Kamini (Mallika Sherawat) and Kiya (Kangna Ranaut), who eventually provide love interest for two of the stooges.
"Double Dhamaal" — the first "Dhamaal" came out two years ago — may be wearying for some viewers, but crazy, cockamamie incidents, some of them inventive, hurtle along at a fast clip with considerable bounciness and boundless good nature. The obligatory musical numbers are cleverly framed as the various characters' daydreams and never interrupt the film's steady pacing. In its extremely broad humor, "Double Dhamaal" is, for the most part, fun.
No MPAA rating; in Hindi with English subtitles
Running time: 2 hours, 18 minutes
Playing: At selected theaters in Los Angeles and Orange counties.