"Jannat 2" is stuffed with the buffet-style storytelling that makes commercial Indian cinema seem gluttonously overwhelming by the standards of most Hollywood output. Would a moody Michael Mann crime drama be improved by a musical number? Could a Nancy Meyers crossed-wires romance benefit from a dense, intense thriller subplot?
The film shares its director, lead actor and a few behind-the-scenes names with the 2008 Indian film "Jannat," but this sequel otherwise is a stand-alone affair, with new characters and a self-sustaining story line.
This time out, star Emraan Hashmi plays Sonu Dilli, a street hustler and small-time gun runner who likes to refer to himself as a "cheeky rogue." A local cop (Randeep Hooda) with designs on bringing down a larger gun smuggling ring presses Sonu into working as his informer.
Its something-for-everyone attitude gives the movie a freewheeling, anything-goes feel for a time — the abrupt transition from the first romantic musical number back to the crime story is kind of head-spinning — but it eventually just becomes burdensome. Not long after the film launches its most surprising narrative twist, Sonu retreats to a bathroom where, as he relieves himself, he delivers a soliloquy recapping how incredible the new information is.