Underworld Ka Kabzaa fails the first rule of the voiceover-led movie – do not provide a running commentary if you have nothing interesting to say.
In any event, the Hindi dub of R Chandru’s Kannada-language Kabzaa tells us what is then shown to us in gruesome detail: milestones in the unstoppable rise of the once-saintly and now-deadly Arkeshwara (Upendra).
Arkeshwara, an Indian Air Force pilot, turns avenger after his brother’s head is delivered to him in a sack (the film adores beheadings). Arkeshwara becomes the muscle for the aristocrat Veer Bahadur (Murali Sharma), and is instrumental in wiping out a rival gangster who threatens mayhem but delivers mostly whimpers.
The latest in a long line of scowling anti-heroes, Arkeshwara reveals his tender side when in the company of Veer Bahadur’s daughter Madhumati (Shriya Saran). Neither actor is young enough to behave like a blushing lover, but that is the least of this film’s problems.
The 136-minute carnage fest is forged in the ashes of Pushpa: The Rise and the K.G.F films. K.G.F’s music composer Ravi Basrur is at hand to deliver a background score that might force you to dash out to buy noise-cancelling earplugs. The only good thing to come of the eardrum-shattering music is that it drowns out the ghastly dubbed dialogue. Despite this, we could not help but register Arkeshwara’s declaration, “I am allergic to sound. I prefer silence.”
That’s about as genuine as the challenges faced by this superhuman, who has deadly designs on adversaries with generous facial hair and massive hairdos. About the most threatening aspect of an irredeemable movie is the words that appear on the screen before the closing credits: “Part 2”.