Rohit Shetty makes his web series debut with a show not terribly different from any of his previous cop movies, in which daredevil law enforcement officials race against time to nab nasty Islamist terrorists. From bomb blasts to action sequences, sentimental family moments to songs, Indian Police Force feels every inch like a heavily padded Shetty film.
The Prime Video series has been directed by Shetty and Sushwanth Prakash and written by Sandeep Saket and Anusha Nandkumar. The yawn-inducing plot revolves around two members of a Delhi Police special unit who team up with a Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad member to track down an Indian Mujahideen terrorist behind a series of bomb blasts.
Kabir (Sidharth Malhotra) and Vikram (Vivek Anand Oberoi) are in hot pursuit of Zarar (Mayyank Taandan), who is posing as an ittar seller to his wife Nafeesa (Vaidehi Parushmani). Zarar’s boss Rafeeq (Rituraj Singh) is holed up in Iran, from where he keeps promising earthly rewards to Zarar. Back in Delhi – which despite location shooting feels and sounds suspiciously like Mumbai – Kabir and Vikram chase the clues that they hope will lead them to Zarar.
There is some trumped-up tension in the form of intra-department rivalry after Tara (Shilpa Shetty) arrives on the scene. While the deep detailing afforded by the long-form format is largely missing¸ there is a half-hearted attempt to explain the roots of Haider’s radicalisation (without naming the aggressor, of course).
Despite ample displays of fire power, there’s zero spark in this latest instance of swaggering supercops dashing about saving lives. The dialogue has the same lack of energy as the narrative itself, with lines such as “Let’s find this ghost who bombs” and “Lupus a rare disease – rare like her” landing with the same dull thud as most of the been-there-seen-that action set pieces.
Sidharth Malhotra’s Kabir has the meatiest role, with a back story revolving around his wife Rashmi (Isha Talwar), but that isn’t to say that his character lingers in any way. Even Zarar, who leaves a trail of bodies in his wake, barely registers. A bunch of recent films in Tamil and Malayalam has changed the way we look at policing. Indian Police Force is dated on arrival – and only about halfway alive too.