Vaishali has broken up with her boyfriend Rajesh Khanna to marry her boss. Rajesh decides to crash Vaishali’s wedding so that he can tell her to her face: “I’m over you.”

Vaishali is a “bitch”, in Rajesh’s telling. Some men who cannot accept that the women in their lives have moved on have done far worse. Since Wild Wild Punjab is a whack-a-mole-comedy, the suffering is split equally between Rajesh and his friends, spilling over to viewers too.

Simarpreet Singh’s Netflix movie is the latest break-up treatise from Luv Ranjan. Wild Wild Punjab is based on a story idea by Ranjan and a screenplay by Sandeep Jain and Harman Wadala.

Apart from wondering why Ranjan is unable to move on from this topic – like the moping men in his own films – Wild Wild Punjab inspires puzzlement about the tameness shown by Rajesh (Varun Sharma) and his buddies Mayank (Sunny Singh), Gaurav (Jassie Gill) and Honey (Manjot Singh).

Despite valiant efforts, the quartet cannot generate the mayhem that results from furious imbibing and on-the-fly thinking. Their journey includes an accidental wedding, an unwise run-in with a police officer, and a dangerous encounter with a pair of drug dealers.

Manjot Singh in Wild Wild Punjab (2024). Courtesy Luv Films/T-Series/Netflix.

This isn't The Hangover film, a character says – and right he is too. We are so over this kind of movie, in which scene after scene tries too hard to live up to the title’s promised wildness.

Attentions spans are short for the men under the influence and way in over their heads. The potential in the sub-plot about Radha (Patralekha), who is rejected by her groom-to-be and marries the first available drunk candidate, is ignored for routine slapstick revolving around mislabelled pills and bullets lodging themselves in derrieres.

There are moments when the humour has the sharpness needed to elevate the contrived chaos. The supplier of a faulty gun turns out to be the recipient of that weapon’s discharge. A character yells: put on the music, it’s time for a gun chase. But the self-awareness is short-lived.

Varun Sharma has been wilder in previous films, including Chhichhore and Fukrey 3. Jassie Gill is wasted as the feckless Gaurav, who has a tyrannical father (Gopal Datt). The best character is Manjot Singh’s Honey, who is nattily dressed, irrationally short-tempered and in an intense relationship with his car.

Wild Wild Punjab (2024).