Mastermind Charlie Mascarenhas (Abhishek Bachchan) and his accomplice Riya (Bipasha Basu) are one of the greatest pair of thieves in India. A friend of Charlie, Raj (Aftab Shivdasani) is killed by the Russian mafia. At Rajs funeral, his wife hands Charlie a CD containing information about the transfer of gold by train from Russia to Romania. Charlie decides to rob the train with the help of imprisoned Don and con-artist Victor Braganza (Vinod Khanna). They hire a team of criminals to join them in the robbery.
The group includes Spider (Neil Nitin Mukesh), who is a world-class hacker, an explosives expert Bilal Bashir (Sikander Kher), a prosthetic makeup artist Sunny (Omi Vaidya), and an illusionist Ronnie (Bobby Deol).Charlie is also having an affair with Victors daughter, Naina (Sonam Kapoor), who knows nothing about her father and Charlies criminal activities. The group devise a plan to rob the Russian train in the sliest way possible. Spider hacks into a Russian satellite system and Ronnie uses his illusion to trick the soldiers guarding the gold while the rest of the team transfer the gold from the train. The robbery is executed successfully, however while celebrating Spider double crosses the gang and tries to flee with all of the gold.
Spider is stopped by Ronnie, who is then shot multiple times by Spiders assassins. The group are chased by the assassins and Ronnie and Riya are killed. Charlie, Bilal and Sunny manage to escape after Spider blows up the location and flees with the gold. Charlie calls Victor to tell him about the betrayal, but Naina overhears the conversation. At the same time Spiders assassins break into the house and murder Victor.
Naina decides to cut all contact with Charlie. Over the course of a year, Charlie contacts various gold dealers to find which one has the stolen gold that Spider escaped with.In New Zealand, the gang locate a dealer who is in contact with Spider. Charlie explains to Naina that the gang only wanted to steal the gold so they could help achieve Victors dream of building a big orphanage. Naina understands and teams up with Charlie to exact revenge on Spider.
In New Zealand they discover that Riya is still alive and living there. She explains that she also wanted revenge on Spider and provides the gang with the information about Spiders residence. Unaware of her plans, Spider flirts with Naina and takes her to his villa. Spider finds a hidden camera in Nainas hair and realises that she is working with Charlie, who runs in to rescue her and tells Spider that he will steal all of the gold within 48 hours. Spider tries to move the gold to another country, but the gang, using three large trucks and by hacking into the traffic system, take the gold and hide it inside three Mini Coopers.
Just as they are about to leave New Zealand, they are caught by Spider and discover that Riya was working with Spider all along.Spider tries to force the gang to hand over the gold, but the trunks of the Mini Coopers are empty. Spider betrays Riya and threatens to kill her. Before Charlie can reveal the real location of the gold, Riya shoots herself and Spider stabs Charlie. Spider tries to escape, but Sunny and Bilal stop him and beat him up badly.
Naina, who wants revenge for the death of Victor, shoots Spider thrice. It is then revealed that the real Mini Coopers containing the gold are elsewhere. As the four leave the scene, Spider makes a final call to the Russian mafia and tells them that Charlie has stolen Russian gold. The gang take the real Mini Coopers and leave for India, but the Mafia stop them to check the cars and once again they are found to be empty. It is then revealed that the Mini Coopers were made out of the actual gold itself.
In the end, Bilal opens a car dealership business, Sunny becomes a theatre actor, Charlie and Naina open Victors dream orphanage and Charlie raises Ronnies daughter as his own.Players received a mixed reception from critics. Joginder Tuteja from IndiaGlitz gave it 4 out of 5 stars and said Fantastic - Thats what you end up exclaiming once the last twist of Players takes you by complete surprise. Oh yes, there are around half a dozen or more twists in this film, something which was pretty much expected since the men at the helm of affairs are Abbas-Mustan. Subhash K.
Jha from Bollywood Hungama wrote, Players does a first-rate job of adapting The Italian Job. Its slick and well-written, eye-catching and intelligent, witty and delectable. It beats every other action-adventure flick in recent Bollywood history. Oneindia.in also gave a positive review, and said that, Players electrifies movie buffs with its hi-voltage action.
The highlights of the movie are wonderful performances by the lead actors, stylised stunts, adrenaline-pumping chases, stunning visuals, Pritams songs and comic sequences. But the editing work is a big let down. Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India gave the film a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars and wrote, Music by Pritam is good while it lasts. Some editing sorely needed, visual imagery quite polished, and the look as usual is of new age Bollywood.
Daily Bhaskar rated it 3 out of 5 and said, Direction by Abbas-Mustan, cinematography and an edgy plotline are the strong points. Music, dialogues and performances (besides Bipasha and Neils performance) are the weak points. Piyali Dasgupta from NDTV gave it 3 out of 5 stars and said, Players ends up as a fun weekend flick, especially for action buffs. Abhishek Bachchan shows some of the style of the Dhoom series. Neil Nitin Mukesh, largely off the radar after an intense performance.
Bipasha too shows a hint of Race with her glamourous role and that red bikini. Sonam Kapoor somewhat redeems herself as an actor playing the good geek Naina. But dont expect much from Pritam's music. Zee News gave it 3 out of 5 stars and said, Abbas Mustan's Players is a slick, fast paced and racy thriller. Technically the film is brilliant, but when it comes to drama and emotions, the film falls flat on its face.
In comparison to The Italian Job, Players' is long and overstretched. Kaveree Bamzai of India Today also gave it 3 out of 5. Players also received a number of negative reviews. Taran Adarsh from Bollywood Hungama gave it 2 out of 5 stars and wrote, On the whole, PLAYERS rides mainly on the clout of its credible director duo [Abbas-Mustan], daredevil stunts and stunning visuals. But, most importantly, it is deficient of a captivating screenplay.
Rajeev Masand of IBN Live rated it 2 out of 5 and wrote, Players is a fastpaced khichdi. Abhishek Bachchan is earnest, and thankfully dials down his trademark smugness to play the ringleader of the team. Neil Nitin Mukesh gets some interesting scenes to sink his teeth into. Bipasha Basu fills out a bikini nicely, but poor Sonam Kapoor changes her costumes and her hairstyle more frequently than her expressions. What could have been a satisfying entertainer doesnt quite achieve its potential.
Karan Anshuman of the Mumbai Mirror gave it 2 out of 5 stars. Aniruddha Guha from DNA India awarded it 2 out of 5 and wrote, The writing is juvenile, the dialogues a joke, the acting over-the-top, yet everyone seems to be taking themselves so seriously. Sukanya Verma of Rediff also gave the film a rating of 2 out of 5 stars and wrote, Players is lacklustre and unimaginative. Mayank Shekhar of the Hindustan Times gave it 1.5 out of 5.
Komal Nahta from Koimoi rated it 1 out of 5 and wrote, Whats good? The train robbery sequence; some comedy in the second half; Omi Vaidya and Neil Nitin Mukesh's acting. Whats bad? The loose and uninteresting screenplay; the poor music; the dull acting of Abhishek, Sonam and Bobby. Yahoo! Movies gave the film a rating of Game Over and said that, the remake of The Italian Job is definitely a job taken not so seriously.
Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Bobby Deol, Omi Vaidya, Sikander Kher
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