The sequel is rarely as good as the original, butif the original itself wasa mind-numbing experience masquerading as comedy, what could you expect from Part 2?

Director Indra Kumar has reunited the team from the 2007 comic caper Dhamaal for a dafter version called Double Dhamaal. And he’s added two ladies to the ensemble—played by Mallika Sherawat and Kangna Ranaut. At the end of Part 1, Adi (Arshad Warsi), Manav (Jaaved Jaafery), Roy (Riteish Deshmukh) and Boman (Ashish Chowdhry) had donated a massive haul of money they had acquired to charity. At the start of the sequel, they are down and out, broke and desperate. Rather than procure gainful employment or do some honest work, the useless quartet expends energy and time on arbitrary get-rich-quick schemes, such as robbing drunken men who are dumber than they are.

Dumb and dumber: (from left) Sanjay Dutt, Ashish Chowdhry and Arshad Warsi in a still from the film.

Bata Bhai (Satish Kaushik), a local don, does so. But when Kabir, Kamini and Kiya’s con is revealed and they have absconded with the money, it is the four men who are left at the receiving end of Bata Bhai’s ire.

The only choice left to Roy, Boman, Adi and Manav is to leave the country. The action now shifts from India to Macau, coincidentally Kabir’s new base. The foursome plots revenge, leading to the actors adopting various disguises and avatars. For instance, Warsi plays Dutt’s sidekick Ghanta Singh, a sardar who is also asardar (effective); Deshmukh is both an Afro-Caribbean man who woos Ranaut and also a paunchy, wealthy Gujarati businessman who is a potential investor in Dutt’s Macau casino. He is accompanied by his Hispanic wife Barbara Gori, played by Chowdhry.

To find out who wins this round, you have to watch Double Dhamaal, and then prepare yourself for the inevitable Part 3. But despite the asinine plot, garish costumes, decibel levels and agonizing events on screen, within the cacophony there are a few good lines and surprising laughs. Bata Bhai trying to reform himself into a saffron-clad godman, a scene with a horse bolting, leaving the boys behind in a cart, after which they hide inside coats hanging off a rail, are amusing. At the same time, the spoof of Taare Zameen Par is in poor taste. So are the racist references to Deshmukh’s “black man" Tukharam Kale. He makes his entry with the background chant of “kaalia" and when Kiya asks him how he happens to speak such good Hindi he says, “Meri maa kaali, mera baap Kale, Sadanand Kale."

Before the interval, Warsi, Deshmukh, Jaafery and Chowdhry appear in all the scenes together, shouting their lines, speaking together or in sequence. Fortunately, in the second half, the director splits them up into different roles and scenarios.

Dutt tries his best but seems ill at ease for the most part. The girls infuse some zest into their shallow roles. Sherawat particularly gives the Jalebi bai song her best pelvic thrusts. Of the rest, Deshmukh’s performance is the only one worthy of note. He stands out for his mimicry of yesteryear matinee idols such as Rajesh Khanna and Sanjeev Kumar and is quite impressive as the portly Gujarati businessman. Otherwise this comedy is devoid of subtlety. In an attempt to get a laugh, it leans on overacting and dimwittedness.

If you liked Part 1, this one might entertain you enough. If you did not, then spare your eardrums and give Double Dhamaal a miss.

Double Dhamaal released in theatres on Friday.

Driving force

Supriya Nair

‘Cars 2’ released in theatres on Friday.