You’d have to jog your memory to remember, but a long, long time ago, Govinda actually had the comic chops to make you laugh. His spot-on timing and flair for the slapstick were virtually unrivaled. Today, unfortunately he’s like a grizzled lion that has lost his bite. Watching him in Loot, alongside such repeat offenders as Sunil Shetty, Javed Jaffrey and Mahaakshay Chakraborty, you’re filled with pity as you witness him struggle to make a joke stick. He’s reduced to doing strange accents in a loud voice. And he’s just not funny anymore. 

Neither is Loot, for that matter, although it’s intended as an action-comedy about four conmen on the run from the cops and some goons, when their underworld boss sends them to Thailand on an assignment. Working off a lazy script, director Rajnish Raj Thakur’s film borders on Chinese torture – the plot is pointlessly complicated, the dialogues are expectedly third-rate, and the performances, right from Mahesh Manjrekar to Ravi Kissen, Kim Sharma and singer Mika (making his acting debut), are so grating that sitting in the theatre, you feel as if someone has just run their nails down a blackboard. Precious little is expected out of Sunil Shetty and Mahaakshay Chakraborty, but Javed Jaffrey and Govinda can’t rise above this flawed film either. 

I’m going with a generous one out of five for Loot. My favourite scene is one in which Mahaakshay’s character goes next door to demand that a noisy neighbor turn down his blaring speakers. In reply, the neighbor pours his glass of beer on Mahaakshay’s head. If only the audience could do the same to the perpetrators of this lousy comedy. 

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