It would be unfair to say that 'Dabangg 2' is primarily for Salman Khan fans. As a complete package affair, it works for a larger section of audience. What works most in the film's favour is it's rapid pace that results in it passing by in a jiffy. An out and out entertainer that makes you look more into the character (of Chulbul Pandey) than the real storyline (which hardly exists), 'Dabangg 2' is a huge winner.
Yes, in the process it is also quite obvious that from the storyline perspective there are neither any surprises at store nor any major conflicts offered. However if at all there was a film that had to be titled 'The Chronicles of Chulbul Pandey', 'Dabangg 2' would be it.
The film stands tall on two pillars - Salman Khan's star power and Arbaaz Khan's presentation. With absence of either of the two, the film wouldn't have been half as entertaining as it eventually turned out to be. However, there is no scare quotient around this as the combined power results in a quick-fire entertainer that doesn't have a single dull moment in those two hours. So much so that even when Chulbul Pandey is not busy taking on Prakash Raj (who anyways doesn't come across as a true blue villain at all, but more about that), he takes centre-stage as a family man, something that turns out to be immensely enjoyable.
This is evident most in the manner the relationship between Salman Khan and Vinod Khanna emerges. Frankly, a little more saccharine, a softer tone of conversation and more subtle wit and their scenes could well have played out of a Sooraj Barjatya film! It can be comfortably stated that when Pandeyji is not beating the pulp out of villains, he has his best moments with his on-screen dad. Not that he doesn't go around wooing his wife (Sonakshi Sinha) all over again even at home. Entirely domesticated and at ease with her extended family, Sonakshi comes and goes but makes her presence felt in those short scenes.
On the other hand Arbaaz keeps it short and simple for his acting part in the film. He gets four-five scenes for himself and leaves a very good impact at least twice; one when he reaches out to Salman and asks for a job (heartfelt) and secondly when he finally reunites with his wife (Mahie Gill, in an ultra short part).
However, and as expected, the man who keeps the entire show running with no interruption or hindrance whatsoever is Salman Khan. Right from the opening credits where the escapades of Chulbul Pandey from 'Dabangg' are flashed to the way he goes about cracking jokes with his team of policemen to the camaraderie that he shares with his senior (Manoj Pahwa) to the wit that he brings in practically every conversation of his to the way he goes around reacting to the most life threatening situations (courtesy Deepak Dobriyal and Nikiten Dhir) as a mere joke, he doesn't allow the tempo to slow down.
Meanwhile it is apparent that 'Dabangg 2' was relying on a very weak script. In fact one wonders whether the makers actually realised that from the beginning and hence concentrated entirely on Salman and the presentation. Reason being that the core conflict between Salman and Prakash Raj (not as effective as a 'Singham' or a 'Wanted') hardly holds much meat. Moreover, the whole film comes across as a mere episode that Chulbul Pandey would have battled in say a fortnight's time and got rid of that. It is all so easy, convenient and simple that you almost feel if Chulbul too was missing a much better conflict, if not the opponent.
This is where Arbaaz comes into picture as along with his technicians and dialogue writer, he makes sure that not even five minutes go by when something interesting is not happening on screen. He brings in a 'masala bhelpuri' that has everything from action, emotions, dance, drama and humour coming in as a result of which as a viewer, you don't get a single moment to divert your attention to checking your mobile phone. Meanwhile his crew does full justice to the genre with music, cinematography, action, sound design, background score and some rapid editing making 'Dabangg 2' an engaged watch.
Let this review be concluded with a statement that could be considered as bold by many - 'Dabangg 2' is a better film than 'Dabangg'. Yes, that's true, and in fact not a mean task to be achieved. However, Arbaaz Khan has managed to do that with complete involvement of Salman Khan while ensuring that the core essence of the brand and the character is retained.