Emraan Hashmi is a young man who can turn invisible at will. Just think of all the cheeky possibilities that premise could throw up. Alas, it’s not the route director Vikram Bhatt goes down in Mr X, a singularly humorless film that’s sorely lacking in thrills, a coherent plot, and even basic common sense.
Hashmi’s character, Raghu, an officer in the Mumbai anti-terrorism squad, survives a deadly attack on his life in a chemical factory by his corrupt boss (Arunoday Singh). Severely disfigured, Raghu is ‘saved’ by a helpful scientist who offers him an anti-radiation drug still in the testing stage that instantly results in complete cell regeneration, but also turns him invisible except in direct sunlight and in blue lighting.
It’s the kind of bunkum that’s impossible to logically explain. Even Bhatt knows that; he gets the scientist to quickly declare it a miracle of god: “The more science knows, the more it realizes it knows nothing.”
Raghu, who now rechristens himself Mr X, decides to use these new ‘powers’ to seek revenge on his offenders. Meanwhile his fiancée (Amyra Dastur), a fellow officer in the ATS, literally “sniffs” out the fact that Raghu is Mr X, and convinced that he has gone rogue, becomes obsessed with stopping him in his bloodthirsty mission.
Borrowing ideas liberally from films like Mr India, Ghost and Hollow Man, Bhatt gives us a bargain-basement sci-fi film with special effects so tacky it makes his own last film Creature seem like Jurassic Park in comparison. The acting seesaws between bored (Emraan Hashmi) and hammy (Arunoday Singh), while leading lady Amyra Dastur, playing a character so stupid you have to wonder how she was hired in the police force, is screechy and grating for the most part.
Delivering none of that sense of fun and discovery that you’d expect from a scenario in which someone suddenly found out they were invisible, Mr X is lazily scripted and often not true to its own logic. Naturally there are multiple instances of Hashmi locking lips with his leading lady while he’s invisible, including once while they’re underwater in a swimming pool. When even that feels too predictable to evoke a giggle, you know this film doesn’t have a chance.
I’m going with a generous one out of five for Mr X. They were optimistic enough to leave the film open for a possible sequel. That one-star rating then is for courage alone.