Despite all of Sandalwood's merits, movies have fallen flat for their absence of a convincing plot and a strong screenplay.
Stunt choreographer Ravi Varma's directorial debut 'Rustum', featuring Shivarajkumar as a merciless cop, is the latest addition to the list.
Varma, who has over 20 years of experience in directing stunts, goes one step further and directs a movie abusing rationality.
The 128-minute film will try your patience like not many other movies can, and at one point gets the workings of a police set-up very wrong, which is quite sad given that this is a cop movie.
This revenge drama tells the story of an IPS officer's belief that only violence is the solution to cleanse a corrupt system.
This belief is used as a weapon to settle scores with a massive criminal mechanism, involving politicians and cops who claim the life of the hero's friend.
Action scenes are aplenty in 'Rustum', with machismo put on full display.
Prepare for that special cringe-worthy moment when the encounter-loving cop is compared to Bhagat Singh.
Many scenes and action sequences are plagiarised. The dialogues, too, have been taken from other police movies. Ten points to you if you can tell which movies Varma has snatched them from!
One original thing about the movie, perhaps, is the title 'Rustum', which, unfortunately, happens to have nothing to do with anything in the movie.
The first half is pretty slow, but the pace picks up after intermission. If the director had hoped to make the first half any better with Sakshi Chowdari's item number, that doesn't work.
There are multiple jokes involving — what Varma surely believes are — the infinite possibilities of humour about the male reproductive organ. If you want to take a washroom break any time during the film, just wait for these scenes to start.
Having donned the role of a police officer in 'Veerappan', 'Mufti' and 'Tagaru', Shivarajkumar knows how to pull a cop off with utmost ease.
He sports a moustache that reminds us of his father, and gets a roaring response when wielding a machete, which, truth be told, is a treat to watch.
Shraddha Srinath, Mayuri Kyatari, Rachita Ram and J Mahendran are pretty good for their roles.
Anoop Seelin scores well for his background music, while B R Lakshmana Rao's song is catchy.