Special Ops 1.5 Review: back and forth narration tiredly gives in to bolly traps

The prequel or sequel, whatever deemed fit, Special Ops 1.5 is a time travel and character-building series of protagonist Singh.

The prequel or sequel, whatever it might call itself, Special Ops 1.5, has distinctively set its foot in the right direction but lost its ground tiredly. The first season has painted the lead as a man with decisive intellect who spins to action after assessing the situation.

In Season One of Special Ops, R&AW agent Himmat Singh tersely uses a canny break-up of Bolly dialogue. It was a great hook for the first season that takes eight long episodes and several unhurried and hurried detours to reach the finishing line. The bad Islamists were killed. And the smart Indian spies go back home victorious and happy.

Special Ops 1.5 begins with a confused and clueless interlocutor duo of Banerjee and Chaddha (Kali Prasad Mukherjee and Parmeet Sethi), trying to make a retirement reportage on Singh, who curiously spends lakhs of ‘Sarkari funds’ on vague categories like miscellaneous expenses.

The tireless montage

As the story is a back story of Singh, it is expected to have a lot of time-travelling. But to counter the visual jar, editors have decided to use long montage shots. Each time Himmat’s confidante Abbas Sheikh (Vinay Pathak) began a new chapter, the camera captures the Singh and his aides either in transit or walking in and out of the airport. Each episode has at least two to three such montages.

The Trailer of Special Ops 1.5

As a result, all viewers were expectantly waiting for Kay Kay Menon to rescue us in his younger self. Nothing changes with age for R&AW officer Himmat Singh. Menon is the same sardonic himself, sharp, pushing back at corrupt and incompetent seniors, and catching the backs of his colleagues. The only addition is his distracting hairstyle. Like the first season, HImmat Singh’s interaction with Abbas is a plot reviver.

The acting skill of the cast is already proven multiple times. But the conforming acting of Pathak needs a shout out. Officer Vijay, played by Aftab Shivdasani, is an earnest officer who fails to paint a lasting picture on viewers. Vijay gives more of a sidekick to the storyline. 

Warning: Traps ahead

The four-episode long spin-off unwantedly and fell into the usual holladrum of storytelling in Bolly style. A sudden storm of emotions that ended with uncanny Bollywood dialogue short phrasing does not score any brownie points. Unlike the first season, the movie does not have that many action sequences apart from running and protecting one’s life.

The most predicted trap was Anita, Himmat’s love interest blowing up her cover. After a sumptuous dinner, Anita, a sub-editor at a newspaper, expectantly asked what kept him so busy in London that he could not even call her once, despite Himmat telling her that he was paying Lucknow a working visit.

The trap does not end there. After the reveal and losing college friend officer Vijay, Himmat shot Anita right on her head when she reassures her genuine love for him. The final scene of Special Ops 1.5 zooms on Menon, who just smelled the plot for the next sequel with Farooq stepping into Himmat shoes.


Unlike the first part shot in the picturesque location of Dubai, the 1.5 spin-off travels only between airports. The only reviving shooting location is Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. If anyone of you likes the 80s climax maximizing effect, you are at the right place. The super high pitched Bolly background music creates a noisy barrier to the emotional content.    

The dialogues are patent Neeraj Pandey directorial dialogues. Worth noticing, all four episodes are named after a movie. The plot that prepares for blue-eyed boy Farooq Ali’s re-entry gives us a new method of honey trapping. The audience indeed never heard of ‘sexpionage by Russian roulettes.

The dusky and indoor shot series deserves a one-time watch to understand a few aspects of the first season and prepare for the sequel.   

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