Cast: Manish Paul, Manish Chaudhari, Varun Badola, Elli Avram
Director: Saurabh Varma
I wouldn't be surprised if Mickey Virus was greenlit only because some smart-alec marketing wiz pitched it as the next Vicky Donor. Problem is, this film is never more than just a good pitch. A concept in search of a plot.
Happy-go-lucky drifter Mickey Arora (Manish Paul) spends his days hanging out with friends, hacking into software and websites just for fun, or to make a quick buck. When a string of mysterious murders in Delhi points to an organized cyber-crime ring, a local cop (Manish Chaudhari) recruits a reluctant Mickey to help the police department in solving the case.
First-time writer-director Saurabh Varma shoots the film's lighter scenes without too many hiccups, but fails to raise the stakes when Mickey himself becomes embroiled in the mess; you never once feel like he's truly in danger. None of the supporting characters are fleshed out substantially, least of all Mickey's friends who go by the nicknames Chutney, Floppy and Pancho.
There's a lot of staring into computers and muttering about servers and firewalls, but the film makes hacking look so easy, you have to wonder why more people don't take it up as a full-time profession. The suspense in the end feels contrived, and the twists along the way are not hard to guess.
Leading man Manish Paul has an easy manner about him, but he's lumped with a script that doesn't give him much to do aside from contorting his face repeatedly. His romantic subplot (with model Elli Avram) lacks spark, and the songs are nothing to write home about either. The only other actor who makes any impression is Varun Badola, as a sidekick cop, who delivers cheeky one-liners with a straight face.
Mickey Virus isn't unwatchable, but at 2 hours and 15 minutes, it certainly overstays its welcome, offering little by way of laughs or thrills. I'm going with two out of five. Walking out of the cinema, you've forgotten it already.
Rating: 2 / 5