Remember Ek Villain? It was a superhit that said that a man can become a serial killer because his wife keeps nagging him. Now, we have Ek Villain Returns, though no member of the original cast actually returns. Instead, we have a very formidable acting quartet: Arjun Kapoor, John Abraham, Disha Patani and Tara Sutaria. Between them, they have at least two-and-a-half expressions, which, frankly, is more than what I expected. And what is this film's philosophy? That a man can become a serial killer because of love. In simpler times, you could make your girlfriend happy by taking her out to dinner or giving her flowers. Now, apparently, you have to take a sledgehammer and butcher other women, while wearing a yellow smiley mask.

No, I have not spoiled anything for you. The film doesn't need me. It does a pretty good job of spoiling itself. Ek Villain Returns is a film of several firsts. It is the first serial-killer movie to also function as a non-stop music video, thanks to non-stop love songs. (Love is the theme, remember?) It is the first serial-killer movie to have scenes set in a zoo --and I propose that next year's film awards include a category for Best Supporting Tiger. Ek Villain Returns is the first serial-killer movie to resemble a fashion show, thanks to the non-stop slow-motion walking by Disha Patani. And it is the first serial-killer movie to have a father utter this line to his son: "I love you. The problem is there is no winning or losing in love." (Love is the theme, remember?) 

There is an element of misogyny in most serial killers – and consequently, in most films about serial killers. But Ek Villain Returns takes this to a whole new level. Agreed, the whole point of being a killer is that you do not have all your mental faculties intact. But the other characters, too, revel in insulting women. For instance, Arjun Kapoor has a scene where he barges into his ex's wedding and creates a ruckus and walks away smug and smiling. Where's a serial killer when you really need one? So yes, there are a few twists. But what's missing is the atmosphere that makes the heart go cold, the directorial skills that take us right into a serial-killer scenario. If Ek Villain Returns is a hit, I guess we'll get another sequel. That thought is more chilling than anything in this movie.