: A group of counter-terrorism agents are brought in to track down a man who was once the head of their squad, and is believed to have gone rogue.
: Vivegam is an over-the-top but engaging action thriller with a calculated mix of brawn and brain, action and sentiment, smartly pandering to fans while giving families something to connect with. Right from the moment the film begins, it is all about one man — Ajay Kumar or AK (Ajith Kumar). Once the head of a counter-terrorism squad, AK is now most wanted by the intelligence agencies after his daring strike on a terrorist outfit gives him a hard drive containing codes to launch a nuclear weapon. Assembled to track him down are his former team mates, his friend Aryan Singha (Vivek Anand Oberoi), Mike (Serge Crozon), Rachael (Amila Terzimehic) and Shawn (Arav Chowdharry).
As a team, their previous mission involved capturing Natasha (Akshara Haasan), a brilliant hacker who possessed the codes to launch deadly man-made earthquakes with the nuclear weapons. Even as AK succeeds in tracking down the hacker, we get an unexpected twist that sets him on a rage-filled revenge spree! Meanwhile, there is also AK's pregnant wife Yazhini (Kajal Aggarwal), who becomes a player in the life-threatening mission he has embarked on.
Action is what Vivegam promises and it is what the film offers — bangs for every buck. And Ajith takes it upon himself to single handedly provide plenty of mass-hero moments (a shirt-ripping, six-pack showcasing climactic moment is a particular highlight) and innumerable punch dialogues (Jaikaradhukku munnadi kondadradhum jaichadhukku aprom aadradhum namma agaradhilaye illa).
Vivek Oberoi, who appears in stylish attire, is often used to hype up AK (or rather Ajith), giving fans plenty of whistle-worthy moments in the first half. However, the dubbing for the actor gives the film a dubbed-film feel. Kajal, as the wife who pines for her husband and also proves to be his biggest strength, is quite likeable, while Akshara Haasan, for whom this marks her Tamil debut, acquits herself well in what is essentially an extended cameo role.
Director Siva sticks to his filmmaking style of ramped-up visuals and hyper-editing, and it does take some time to get used to the rhythm of the film, which is way over the top of over-the-top. It even feels like an assault on our senses, initially. Plus, the scenes involving white people talking in Tamil is quite comical. But once the film gets into flashback mode to narrate the mission to capture Natasha, things starts to get engaging. Karunakaran, who appears in these portions, acts as a good comic relief. The stunts, too, are exciting enough to keep us hooked.
The film really takes off in the second half, by when we have gotten used to its loudness. And Anirudh's electric (and again, loud) score lends punch to the proceedings. We also get a formidable antagonist, a friend-turned-foe, whom AK has to take down and stop mass destruction. The battle between them is largely one of wits and it is these moves and counter-moves that give the film its rush.