The Takeoff Is Slow, But Altogether A Satisfying Hero Movie
Let's do Hairy Chest Thumping. And turn an opportunistic Indian 'Biznessman' into a Hero. Oi! Nothing wrong with that. But this 'turning' is so slow to take off you have enough time to google how the war on Iraq started and guess what brand shirts Akshay Kumar is wearing... But when the film takes off, it is a good watch.
Let's get the fan girl crush thing over with. Akshay dancing in a cream suit is a sight for sore eyes. He's so manly even though you wish he wasn't snatching instruments off the band members and playing them...
I love the fact that Akshay Kumar is one of the few big stars who isn't afraid to play his age. That said, the story is still in that zone where the filmmakers think 16 year boys playing with guns, killing people is 'ek do din ki baat'. You're sitting in the seat going, 'Seriously? Do something, dude?'
But when Akshay relalises that he has to do more than just save his family, you begin to crush on him again. He's so calm and confident you like that despite that niggling need to fast forward the movie a little.
I like 'unlikely hero' movies. They follow a pattern and this one does too. Follows the trope faithfully in fact. Maybe that's why the story literally takes off in the second half. Things begin to happen. Some positive, some negative. But Akshay Kumar remains earnest and good. The supporting characters - from Purab Kohli to complaining George, from Miserable Saudi mom to Akshay's drinking buddies and even the creepy Hindi Film dialog quoting Iraqi Major - are all well cast.
You as audience, mostly feel like the external affairs 'babu' Sanjeev Kohli - frustrated because you cannot do much, but wanting to help. The movie frustrates you with its textbook patriotism, but its heart is in its right place. You forgive the couple of mistakes you spot along the way simply because there's history backing the whole 'let's save ourselves' deal.
Go watch the film so you can believe in this thing called everyday heroes. Go watch the film because only Indians will make a war/action/rescue drama with songs.
p.s. I wonder what happened to the 500 people sent off on the garbage ship?
p.s. Are hairy chests back in style? I missed the memo...