‘Khiladi 786’ is a cookie cutter version of numerous garish, loud, ensemble cast comic action dramas produced by Bollywood in the last two years.
The action sequences could have been copy pasted from ‘Singham’ or ‘Rowdy Rathore’, the costume a rehash of ‘Tees Maar Khan’ or ‘Bol Bachchan’, characters borrowed from here and there. But what differentiates the return of Akshay Kumar’s khiladi is the plot line.
An unsuccessful wedding arranger (Himesh Reshammiya) match-makes the wedding of ‘Punjab da puttar’ 72 Singh with Mumbai don TTT’s (Mithun Chakraborthy) sister Indu (Asin). Just when it looks like the luckless 72 (Bahattar) is about to find a desi bride, Indu reveals she is in love with Azad (Rahul Singh), a small time criminal who is prone to trouble and landing himself in jail.
There is also a track about a separated birth brother, make believe cops and an album of annoying tunes that interrupt the story all too often, mostly in Reshammiya’s nasal voice. It isn’t bad enough that you have to hear him sing, but also watch him act!
Asin hardly has two scenes in which to make an impact and, therefore, does not. And how often are we going to see Mithun Chakraborthy playing a Maharashtrian hard-ass? It’s only Akshay Kumar who manages to add energy and character to a film that feels like Mumbai’s rush hour traffic – noisy, slow-moving, and chaotic with bursts of acceleration.
Every time the writers run out of punch-lines they repeat certain jokes. Director Ashish R Mohan uses the khiladi refrain like a chant, an anthem, which grates, much like the assault by the rainbow colored palette. In spite of all this, there are a few genuinely funny and original moments which spring out like surprises in an otherwise ridiculous and tiresome film.