All of us know this is not going to be great cinema. Or good cinema. Or even perhaps tolerable cinema. It’s going to be a bone-crunching, fist-flying, logic-defying series of scenes strung together for action junkies who haven’t given up on the Khiladi series. Even though it’s been strictly downhill after the first in the list, with one minor peak in Khiladiyon ka Khiladi.
That first was directed by Abbas-Mustan and turned out to be such a big hit that it became a career-defining one for its lead actor Akshay Kumar who was, and is still, called Khiladi Kumar. Each successful film after that has descended lower on the cinematic ladder though the box-office kept them going till it seemed like it was end-game for the Khiladis. Now Akshay Kumar returns with the eighth in the series, a good 12 years after Khiladi. He kept the brand alive during the hiatus though; in 2008 he hosted the Indian version of the international TV reality show Fear Factor, which was called Khatron ki Khiladi in his honour. Smart move — it was a huge success, not in small degree due to its host who showed how it was done and why he is the Khiladi.
Another smart move is the timing. Akshay Kumar is currently on a roll, old-style dishum dishum is back with a bang, action tossed up with comedy (the staple of the Khiladi movies) is hot at the box-office. Khiladi fans will go home happy if there one kick-ass helicopter action sequence, (remember Sabse Bada Khiladi?). Forget acting and all that, this is going to be about action and stunts. And nobody, but nobody, does it better than Akshay Kumar. This time, the director is Ashish Mohan, who assisted Rohit Shetty on the Golmaal films and All The Best. Need we say more? Finally, whether you’re going to consider the Khiladi movies a franchise or not is up to you. That’s marketing talk. Just let the tough guy talk; mostly through his fists.
Bottomline: Strictly for action junkies.
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Asin, Mithun Chakraborty, Paresh Rawal, Himesh Reshamiyya, Johnny Lever
Director: Ashish Mohan
Releases: December 7