Starring Salman Khan … as Salman Khan!
And Jacqueline Fernandez … as Katrina Kaif!
I jest, although not completely. This is a Bollywood action blockbuster: it’s Salman’s film and Ms Fernandez is invited along for her legs.
That it’s a Salman Khan fest is immediately evident from the ‘tache, biceps and flames poster. It’s why the trailer has had over 16 million youtube views and why the film became India’s biggest opening day grosser this year. We’re not going for stunning dialogue, beautiful cinematography or, well, much sense … we’re going for the man.
And I shamelessly say ‘we’ because I queued up to hand over my ticket price (plus extortionate extra for M&Ms), too. I cheered and clapped and giggled along with the rest of the popcorn-quaffing audience (though I didn’t go as far as the little girl who danced, down in front of the screen, along with the songs).
Salman Khan made an artform of taking the mickey out of Salman Khan films with Dabangg. A wonderful, hilarious moment early in Kick has him, riding a motorbike in a chase, suddenly metamorphose into Chulbul Pandey. Now we know the dish we’re being served.
Salman is Devi – preternaturally intelligent, heroically buff (I see what you did there, buddy). He’ll do anything for a kick. Unable to hold down a job, which girlfriend Jacqueline would like him to do, he breaks her heart and throws his lot in for a life of crime.
Salman is Devil (second half, keep up) – nemesis of decorated, dedicated cop Himanshu (Melbourne alumnus Randeep Hooda) … who just happens to be the arranged beau for Jacqueline, now that she and her family live in Poland.
The move to Poland is never quite explained. Something, something, her father’s a diplomat. Nevertheless, it affords an exciting opportunity to smash sh*t up in Warsaw. There’s certainly a lot of smash & crash in the climactic chase, where Salman commandeers a bus. (Though I spent much of the scene wondering why it was a London bus going to Knightsbridge.)
But it turns out that Devil isn’t really a fiend. He’s doing it for the kiddies … and the real bad guy of the piece is hospital owner Shiv (we know he’s a bad ‘un because he has an evil laugh).
Himanshu doesn’t nab his man, and duly the police take him off the case. They’ve found this other officer – Devi. And Jacqueline’s cheered up, too.
It was a Salman Khan film and Salman Khan was the winner on the day. But an extra round of applause to Jasmine Sandlas, who vocally wrests Yaar Naa Miley from Honey Singh, while Nargis Fakhri items it up in compensation for the awkward of Salman dressed as a Backstreet Boy.