Entertainingly madcap Bollywood remake starring Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez
Remakes are just as rife in Bollywood as its western counterpart. Kick finds director Sajid Nadiadwala making his debut behind the camera repurposing Reddy Surender’s 2009 hit as a glossy vehicle for Salman Khan to strut his stuff and air his grievances on the Indian healthcare system.
It focuses on the romance between uptight psychiatrist Shaina (Jacqueline Fernandez) and bad boy Devi Lal Singh (Khan) aka Devil, a masked thief and adrenaline junkie. On a long train ride to Warsaw with family friend and policeman Himanshu (Randeep Hooda), Shaina reminisces about her romance with Devi whilst Himanshu tells of his arch nemesis.
It’s no spoiler to say that these worlds collide in a crazed, convoluted narrative that plays out like a Bollywood Crank and features a Bond-style villain. Over-the-top action sequences – including a perplexing high-speed chase, which reveals a bus to King's Cross winging its way across Warsaw – sit next to the droll romance, which itself plays second fiddle to Devi’s personal growth from man-child to man.
Fernandez is a fierce dancer and, once her character gets to quite literally let her hair down, she throws mad shapes to rival even Beyoncé’s finest moves. Khan is not so hot on the dance-floor and his jagged movements are distracting rather than mesmerising. However, he fares far better with the slapstick comedy and when emulating his action hero idol Sylvester Stallone. And Nawazuddin Siddiqui (from the excellent Gangs of Wasseypur and The Lunchbox) makes an appearance at the midway point as a corrupt philanthropist, adding yet another puzzling level to this tale of murky morals.
Kick’s combination of elements and outrageous lead are at first bewildering but it's undeniably enjoyable and ends up taking a surprising turn towards tackling societal issues, even if this does feel slightly manipulative.
Selected release from Fri 25 Aug.