One may term 'Khiladi 786' as a rehash of 'Welcome' and 'Housefull 2' with a touch of 'Namastey London' to it. However by no means is that a distraction or digression of any sorts. In fact the very fact that there is 'actually' a storyline in the offering is still a good enough reason for 'Khiladi 786' to fetch a few brownie points.
Otherwise if one looks at some of the entertainers that have done exceedingly well in the recent times, the plot was hardly of any importance whatsoever. Though it doesn't quite go all the way a la 'Housefull 2', it is still far better than 'Son of Sardaar' and 'Bol Bachchan' that belonged to the same genre.
In that perspective there is a lot of movement that director Ashish Mohan brings in 'Khiladi 786', especially in the first half which literally goes by in a jiffy. There are action sequences, gags, songs, one liners, character quirks and a lot more happening in the first one hour that results in one being more than happy with the proceedings. The attitude of 'Khiladi' is established well, 'multicolour' family members bring on good fun and Himesh Reshammiya's angle of being an unsuccessful wedding planner brings on some laughs as well.
Quite a few sequences ensure that there is no dull moment whatsoever. Himesh's goof up at a wedding, Akshay taking on smugglers, Asin's introduction, Mithun's first interaction with Himesh, Akshay's meeting with Asin's family, the sequence where Asin takes him for a drive and the turn of events that follow - it would be just right to say that the entertainment quotient is indeed quite high. Oh yes, one could well challenge almost everything about the play of events here but then when it comes to the film's genre, what is offered is what was promised and hence expected as well.
The film's second half gets a good start as well and while Rahul Singh's episode is woven well into the narrative, the film starts dipping from the point when he actually starts becoming much more relevant to the plot. (Spoilers ahead) This means that from the point he is brought out of jail to the song 'Saari Saari Raat' till the point he barges into the wedding and the Live coverage angle that is thrown somewhere in between, there is a slack in the proceedings. Frankly, if only these 20-25 minutes could have been taken care of well, 'Khiladi 786' could well have been a thoroughly engaging film with no pauses whatsoever.
Thankfully the pause leads to a quick fast forward once Akshay gets into the 'Khiladi' mode again. The fight sequence that follows takes the film to high again, especially when he gets a scratch on his body for the first time in his life. As for the songs, each and every song is integrated well into the film (except for 'Saari Saari Raat') with 'Balma', 'Long Drive', 'Lonely' and 'Hukka Bar' being the pick of the lot.
Akshay clearly seems to be having a lot of fun right through the proceedings and the confidence with which he enacts makes it obvious that the film was tailor-made for him. Other than the action and the dance sequences that he performs with aplomb, what is notable is the manner in which he delivers his one liners. Those are the best parts of the film. Asin is present throughout the film and thankfully has a much better part to play when compared to 'Bol Bachchan'. She does well.
Himesh lets himself loose in 'Khiladi 786' and plays a strong supporting role that requires him to bring on some good comic moments. Mithun Chakravorty is quite good especially when he meets Akshay Kumar's family for the first time. Rajesh Khattar appears in beginning and end of the film and shows that he too can be loud, if required. It is disappointing to see Johny Lever in a very small part though.
Unpretentious - This is what 'Khiladi 786' was expected to be and this is what one gets as well in this full on 'masala' flick that plays on expected lines. Let the fact also be added that the film is much more than just action and music, something that the promos suggested. In addition, it has quite a few one liners that turn out to be added bonus. Majority of these go well with the 'attitude' of 'Khiladi', hence justifying the return of Akshay in this set up.