What is it all about?
Entertainers Akshay Kumar and A.R. Murugadoss come together in the year's touted box office orgy after 'Jai Ho' with 'Holiday - Soldier Is Never Off Duty' - the Hindi remake of Tamil blockbuster 'Thuppakki' (starring Vijay and Kajal Aggarwal). They are successful in delivering in sufficient entertainment dose for B-town action buffs and Akshay Kumar fans. But goes off duty to make any chemistry between Akshay and Sonakshi, who pop up oddly in songs and dance, spoiling the action, and on going romanticism with Akshay. But Khiladi and with his dare devil stunts thankfully complete the mission to at least thrill its target audience.
A.R. Murugudoss scripts his own story and while adding north Indian tadka to his super hit Tamil recipe ignores its side effects. Captain Virat Bakshi (Akshay Kumar), an army man, returns home to Mumbai for his holidays. A 40+ looking Virat goes to see Sahiba (Sonakshi Sinha) with his family but he rejects her for being old fashioned. Later, Virat realizes that Sahiba is the one he is looking for and he tries to woo her. Just when the audience are wondering in despair, Virat witnesses the explosion of a bus in which he had traveled with his police officer friend played by Sumeet Raghavan. Virat captures the man who planted the bomb in that bus and soon finds out that he is a mere executor, a sleeper cell, whose only role was to plant the bomb. He also discovers that a terrorist group which the bomber belongs to, has planned various such attacks in the city in a couple of days. Enlisting the help of his fellow Army men and his friend Virat manages to thwart these attacks and kill the sleeper cell leader's brother and eleven other terrorists. When the leader of the terrorist group Farhad (Feddy Daruwala) finds out about the role of Virat in the failure of the terrorist attack, he lands up in the city to reply back. And how Virat saves the city and his country by finishing the sleeper cells forms the crux of the story.
A.R. Murugudoss's pacing is bit uneven. The love angle is a complete bore and its unwantedly stretched but the thriller parts are engaging, thrilling and enjoyable. To look for any logics and cinematic statements and any hidden message in such genre whose only purpose is to entertain is unfair.
What to look out for?
Akshay Kumar in an action packed avatar is invincible. Looking extremely fit, the B-town action hero is in complete command 'kicking' the right notes extremely enjoyable giving his audience their money worth. A paisa vasool performance. The climax and pre-climax portions will demand repeat viewing from his fans.. A.R. Murugudoss scores full marks whenever the film goes into it required combat mode. Stunts by Greg Powell and Arasu are fabulous. Technically sound with Amitabh Shukla's crisp editing and Nataraja Subramanian sleek cinematography. Sumeet Raghavan as Akshay's friend chips in with good support.
Murgadoss fails miserably in the romance portions. The chemistry between Akshay and Sonakshi is dull. It's difficult to believe that the same Akshay and Sonakshi cracked big in 'Rowdy Rathore'. What a waste? On top of that Pritam music is so routine and the songs are such a big hurdle - almost strangling the movie to an untimely death. Strange but true Sonakshi puts the audience and the movie off whenever she comes on screen. It was so sad to see Govinda reduced to four scenes and he didn't even shook his leg. So off putting. The antagonist Freddy Daruwala is just average. Zakir Hussain is another waste.
Conclusion: 'Holiday - A Soldier Is Never Off Duty' is somewhat muddled by its off putting romantic track but Akshay Kumar in his most wanted action packed avatar is kickass. A mast must watch for Akshay and action buffs..