Tough guys don?t sing and dance, do they? Hang on, Captain Virat Bakshi, the pugnacious protagonist of Holiday, isn?t your average action hero.
He is much more than just a man in military fatigues. Kick-boxer, sharpshooter, dancer, spy: he has the ability to become what he wills.
But one thing he certainly isn?t is a tinker. Half-measures definitely aren?t his scene.
He is an invincible superhero primed to put all invincible superheroes in the shade.
In the city that never sleeps, he leaps before he thinks and pulls off acts of impossible derring-do, not a hair out of place.
He outmanoeuvres, outruns, outguns and outpunches everyone that comes in his way, and all this when he is home on a sabbatical from border skirmishes. Imagine how potent this incredible man would be on the battlefield!
But should a soldier on holiday be allowed to take leave of his senses and run riot? Writer-director A R Murugadoss would have us believe that he should for the greater good of the nation.
The suave DIA (Defence Intelligence Agency) operative is, as it transpires, a DIY bone doctor too.
A violent climactic duel with a terrorist on a vessel anchored off the Mumbai coast leaves the hero with a badly twisted right arm.
Unfazed, he dares the boyish villain to unlock his handcuffs. The baddie heeds the plea.
What happens next generates a burst of unintended mirth. Our Man Flint knocks his own dislocated bones into place before proceeding to turn the tables on his evil adversary.
By that point in the film, which is nearly three hours in, Holiday is a ride gone horribly wrong.
It is a drab and dreary action thriller in which neither the action nor the thrills rise to any great heights.
In the end, Holiday resembles the hero?s aforementioned broken arm, a crooked and cracked limb in desperate need of a bone replacement surgery.
Holiday is a remake of Murugadoss? 2012 Tamil hit Thuppakki, which was a more watchable flick for the most part on account of its unusual plot and an infinitely more imposing bad guy in the shape of Vidyut Jamwal.
Out here, logic is given an extended break as lead actor and co-producer Akshay Kumar, in the guise of the rough and ready soldier, goes about the task of ridding Mumbai of sundry sleeper cells that are planning a huge terror strike.
The man is on leave, so he need not follow any rules. He has a free run of the field, aided occasionally by boyhood chum and feckless local cop Mukund Deshmukh (Sumeet Raghavan) and a retired sniffer dog.
Virat alights from a train at Mumbai Central and is whisked off by his family to see his prospective bride, Saiba (Sonakshi Sinha).
The girl is not my type, Virat rules. She is too bashful and submissive for my liking, the man of ceaseless action declares.
It turns out that the girl isn?t quite the withering lily that Virat thinks she is. She is a boxer who packs a mean punch.
Suitably impressed, Virat has a change of heart, love blossoms and a song ensues.
The number kicks off on a baseball ground and flits from a tennis court to a judo mat to a basketball arena before ending with a javelin piercing a pounding faux heart held aloft by the hero.
And there is more equally ludicrous action on the way. A bus ride ends in a bomb blast, and Virat nabs the terror suspect.
Sure enough, the hero?s holiday quickly turns into a protracted unofficial anti-terror military op.
A dangerous game of one-upmanship unravels between him and the masterminds behind the deadly sleeper cells that are lying in wait to wreak havoc in the metropolis.
The terrorists are led by a shadowy young man (Farhad, formerly Freddy Daruwala) who has a personal grouse against the captain.
Holiday does have a few moments that are absorbing in a facile sort of way, but the novelty of the plot wears off rather quickly.
The methods that the secret agent employs to fight the terrorists raise more questions than they answer. Why on earth would the Mumbai Police so willingly take a back seat when the city is a sitting duck?
Virat, on his part, doesn?t do much sleuthing. He resorts instead to mere surmising and second guessing in order to stay ahead of the bad guys. More often than not, his brainwaves hit home.
Both the pace and length of the film are adversely affected by gratuitous detours that the screenplay takes into romantic banter between the soldier and his girl, which involves the hero?s bumbling commanding officer (a terribly miscast Govinda in a cameo).
Worse still, the songs are bunged in at absolutely wrong junctures, butchering whatever little intrigue is generated by the mild twists and turns inherent in the screenplay.
Holiday lacks the sustained intensity and urgency of an edge-of-the-seat spy thriller.
The script does not allow Akshay Kumar to be the no-nonsense action hero that would have held the film in better stead.
His lover boy act only dilutes the larger-than-life persona of the fearless and single-minded mean machine that he is supposed to be.
Akshay strives hard to make the most of a bad deal. He wins a battle or two, but loses the war.
That, in a nutshell, is the story of the film as a whole