To give the Devil his due, Kick isn?t half as bad as some of the Bollywood flicks that moviegoers have been subjected to in recent months.
Kick is the Sajid Nadiadwala's debut as a director. Sajid is a seasoned producer of money-spinning potboilers. It is no different from the films that his banner usually bankrolls.
Kick revels in excess, which, for a film of its kind, is not necessarily a drawback. It dishes out everything in abundance.
Eye-catching foreign locations, elaborately mounted action sequences, flashy pyrotechnics and stunts straight out of Hollywood superhero movies, song and dance routines bunged in randomly for occasional relief and loads of Dabangg-style dialoguebaazi are all par for the course here.
Take it or lump it. Kick delivers enough harmless lowbrow entertainment not to be dismissed as a complete waste of time for its target audience: the diehard fan of Salman Khan.
It is another matter that the screenplay, which is credited to a quartet of writers, including Chetan Bhagat, is a messy mish-mash that swims in layers of nothingness.
There is one thought that repeatedly flashes across this critic?s mind as sajid peddles his ware over a runtime of two and a half hours. Has our tolerance threshold been so dramatically raised by monstrosities of the Humshakals kind that Kick resembles a solid hit out of the park?
Or is it simply that one has such low expectations these days from star-driven movies that are pitched as surefire blockbusters that even a half decent action flick acquires the looks of a possible breakthrough?
No matter what conclusion one eventually draws, this over-the-top thriller about a messianic superhero (Salman Khan), a never-say-die super cop (Randeep Hooda) and a sniffing, smirking, scowling baddie (Nawazuddin Siddiqui in his first major mainstream movie outing) caught in a convoluted cat-and-mouse game that stretches from Delhi to Warsaw is pedestrian without being outright abysmal.
The male protagonist, Chandni Chowk lad Devi Lal Singh, Devi to friends, is an altruistic and infallible rabble-rouser who seeks a kick from risky encounters.
Life has no meaning for the guy unless it is packed with drama, tension and action at every turn.
Devi ensures the wedding of an intransigent lady MLA?s daughter (Sumona Chakravarti) with his Gujju childhood buddy (Kavin Dave).
Minutes later, he turns up at an eatery and reduces a bunch of eve-teasers to pulp after delivering a sermon to the other guests aimed at shaming them for doing nothing to save the girl in distress.
A psychiatrist, Shaina Mehra (Jacqueline Fernandez), a diplomat?s daughter who has winged it to Delhi purportedly for the wedding, is witness to Devi?s serial acts of heroism.
Predictably, she falls in love with the man despite listing him in her smartphone as ?Headache?.
The hero has a dad (Mithun Chakraborty) and mom (Archana Puran Singh, seen in a single scene) who are as prone to obstreperous dramatics as him.
The ?headache? spreads quickly. It first affects Shaina?s dad (Saurabh Shukla), whose blood pressure shoots up to nearly fatal levels.
Then, as the plot progresses and thickens, the source of the headache becomes a prestige issue for upright police officer Himanshu Tyagi, a man who takes pride in his unblemished track record.
The third pillar of the film is an exploitative healthcare company owner Shiv Gajra, who uses his snazzy hospitals to squeeze people dry.
He makes his first appearance a little into the second half and comes up against the same masked Robin Hood that the cop is on the trail of.
The disguised crime-buster is obviously on a mission and he has to contend with both the law and the outlaw. If only he knew how to deal with a patchy screenplay his task would have been much simpler.
On the acting front, there are three distinct styles on show in Kick.
The first is the Salman Khan style, in which the actor is regarded as truly successful only if he can overshadow the character he is playing.
Does he pull it off? Salman is good at playing Salman. He does it again with aplomb.
The second variety is the one that Randeep Hooda demonstrates. A talented actor, he knows his chops, and does not an ounce more than is needed in a film like Kick. He is none the worse for it.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui, despite being saddled with a weakly written character, shows blinding flashes of brilliance.
One expects the extraordinary from Kick only when Nawazuddin is on the screen. It is unfortunate for both the film and the audience that he isn?t on the screen often enough or long enough.
Kick provides a kick only sporadically. For Salman Khan fans, that should be good enough.