The genre of action thrillers has never been a strong point for Bollywood. With `Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty`, the promise of that changing were strong with slick action in the trailers. However, the pace of the movie is such that the audience has little to look forward to.
The movie has been made only for Akshay Kumar, and the director could have just done away with everyone else. Captain Virat Bakshi comes back on a break from his duties as an army officer. He is in Mumbai to get married, only to be back on duty when he witnesses a bomb blast in a bus. The rest of the movie is about how he unravels a hidden terrorist plot and evades a catastrophic serial blasts in the heart of the city.
Here lies the first problem. It seems that every security authority in the city is a complete nincompoop and even today people are allowed to carry loaded guns and explosive filled bags inside malls, cinema theatres and train stations. Because all the security cameras, metal detectors and the manual frisking are details that have to be overlooked if you want to make a movie.
Secondly, the action sequences are unnecessarily interspersed with comedy and romance. Sonakshi seems completely out of place and hardly makes a difference to the script. Akshay romances her with a `let`s get it over this quickly` expression. Director AR Murugadoss also makes a mistake with casting Freddy Daruwala as the leader of the sleeper cells, he should have got Vidyut Jamwal to reprise his role from the original `Thupakki`. The climactic one-on-one between both martial art experts Akshay and Vidyut would have been a part to watch out for! On the other hand Freddy can hardly stand up to Akshay in the fight sequence.
The first half of `Holiday` manages to rouse the interest of the audience. The premise of the terror threat and sleeper cells is well outlined. The expectation rises as the second half of the movie starts with a fantastic true blue action sequence, where Akshay single handedly takes out a room full of terrorists. What Murugadoss builds (even with its gaping loopholes) is a good future for thrillers, provided filmmakers stay true to the plot. He even manages to pay respect to the Army and its role for the security of the country. But the movie falls short soon after it reaches its final stage. The entire build-up leads up to a very anti climatic end.
Even with Greg Powell`s slickly designed action sequences, and Akshay`s perfect execution; the interruptions of songs and ill-timed comedy is a downer. The movie is 10 minutes short of three hours and you lose patience by the end of it.
The music of the film is nothing to write home about and the same can be said for the background score.
The movie is all about Akshay Kumar. He is the strong, sexy, patriotic army officer who can sing, dance, fight, has a sense of humour. Everything rolled into one. He single handedly finds the head of a terrorist outfits merely based on speculations and interrogation of two people. He even takes them down on his own. If you are a fan of the `Khiladi` of Bollywood, go ahead!