Director: Rohit Shetty
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh
Critic’s Rating: 3.5/5
Story: Sooryavanshi follows DCP Veer Sooryavanshi, the Chief of India’s Anti-Terrorism Squad, as he attempts to protect Mumbai from one of the worst terror attacks in history.
Review: Rohit Shetty has tactfully expanded his cop universe over the years – keeping the audience engaged and die-hard fans of the genre on the edge. After the Singham series (headlined by Ajay Devgn) and then Simbaa (starring Ranveer Singh), now storms in Sooryavanshi (Akshay Kumar), amidst much fanfare, drama, and blaring theatrics. Sooryavanshi’s character was subtly announced towards the end of Simmba. The film has all the elements, attitude, style, showmanship and heavy-duty star power expected of a Rohit Shetty offering.
Similar to Simmba, even this cop action saga is narrated by Ajay Devgn, who reminds us of the several terrors attacks which Mumbai has encountered since the 1993 serial blasts to the 2008 terror attack on several landmark locations in Mumbai, including The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). The story in film unfolds as the biggest attack is yet to happen in the city, as some sleeper cells from Lashkar have been activated and it is found that 600 kilos of RDX left over from ’93 serial attacks is being used for the purpose.
Enter DCP Veer Sooryavanshi, with a solid mission and a lot of garam khoon to protect the city from another big attack. He is so committed towards his duty that even his family, wife Riya (Katrina Kaif) and son Aryan come second to his mighty task at hand.
With the cross-border plot, the film revolves around the concept of revenge, ‘An eye for an eye, makes the world blind.’ While the story itself plays it safe (basic and predictable), the action is risky and rousing (Rohit Shetty and Suniel Rodrigues). The chase sequence between Veer and John (Sikander Kher) on the streets of Bangkok is a visual delight. Never mind if it seems inspired from Carrie-Anne Moss’s bike scene with the keymaker in The Matrix Reloaded.. just like Ajay Devgn’s Bandra-Worli Sea Link action sequence in Singham Returns was inspired by Tom Cruise’s in Mission: Impossible III.
However, Sooryavanshi is riddled with clichés and the length could do with a good edit, especially in the first half. Post interval, it gets gripping with loaded action and dhamaka.
Akshay Kumar delivers a knockout performance. From his seeti-worthy entry to the relentless gunshots — he justifies his super cop act. Apart from the high adrenalin physical encounters, there are umpteen high drama chases, with cars, bikes and helicopters as Akshay Kumar displays his unquestionable action skills. Overall, it’s an Akshay show all the way with his star power and screen presence looming large. Katrina Kaif looks stunning on screen and her sensual moves to the iconic song ‘Tip Tip Barsa Paani’ is undoubtedly clap-worthy, but you can’t not think of the original ‘Mast Mast’ girl of Bollywood, Raveena Tandon.
Ajay Devgn’s and Ranvir Singh’s smashing (quite literally) entry in the second half elevates the film and adds the striking punch. As Bajirao Singham and Sangram Bhalerao respectively, the three actors steal the show in the few scenes they have together.
The ensemble cast, which includes Jackie Shroff as the leader of terrorist gang Omar Afeez, as well as other group members Gulshan Grover, Abhimanyu Singh, Kumud Mishra and Nikitin Dheer, makes a substantial contribution to the plot’s progression. Jaaved Jaaferi’s portrayal of ATS head Kabir Shroff, on the other hand, perfectly plays his serious cop part.
While the background score of Sooryavansi sets the mood, the songs are not particularly memorable. The revamped version of ‘Najaa’ is an earworm, but we don’t get to hear it in the film. However, the trio dancing to Daler Mehndi’s ‘Aila Re Aillaa’ is entertaining.
Veer Sooryavanshi, Akshay Kumar has successfully taken over the mantle from his predecessors (Singham and Simmba), and with a generous dose of flying and somersaulting cars, this one is quite a bumper Diwali entertainer for you. And if you are a fan of high voltage action movies, go lap this up!