Duration: 105 Minutes
Story: Sooryavanshi follows DCP Veer Sooryavanshi, the chief of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad as he tries to uncover one of the biggest and most deadliest threats Mumbai has seen. Veer also struggles to prove his love for his family, as an officer who has to put his job first.
Review: Directed by Rohit Shetty and led by Akshay Kumar, Sooryavanshi comes off as a parody of its own cop universe. While Ajay Devgn's Singham is all class and reason, Ranveer Singh's Simmba is a tad bit dramatic, but Akshay Kumar's Veer Sooryavanshi has no substance, only a list of expectations to be fulfilled.
The film starts with a long narration of all the bomb blasts Mumbai has witnessed over the years, an explanation about Kabir Shroff (played by Jaaved Jaaferi) uncovering the 1993 blast case in two days and how 600 tons of RDX is hidden on Indian soil, till date. It also gives a pretext to Veer Sooryavanshi's parents who were victims of 1993 blasts in Mumbai.
After India's retaliation and a few losses on both sides, the terrorist group residing in Pakistan decides to send over 100 sleeper cells for future attacks on Indian soil, including Omar Hafeez (Jackie Shroff)'s son Riaaz (Abhimanyu Singh). Cut to the present day, after several terrorist attacks in India, the Anti-terrorist squad uncovers a link to the handler of sleeper cells. The one sent to arrest the handler, Riaaz is Veer Sooryavanshi.
After a dramatic entry and a long chase, Veer arrests Riaaz and uncovers little to no information about the upcoming attacks. However, his arrest sets off the terrorist group in Pakistan, which plans to retaliate by bombing several places in Mumbai.
The film also dives into Veer's personal life, the DCP married to doctor Ria (Katrina Kaif), are separated after he put their son's life at risk during a shootout. The makers do their best to make Veer look like a responsible cop, who puts the safest of the country before his family, but he just comes off as a bad father, worse than Seong Gi-hun from Squid Game.
The film dumps over a ton of information in the first thirty minutes, but the theme continues as the characters narrate everything happening around them. From, Akshay Kumar saying, 'I have been shot' after standing for five minutes with a bloody wound to the wife of a dead police officer explaining why Katrina should forgive Akshay while crying next to her husband's dead body. Unfortunately, we do not get any character development from Veer Sooryavanshi, nor does his singular trait prove useful. Veer is known for forgetting everyone's names but the underlying impact of the trait is a couple of jokes that hardly get any laughs.
The screenplay and dialogue seem like the story was written around a few jokes they thought would get a good laugh. Many scenes seem like they were just patched together without context, which leads to more narration. The only thing keeping the film glued together is the background score.
The female characters definitely got the short end of the stick. They are either present to fill the quota or are damsels in distress. Katrina is nothing more than a wife of a police officer who reasonably wanted to put her son's safety first instead of her marriage and is labelled as the villain. Meanwhile, Niharica who plays a cop Tara is reduced to a few jokes. I was hoping to see her get some action, but just as things are about to get serious a convenient plot device takes her away from it all.
At times, the film is taking itself too seriously and others it isn't taking itself seriously enough. Another subplot of the film that takes centre stage is religious unity. The film on several occasions talks about the alleged divide between Hindu and Muslims which reportedly is often exploited by terrorist groups. While the topic is addressed tastefully, it does come off preachy, because it is mentioned after every 10-minute interval.
Despite all the blunders, the makers managed to get in a few good laughs and enthusiastic whistles as Ranveer Singh and Ajay Devgn make their presence known. Simba is just as dramatic as Veer but Singham maintains the class in the last twenty minutes of the film.
Overall, Sooryavanshi is all action and no substance. One thing making the film worthwhile is the subtle announcement of Singham's return.