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Akshay Kumar: The king of zimbly south remakes!

Last updated on: April 29, 2015 09:30 IST
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A look at Akki’s history of recycled South Indian fare.

Formula for success is hard to find. Unless…you’re Akshay Kumar.

If it’s not the prolific Khiladi movies, it’s remakes of South Indian hits.

His May 1 release, Gabbar is Back co-starring Shruti Haasan and Kareena Kapoor (in a cameo) may allude to Sholay's iconic antagonist but the upcoming action drama is (rest assured) a remake of the 2002 Tamil hit Ramanaa featuring Vijayakanth.

Love or loath it, it’s not the first time he’s signed on a remake.

It’s certainly not the last.

On that note, here’s a look at Akki’s history of recycled South Indian fare.

Holiday (2014)

Image: Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha in Holiday

The A R Murugadoss-directed Holiday and Thuppakki were conceived as a bilingual but the Tamil version led by Vijay called dibs first.

Its plot centres on an intelligence officer’s pursuit of trailing and terminating dangerous sleeper cells. While Akshay was his reliable self, Holiday’s hare-brained logic didn’t find any love among critics.

Read the Holiday review here

Boss (2013)

Image: Akshay Kumar in Boss

Boss is the kind of movie we foolishly believed ceased to exist since the 1980s.

But Akshay Kumar dons a Haryanvi twang, multiple rings and a fake frown to remind us otherwise in this lousy rehash of Malayalam masala Pokkiri Raja about a misunderstood man’s relationship with his father and father figure.

Read the Boss review here

Rowdy Rathore (2012)

Image: Akshay Kumar in Rowdy Rathore

Two moustached Akshay Kumars take on baddies in an overdone, outlandish, offensive mishmash of standard potboiler elements in the hit Rowdy Rathore.

And the credit for this bombastic brand of entertainment goes to Telugu filmmaker S S Rajamouli (also the man behind the delightful Eega) whose trademark indulgences worked favourably in the box-office winner, Vikramarkudu.

Read the Rowdy Rathore review here

Khatta Meetha (2010)

Image: Akshay Kumar and Rajpal Yadav in Khatta Meetha

Priyadarshan’s reworking of his own acclaimed Malayalam dramedy, Vellanakalude Nadu is much too affected, lengthy and dated to pull off the merits of its original.

Audiences too weren’t particularly enthused by Akshay’s umbrella-lugging ‘common man’ portrayal.

Read the Khatta Meetha review here

Kambakkht Ishq (2009)

Image: Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor in Kambakkht Ishq

Kamal Haasan and Simran's war of the sexes in Tamil rom-com Pammal K. Sambandam is the inspiration for cocky Akshay Kumar and size zero Kareena Kapoor’s revolting scraps in Kambakkht Ishq.

Its lewd, sexist humour completely takes away the focus from its Hollywood, Sylvester Stallone-underscored backdrop and rightly received a thumping thumbs down from all and sundry.

Read the Kambakkht Ishq review here

Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007)

Image: Akshay kumar in Bhool Bhulaiya

In yet another case of diluted in translation, the acclaimed Malayalam psychological thriller, Manichitrathazhu is revamped by Priyadarshan to produce part comic, part horror attributes of Bhool Bhulaiyaa.

While Vidya Balan sure made an unnerving impression as Manjulika and Akshay Kumar’s batty doctor has its moments, no adaptation comes close to Fazil’s masterful, mind-boggling original.

Read the Bhool Bhulaiya review here

Garam Masala (2005)

Image: Akshay Kumar, John Abraham and Paresh Rawal in Garam Masala

Priyadarshan digs into yet another of his old cult classics to concoct Garam Masala.

In this Boeing Boeing remake, a 1980s Malayalam comedy starring Mohanlal and Mukesh, the director ropes in Akshay, John Abraham and Paresh Rawal to engage in a comedy of juggling three air hostesses by a incorrigible flirt, his buddy-in-crime and their flighty cook.

Read the Garam Masala review here

Hera Pheri (2000)

Image: Akshay Kumar, Tabu and Suniel Shetty on the poster of Hera Pheri

The Priyan-Akki combo has collaborated on several (okay ONLY) remakes but Hera Pheri, a remake of the 1989 Malayalam comedy Ramji Rao Speaking scores mighty high.

Akshay’s breakthrough performance as the unemployed imp ribbing his humble roomie Suniel Shetty when not tricking hyper landlord Paresh Rawal, the hilarious turn of events triggered by a wrong number is now stuff of Bollywood pop-culture legend.  

Read the Hera Pheri review here

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