The good news is that Boss is more palatable than that title and the promos let on.
Director Anthony D’Souza’s remake of Malayalam blockbuster Pokkiri Raja has a purposefully illogical but interesting story — well, somewhat interesting until the interval. It’s also got some bone-crunching action sequences choreographed by ‘ANL’ Arasu, and a terrific villain portrayed by Ronit Roy in full-blown sadist mode. His signature line is: "Maut ko toh yuhi log badnam karte hain; takleef zindagi deti hai".
Boss is essentially a cartoon designed to deify Akshay Kumar, so the storyline surrenders to set-piece comedy and action sequences.
The bad news is that Boss is essentially a cartoon designed to deify Akshay Kumar, so eventually the storyline must surrender to set-piece comedy and action sequences and absolutely forgettable songs that celebrate the mighty Boss.
In one, Yo Yo Honey Singh, with a blonde thrown over one shoulder, croons about partying furiously. The imagery is downright creepy. And the humor descends to singularly unfunny jokes like a minor villain hopping around with a bomb up his rear end or, as he puts it, mere bum mein bomb.
The trouble is that Anthony and writers Farhad-Sajid are desperate to give us a taste of everything — romance, comedy, drama, action, emotion and, of course, the king-size persona of superstar Kumar. It’s all an incoherent, loud mishmash.
So much so that by the end, in the most emotionally dramatic scene between Boss, played by Akshay Kumar, his real father, played by Mithun Chakraborty, and his foster father, played by Danny Dengzongpa, I broke out into laughter. Which is probably not what was intended.
The best I can say for Boss is that it’s not terrible. In the rating above, the half star is for Ronit.