Only once in a blue moon is such a great criminal born who is fearless as well as shameless. Now is the blue moon and the great criminal is Tees Maar Khan (Akshay Kumar). He steals, cons and cheats all with such alarming audacity that even shame shies away from him. He and his gang comprising of Dollar, Soda and Burger have managed to keep the police, world over, on their toes. Then one fine day international antique smugglers, the Johri Brothers, assign Tees Maar Khan the biggest con job of his life.

2.5
Bollywood action comedy lacks laughs, thrills.

Tees Maar Khan, played by Hindi superstar Akshay Kumar, was born to be bad. In a prologue, which is deliciously silly, the infant Khan makes thievery look like child’s play; newly born, the cunning sprog manages to slip a necklace from an unsuspecting nurse and ends up cuddling it like a chew toy in his baby bassinet.

Cut forward twenty odd years and the grown up Khan is being shipped from Paris back home to India. By now a world-famous con artist for his 'half Robin Hood act’ (he steals from the rich"¦ but keeps it for himself), Khan is chief suspect in a plot already known to the cops. He escapes his police minders in an outrageously over the top series of half-funny, half-cringe worthy slapstick manoeuvres while still on board. By the time the plane lands he’s a celebrity; just in time, it turns out, to take a job ripping off a cache of antiques we are assured are very valuable.

By this time in the narrative the movie has split off into a least three musical numbers; this is no bad thing and they’re certainly the best thing about the film. Katrina Kaif, the incredibly beautiful and popular Hindi star, plays Khan’s girlfriend, Anya, an aspiring actress still undiscovered and languishing in the nether regions of obscurity in Bollywoodland. Still, that bit of plot is hard to believe because when Khan and his trio of nutty pals crash the studio where Anya is working on a new song/dance number, it’s nothing less than a showstopper!

Kaif is a fine mover, a charismatic player and very sexy. In music videos when US stars do bump 'n’ grind, it feels sleazy; Kaif is dressed, given the context, modestly, but in her looks and moves she is tremendously erotic. After that high point director Farah Khan doesn’t seem to know where to take the film since there’s little real action, and fewer jokes – but more music and dance numbers; none of which is as good as Kair’s studio set 'Sheila ki jawani.’

Billed as an official remake of Vittorio De Sica’s After the Fox, which was made in 1966, and starred Peter Sellers in the Khan-type role, this Hindi version makes fun of moviemaking too. Once the schedule of the booty-filled train is discovered, Khan infiltrates a remote village on the route, using a film crew as a disguise, so as not to arouse suspicion, and plots his robbery.

Unfortunately Khan has no idea about making a movie which leaves his 'leading man,’ Bollywood superstar Atish (Akshaye Khanna), bewildered; much throwing of arms and raising of eyebrows follow. The screenwriters manage to redeem Khan; he break-ups a slave operation"¦ but it’s not quite enough to save the movie, which, given the velocity of the frantic action, should have played brisk and buoyant. To be sure, After the Fox, with a screenplay by Neil Simon was no limbre chuck fest either.