It’s child’s play as a civilian single-handedly faces a bunch of heavily armed terrorists at a hospital. The man’s wife, whom he fondly calls “Baby”, is admitted there. An actual baby needs rescuing. There’s a boy who knows too much about guns and explosives for somebody his age.

Since Vidyut Jammwal is in the building, Sanak director Kanishk Varma and writer Ashish P Verma don’t bother to try harder. One of India’s finest action heroes does what he does best in a movie whose title suggests madness but which mostly lacks imagination.

The screenplay mechanically counts down to the moment Jammwal fans are waiting for: the confrontation between this one-man army and an actual minor army of many men and one woman. This group, led by Saju (Chandan Roy Sanyal), has slipped with ease into a hospital in Mumbai and taken its staffers and patients hostage. Among them is Anshika (Rukmini Maitra), the beloved wife of Vivan (Jammwal).

Sanak, which is out on Disney+ Hotstar, hits peak autopilot mode when it comes to the officer in charge of the situation. Barks Jayati (Neha Dhupia), we know our job, we are the Mumbai police (the movie’s best joke). But she spends most of her time pretending to be busy and peering at screens and waiting for Vivan to make contact.

The 117-minute movie wakes up proper in the action scenes with Vivan and various terrorists who have the misfortune of crossing his path. Action director Andy Long Nguyen finds inventive ways to showcase Jammwal’s prowess with martial arts, especially in two fun sequences set in the medical imaging and physiotherapy departments. The sweet chemistry between Jammwal and Rukmini Maitra, the Bengali actor making her Hindi debut, is another highlight of a movie that’s often semi-sedated.

Sanak (2021).