You can't turn a blind eye to the fact that KNOCK OUT borrows from PHONE BOOTH. Even otherwise, a man held hostage in a telephone booth by a sniper automatically compels you to think that PHONE BOOTH is the prime source of inspiration, but what follows after a point bears no resemblance to that film. In fact, KNOCK OUT also bears an uncanny resemblance to A WEDNESDAY, although the two films are as diverse as chalk and cheese in terms of how the storyline progresses.
KNOCK OUT is a thriller that keeps you hooked at regular intervals. The best thing about the film is that it remains focused to the plot and there are no deviations [thankfully!] in terms of songs, comedy or any other parallel track. Of course, there are hiccups, but the finale and the message it conveys camouflages the defects largely.
Mani Shankar illustrates his ability as a fine storyteller. His handling of the subject is commendable. Also, the director employs the split-screen style to tell the story, which comes across very well. Cinematography [N. Natarajan Subramanian] is striking. Action scenes [Allan Amin] are vibrant. However, the one-on-one fight in the climax or prior to that, when the cops enter Sanju's apartment and Sanju kills all of them single-handedly, should've been avoided. It robs the film on realism. Dialogues [Shiraz Ahmed] are razor sharp and an asset. I wish to make a special mention of the background score [Sanjay Wandrekar, Atul Raninga], which is truly fantastic. The casting was brilliant too.