Directed by Thirukumaran, a protege of director Murugadoss (who co-produces the film), the film centres around a carefree guy who fights against impossible odds to win a competition. The narration begins interestingly, goes on a downslide towards the middle and picks up momentum towards the end.
Sivakartikeyan seems to improve with each film. He executes his dance movements with professional grace and the emotional moments with assurance. He essays Peter, a reluctant boxer, who aims to win a competition to prove his worth in the eyes of his girl (Hansika). The scene where Peter as a suitor to her hand recites the ‘Thirukural’ to impress her father is hilarious. A sprightly Hansika cuts a slim figure. But the screen chemistry between the lead pair is insipid.
The film has an intriguing opening, where Sandy (Sathish) and his friends on a forest trek, encounter a holy man. Cynical about his powers, they challenge him to produce a newspaper of a particular date, printed a few months into the future. And when he does it, they return to the city and test the validity of the news in it. What attracts them is a new item about a man Peter winning a boxing championship, thanking the five friends for it, the latter richer in the bargain. The early scenes are promising and set base for an interesting scenario to follow. Sathish gets almost equal screen space as the hero and fits in suitably.
The gang find their Peter and start training him to make the news item come true. Carefree and ignorant of even the basics of any game, Peter falls in with them to get an easier lifestyle. There is an interesting twist midway through. The comedy turns juvenile many a times, like it was made with kids in mind. Also, the comic antics of the referee and boxers at a championship match seem misplaced.
The interest is revived when the final match of the competition takes place. The end may be predictable and a deliberate attempt to tug at our heart strings. But Sivakartikeyan pulls it off with some convincing histrionics. The songs (Anirudh) are youthful and peppy. With a watchable first half and a disappointing second half, Maan Karate is an average entertainer.