Mumbai, 15 Jun 2018 15:10 IST
The film starring Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor and many others is so bad it makes Race 2 (2013) look impressive.
After watching Race 3, it is safe to say that this franchise is racing down the same path to doom as the Sarkar series.
Race (2008) was a memorable film, one that looks fresh even 10 years after it was released. The second film, Race 2 (2013), failed to live up to the expectations raised by the original.
But the third is a disaster, one that makes Race 2 appear impressive. So, needless to say, it would be a crime to even try to compare the Remo D'Souza directorial with the first film helmed by Abbas-Mustan.
Race 3 takes place in a fictional West Asian city called Al-Shifah. Shamsher (Anil Kapoor) moved here 27 years ago from Allahabad in India and runs a flourishing arms business. Given the nature of his business, he has developed a ruthless streak.
His two children Suraj (Saqib Saleem) and Sanjana (Daisy Shah) are not happy with him since he trusts stepson Sikander (Salman Khan) aka Sikku more. They also hate the fact that Sikander and Shamsher consider their man Friday Yash (Bobby Deol) a family member.
In between, Sikku falls for the con woman Jessica (Jacqueline Fernandez) while on a trip to Beijing. One fine day, Shamsher and family get a chance to lay their hands on a huge sum of money. But with disputes within the family, will they succeed?
Race 3 is based in a world of its own where luxurious cars outnumber humans. The family members run the arms business and finish off anyone who comes in their way as if they live in mediæval Europe. The police and authority do not exist. In fact, it seems these are the only people living in the town since we hardly get a glimpse of the general population, except at nightclubs. Wonder where they all disappear at daybreak.
The USP of the Race franchise was its twists and turns. Race 3 continues with the tradition, but it's so bad you wish they didn't. Logic and reasoning are banned in Al-Shifah. People switch sides like they are changing clothes. Soon you cease to care who is on whose side. But the writers save the best for the last when one character's change of heart makes you wonder if the character is suffering from multiple personality disorder.
One expects such action thrillers to be engaging, even if they are silly. But Race 3 goes off track, especially when a few characters suddenly start holding forth on love. By the way, stalking a young woman is equivalent to love here, so don't expect any gems.
Except for a few moments like the bike chase scene in which Sikander avoids being hit by a fallen tree, the action, another important aspect of the franchise, is also not up to the mark. Most of the times it appears as if the family members are playing video games on a lazy Sunday afternoon. And the less said about those wingsuit scenes, the better.
But the gunfight sequences do deserve a mention, just not a complimentary one. Like in the Hindi potboilers of the last century, the bad guys don’t fire at the hero or heroes despite being equipped with automatic weapons. And on the few occasions that they do, they are about as accurate as India's footballers are with their passing. Naturally, the good guys pick them off one by one with mere pistols.
With such abysmal quality of action and stunts, one can't imagine what got into the makers to want to shoot and release this film in 3D, but that's exactly what they have done. Except on a couple of occasions, you do not feel any 3D impact at all. If anything, it's one-dimensional.
Maybe to please the hinterland audiences, Kapoor and Khan’s characters speak Hindi with a touch of Bhojpuri every now and then. The rest of the dialogues and punchlines, a reason why Race (2008) is still remembered, range from cold to silly. For example, when Sikander gets into trouble, he starts reciting something as clichéd as ‘Jako raakhe saaiyan, maar sake na koi.’ Oh boi!
When the ‘Heeriye’ track was released, it did not impress audiences. But when it is played along with the other songs in the movie, it appears decent.
With negatives galore, Ayananka Bose’s camerawork is probably the only saving grace, and he delivers great visuals like he had in Dishoom (2016), incidentally a film in the same genre.
Race 3 has a huge cast but none of them is impressive. Anil Kapoor is nowhere near his best, though he is still the best of the lot. Salman Khan looks aged and appears strangely uninterested. You sense this the most in the dance and action sequences. For die-hard Salman Khan fans, there are few whistle-worthy moments.
Bobby Deol struggles and his confused characterization does not help. Jacqueline Fernandez looks gorgeous as usual but is quite irritating once again when she has to say a few lines. Daisy Shah and Saqib Saleem are average at best.
The late Narendra Jha makes an appearance as an Interpol officer. As he passed away before the film’s shooting was completed, only an audio is used later with someone else dubbing for the character.
You will certainly enjoy Race 3 if you are the sort of fan who looks for and appreciates unintentional comedy. But beware, even you will be frightened out of your wits at the very end when the makers reveal that Race 4 is in the pipeline.
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