Starring: Salman Khan, Bobby Deol, Anil Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandes, Daisy Shah
Director: Remo D'souza
He’s either ripping his shirt off to flex his muscles, in slow-mo no less, or clothing himself in a wingsuit so he can put jets and choppers to shame. Hell, he even goes to Oxford for this one! But every trick that Salman Khan plays out in Race 3 unfortunately lacks in charm and spirit, and instead, reeks of desperation. Where an ageing superstar banks on nothing more than his shirtless act to push forward a Bollywood franchise that was never meant to be.
So, we watch in utter disbelief as Bollywood’s infamous man-child gleefully plays fast and furious with his bunch of cronies. Only, his director Remo D’Souza refuses to play along and turns an action thriller into a strange Broadway-style musical.
Every actor, when not speeding in a supercar or firing away guns, gets a song and lavish set-pieces to perform in. Ayananka Bose’s frames filter out every little blemish and wrinkle and make them insta-glorious. The men have their muscles ripped while the women wear their perfect curls and flutter their eyelashes. Basically, what the lead crew lacks in acting talent, they make up by glamming up and flashing their gym bods.
All this could’ve been forgiven if the fight was worth the punch. At over 160-minutes, it ends up unintentionally comical, highly illogical and horrendously tacky. Evidently, writer Shiraz Ahmed was hoping the Khan superpower would do the magic for him. Why else would lines like “Our business is our business. None of your business” make the cut?
At one time, a heist is carried out in far away Cambodia without resistance or pain while the hero and his lady love dance away in a nightclub next door. In Remo D’Souza’s world, it’s definitely about the dance floor moves, and never about the real fight.
Salman Khan takes on Sikku, the favoured step-son to a mighty rich dad who’s all about the love. So much so, he even shaves off his “weird” goatee while serenading his ladylove amidst snow-clad mountains. That’s right, because love can make you do strange things! Whether he’s switching accents or trying to be snazzy and cool, Salman sticks to his one-emotion look.
The other men – Bobby Deol who also gets his body some shine and love, and Saqib, who’s suited and styled in formals – play second fiddle to the Khan love.
It’s during the climax act, as bronzed bodies showered in sand fill up the screen, you know it’s a “bromance” that’s not easy on the eye. The women – Jacqueline and Daisy – stick to being pretty. One’s happily romancing the pole, while the other is slitting her designer dress to play desi-Lara Croft. But neither of them possesses any real power to win applause.
If anyone deserves credit, it’s Anil Kapoor, who manages to stand tall and dignified in this utter mess of a film. He’s a class apart and never fails to walk away unharmed.
As the curtain rolls down and a song repeats on loop, you can't help but wonder if the mighty Khan’s race to Bollywood glory is slowly fading away.