The Race franchise always seemed to be India's answer to the slick, mind-boggling films Hollywood churned out every year. With betrayal as its central theme, both Race and Race 2 delivered when it came to twists and turns that would make you do a double take on everything that you believed in. With some crazy action sequences and hot dance numbers thrown into the mix, the films in the franchise looked uber cool and stylish. But with Race 3, things are all set to change. Not only does the latest film in the franchise have a spanking new cast, it also has a new director in the form of choreographer-turned-filmmaker Remo D'Souza. Now Abbas Mustan's style of filmmaking is completely different to how Remo makes his film. This obviously had us stoked about the film already. Plus, with Salman Khan headlining the cast, we were excited beyond measure to see how he handles the characters in the film, since they are known to have shades of gray. The film released in both 2D and 3D formats. We caught the first day first show of the film in the 3D format to experience Bhai love at its purest and here's what we thought of the film...
What's it about
Shamsher Singh (Anil Kapoor) is a patriarch and at the helm of affairs of a family run business. Now details of this business, which is their business and none of our business, has been aptly kept vague. Coming back to the story, Shamsher has powerful connections and even more powerful enemies, one of whom is Rana (Freddy Daruwala). But he also has his loyals. His family comprises of his brother’s son, Sikander (Salman Khan), who also happens to be his most trusted aide. And then there’s his own twins, son Sooraj (Saqib Saleem) and daughter Sanjana (Daisy Shah), who hate the fact that Sikander is such a hit with their father and also one sharing their property. Yash (Bobby Deol) is Sikandar's bestie-cum-bodyguard or is he? So while they get on a hard disk chase, to gain some mileage with the politicians, they are also fighting against each other. There is a wild heist, some mercenaries, a lot of romance and countless flashbacks interspersed in the narrative. Jessica (Jacqueline Fernandez), who disguises as a con-woman, also ends up becoming a part of the family, or whatever is left of it. By the time the film ends, there is also the promise of a sequel. However, as to who will be Sikander aka Sikku in the next film, is still kept a mystery. In that sense, Race 3 will leave you with a lot of questions.
Salman Khan's swag. The actor ensures that every time he signs on the dotted line, he makes the film his. Same is the case with Race 3. His entry scene, where he is skydiving from atop a high-rise only to land directly into the enemy's den, fetched a round of applause, whistles and lots of cheers. And I was watching the film in a multiplex...Such is the power of Salman! Right from the time when he fights goons wearing a three-piece suit to the time when he fights Bobby Deol bare-bodies, Salman has ensured his fans have enough reasons to watch the film on repeat. He is looking way too good while doing this too, thanks to his signature swag and Ashley Rebello and his sister, Alvira Khan's styling. His chemistry with Jacqueline is just as sizzling as it was in their last outing together, making us wish we could see more of them. Apart from Salman, Anil Kapoor and Bobby Deol, too, impress with how good they look on screen. While Anil is great as the grieving uncle who has a lot of skeletons in the closet, Bobby, who is playing Salman's friend and aide, is also in top form. The girls - Daisy and Jacqueline - are impressive, both when they dance and fight. At one point in time they even dance fight, but let's not get there. Talking about dance, all the songs in the film are visual delights, which is hardly a surprise.
The story of the film, we felt, doesn't do justice to the earlier films in the franchise. Race was always about the mind games but the third film in the franchise is all about loving your family. Really? There is a point in the film when we started wondering if perhaps we had bought the tickets for a Rajshri film instead of a film that was once the epitome of betrayal. While there are ample twists and turns in the film, they don't throw us off. We see it coming. Blame it on how all the twists are bundled up together - as if till a certain time, the scriptwriters had forgotten they had to introduce a twist and then they had to cram it all together. Race and Race 2 made us bite our nails off trying to figure out as to who to side with. Here we see Salman being such a loyal family man, that our loyalties lie with him throughout the film. He is our hero! No surprises there. What is surprising, however, is the way the film indulges its actors. It has allowed them to make a portfolio out of it. Both Jacqueline and Daisy have been given copious amount of screen time to display their dancing prowess and action chops, all while wearing thigh-high slit gowns and illegally high heels. Salman and Bobby's torsos, too, receive lavish screen time to glisten and quiver their best. Honestly, it all feels rather forced. Even the action and chase sequences that are so long-drawn, you will be yawning away, enjoying a nap, and waking up just in time to watch it conclude. There are very few 3D elements in the film to warrant a conversion. Only if you want to feel glass shards flying in your face or Daisy kicking you, watch the 3D version.
What to do
Race 3 is a treat for Salman fans but it ends at being just that. There is no reason why you shouldn't buy the tickets to watch Salman Khan doing what he does best. But if you go in expecting to watch the third film of the Race franchise, you might not be too pleased with the way it has been treated.
2.5 out of 5
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