To be fair to him and to D’souza, some of the whodunnitandwhy in Race 3 is genuinely engaging, but the film needed more where that came from. Besides, the narrative style is tired and ends up adding nothing new to the Race franchise. Everyone and everything looks pretty and is dressed pretty in Race 3. The evidently expensive production design and the visuals by DoP Ayananka Bose – especially that aerial shot of vehicles in a desert looking like ants from high up above – give the film its polish.
You know what would have added depth to that polish? Saif Ali Khan and a better laid out screenplay.
As usual, Khan plays to the gallery but doesn't look particularly pleased about doing it, wearing a deadpan look throughout. The lesser said, the better about the predictable twists in the actioner. But I am intrigued to know what Abbas-Mustan, who helmed the previous two parts, thought of this one. Never were the men in white so sorely missed!
Gloss and glam are expected to mask an appalling film, but it’s really difficult to sit through 160-minutes of terribly bad filmmaking. Even Tom Struthers’ (Tiger Zinda Hai, Dunkirk) action choreography is dull. As for the rest of the cast is concerned, I feel for Bobby Deol and Jacqueline Fernandez. Race 3 is a mere show-reel for Salman Khan fans. Celebrating Eid at home is likely to entertain you more.
There is not a semblance of a script (guess the writing team got an Eidi). As for the dialogue writers, they must be awarded. Each dialogue beats the other. Sample these — The Lion doesn’t believe in making enemies; Don’t open your dil open your Dell (computer); Sad very sad, there is no cure of foolishness; If you are protected by God, then none can touch you. There is a full book of these gems but to whistle for those, you must visit a theatre near you. The film is absolute stressbuster that is meant to be seen and taken in lighter vein.
If it counts for anything, Abbas-Mustan helmed the past two outings with such finesse that this film looks like a shabby stepchild of theirs. There is none of the fun, twists, and turns. Laced with oodles of melodrama, this is soul-less and predictable. The unintentional comedy is unforgivable because we have come to expect better from the movies, even our superstars.
Race 3 begins with the most cliched introduction of seven masterminds, which is a trademark of the franchise. Speeding cars, slow motion action, an occasion to celebrate in every ten minutes, the film has everything glossy barring the story. Perhaps, it is the worst of the Race franchise too. It lacks the feel of Abbas-Mustan’s twists and turns. Race 3 is avoidable. Strictly for Salman Khan fans!
Some of the Race 3 action, the credits tell us, has been choreographed by Thomas Struthers, the stunt coordinator of blockbusters like Black Panther, The Dark Knight and Dunkirk. He simply isn't given the raw material needed to turn the film into an outing to remember. Our humble guess is that Struthers would want to forget Race 3 in a hurry. And so would we. Try telling fans of Salman Khan that this film is best avoided. An impregnable wall is what you will hit.
Vroom, vroom? No, vamoose!
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.