The Race franchise was kept taut by the genre masters Abbas-Mustan until Remo D’Souza came along and reduced the film to brawny men, girls in tiny clothes who double up as bodyguards, some pole dancing, and vehicles getting pummeled, instead of investing in a script. Halfway through the film, which is pegged to be racy and full of thrills and chases, Anil Kapoor and Salman Khan suddenly launch into Bhojpuri. Really now, bittua? The only thing that strikes a chord is the title card that carries a tribute to late actor Narendra Jha.
Here’s a quick Q and A to help you decide if you want to watch the film.
What’s the story?
Shamsher (Anil Kapoor) is a weapons manufacturer and has three children (Salman, Saqib Saleem and Daisy Shah) and two loyal bodyguards (Bobby Deol and Sharat Saxena). He lives in the UAE and suddenly decides to focus on blackmailing politicians caught in a honey trap, and even start stocking narcotics in Indian SEZs. Can anyone stop him?
Are the relationships easy to understand?
Err. Not quite. Although, it would make a good memory game. Is Bobby Deol a friend or foe? Is Salman the son or the nephew? Is Jacqueline Fernandez a con, a mysterious lover, or an intelligence agent, who banks on everything but intelligence?
Lots of skin show, we hear…
Oh yes. At least three men, Salman, Bobby and Saqib, flaunt their chiseled abs. The idea is really to show, even if it is after a fight, when all they have to do is walk back gently to their vehicles. As for Jacqueline, wonder what was the script one-liner the director sold her? Daisy Shah is supremely capable, we are told, and she packs some deft punches, and even creates a flawless slit on her little red dress, so she can fight better.
Is this a Salman Khan film?
It’s nobody’s film; everyone basically sleepwalks, even the incredibly talented Saqib and Sharat Saxena. Salman looks like he’s in two minds. Should I be Sikander or should I be Salman on screen, and it shows. Poor Bobby Deol tries hard in his comeback movie, but we will have to wait for the next one.
Was anything harmed while making the movie?
Well, the title says no animals were harmed. But, the desert and its sand surely were. Vehicles tore into them. Choppers screeched to a halt, bombs went off, drat, even two missiles were fired. But, the roads took it all well. Not a scratch. Oh, the missiles were pretty lightweight too. Bhai lifted them like they were loaves of bread. Since you’re asking, the audience intelligence was harmed too.
Heard there was a separate budget for cars to be demolished?
Oh yes. And, the bigger the better seems to be the logic. Every brand of car and truck, ideally the high-end ones, gets blown to bits or conveniently drops off a cliff while the driver and passenger fly, yes you read that right, fly to their destination, Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman style.
What about the songs?
This department was very fair to everyone. Everyone gets a song, sometimes a solo and a duet, however middling. In between shooting your ears off, this family also sings. Like they say, the family that shoots together, also sings together.
How safe are bank lockers?
There, that’s a good one. Not quite, even in a high-security vault, says the film. All you have to do is drape your coat over the locker handle and do as you wish. The contents reveal themselves. The walls are also quite fragile and conveniently attached to a drain. So, it’s easy to slither down a drain hole, blast open locker and take off what you want. Easy-peasy.
Is there a threat of a sequel?
Yes please. They drop broad hints, but leave the cast hanging. But, smile, there’s a Sikander (Salman) in the next edition too.
Does anything at all work in the movie?
Cinematography by Ayananka Bose and stunt choreography by Anl Arasu and Tom Struthers. The former tries to salvage the situation created by bad acting and direction while the latter lends grace to flying cars. In fact, the only whistles were reserved for the action scenes.
How else can you spend 160 minutes?
This is something I can answer truthfully. You could read a good book or watch something on Amazon Prime or Netflix. You can rain watch, or even watch a mature, yellowing leaf try to drop off the stalk. Trust me, that’s more interesting.
The Race 3 review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.