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One of this year’s biggest releases has been the Salman Khan starrer Race 3. The Remo D’Souza directed adventure film is the third installment of the Race film series. Like the previous films in the franchise, Race 3 is also a high-octane action picture but one that is decidedly weaker on many levels. The film’s biggest change is easily the replacement of its core group of characters with some new faces and the two actors who do return to the film (Anil Kapoor and Jacqueline Fernandez), appear as new characters.
The film revolves around Shamsher Singh (Anil Kapoor), a criminal who has built an empire in the Middle East and now runs his illegal arms business with the help of his biological son Suraj (Saqib Saleem), daughter Sanjana (Daisy Shah) and step-son Sikandar (Salman Khan). Bobby Deol and Jacqueline Fernandez also have roles as the friend and romantic interest of Sikandar respectively. The film is basically about a rather uninteresting inter-sibling rivalry and a heist that doesn’t quite go as planned and like other Race films; it deals with betrayals and shifting allegiances.
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If you saw the trailer and perhaps assumed that the rest of the film wouldn’t be as bad as the now infamous “Our business is our business, none of your business” line, then you would very much be mistaken.
Race 3’s screenplay is cliché-riddled and simply atrocious, and the decision to prioritize action and thrills over a coherent story doesn’t pay off. It doesn’t help that Remo D’Souza’s direction is poor and the ABCD director can’t get the cast to give believable performances. Salman Khan barely pulls off his lines. His Oxford graduate Sikandar Singh is depicted as an unstoppable killing machine (he even pushes a car on top of a man, somehow) but one that smirks and dances and is, frankly, just annoying. The rest of the cast don’t fare any better. Neither Daisy Shah nor Saqib Saleem is able to make the best of their material, though in their defense, they aren’t offered anything workable. The former has perhaps the worst lines out of all, and she consistently churns out gems like: ‘Isko dil nahi Dell khol ke dikhao (Don’t open your heart, switch on your Dell laptop)’.
Bobby Deol also fails to add anything extra to his role of Yash. The only person who manages to elevate their character and shape it into something somewhat watchable is Anil Kapoor. Although his role is predictable and tame, Kapoor has a suave charm that redeems his character. Jacqueline Fernandez puts some effort into her work too, and while her character Jasmine is by no means a good character, at least she can manage to hold her own in the film’s music numbers. The music and the score of the film too lack the energy of the franchise’s first two entries making Race 3 feel even more forgettable.
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The only saving grace of Race 3 is its action scenes. If you came in to see some cars exploding, you won’t be disappointed. The cars (which range from Lamborghinis to Bentleys) all blow up in style, needlessly throughout the film. Sure, the action becomes repetitive and slowing every explosion down for dramatic effect doesn’t help, especially since most of these scenes are stupid and illogical to a fault. But if your sole purpose for watching Race 3 was for things to go boom, then you will get your money’s worth. But that sadly won’t be able to sideline the problems of the Bollywood flick. And you know things are bad, when Salman Khan’s shirt coming off doesn’t distract you from the sinking realization that this is one of those films that become worse as it progresses. It’s all the more reason why Race 3 doing well at the box office is so shocking.
The film is Khan’s fourth film to make it to 100 crore in three days and is expected to be one of the highest grossing movies of the year. So clearly something about this action film is clicking with the audiences.
All in all, Race 3 is poorly executed, badly written and acted. The film’s focus on action doesn’t quite work because of how bland the entire movie is and it’s a shame that despite a solid cast and setting, the movie falls short of expectations. While die hard Salman Khan Fans may end up enjoying themselves, for anyone else Race 3 is a ride they won’t want to be a part of.