By the time Salman Khan ripped off his shirt and Bobby Deol followed suit, I was ready to rip off my hair in exasperation. This maddening mishmash of hot babes and cool guys (including Anil Kapoor who lets his beard grow grey and his accent falter from angrezi to Bhojpuri, all for a cause) is a roaring, grunting mess of a movie.
Trashy beyond endurance, loud beyond the threshold of tolerance and outrageous beyond all definitions of lowbrow entertainment, Race 3 gives a bad name to the Salman Khan brand. Just when we thought he was trying to build a more durable variety of mass entertainment by reinventing himself in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Sultan and the unfortunate Tubelight, Race 3 comes along to remind us with infuriating aggressiveness, that when it comes to Salman Khan there is a very thin line betweenrationale and absurdity.
He skips jumps and crosses over into the kingdom of crassness with such daring impunity that you wonder what lies ahead in store for this hero of the masses who it seems, has decided to abandon all efforts to give a performance. Here in Race 3, Salman is so indifferent and openly bored by the bustling balderdash, he makes no effort to make sense of the tangled mess of a plot.
Sensible decision. I tried to understand what was going on, and failed. The migraine-inducing plot begins with Anil Kapoor striding insouciantly across the screen in a panther-like pantomine of machismo. This, I soon realized, is the brief given to all the actors by director Remo d’Souza. Everyone is required to stride purposefully across the wide-screen pretending to look like they are on to something that could change the way we look at cinema.
Anil Kapoor plays an arms dealer. We are supposed to applaud his enterprising spirit. Everybody is doing hugely illegal stuff throughout the length and breadth of the perversely panoramic plot which wastefully traverses several countries including China and Cambodia (why Cambodia, if not to create touristic awareness among the Salmaniacs?).
There are ‘heroes’ blackmailing politicians in a sex scandal, heroines running away with millions of dollars that don’t belong to them, that is, when they are not fighting each other on what looks like the dancefloor.
While every character is a bit of joke, dressed up in self-important colours that ool nobody, except the team behind this dimwitted atrocity. Anil Kapoor’s twin children, Sanjana and Suraj, played by Daisy Shah and Saqib Saleem, take the cake. They call each other ‘Bro’ and spend most of the time partying and smirking about their Sikandar Bhaiyya who is such a do-gooder he could kill us with his kindness if only he knew how too.
Salman’s Sikandar act is a feat of supreme somnambulism. He has plenty of action to perform. In fact, his introduction shows him jumping off a steep skyscraper—blessedly with a parachute fort company—and dropping straight into a villain’s den where the aforementioned Sanjana-Suraj siblings are shooting blanks with a of harvest expressions that try to compensate for the blankness of the bullets.
Everyone hams, except Salman. He is too bored to ham.
Throughout the film, the characters keep changing sides from good to bad, as if the scriptwriters had decided to free the characters from all responsibilities of self-discipline. Yup, it’s a free for all in Race 3.
A very costly and disturbing anarchy rules the plot of this jejune actioner. Why are producers with the power to pump up puerility, being allowed to spend so much money on a film that makes no sense, even on a trashy level?
Expensive cars are blown up, lavish parties are thrown, adversaries are snuffed , and the characters behave as if blackmailing politicians for their sexual indiscretion is somehow right when it comes to Salman Khan. Morality is not the only casualty in this headbanger of a movie where every character suffers from a flamboyant fatigue.
This would have been a hugely entertaining film if it were a comedy. Alas, these people are serious about their commitment to ersatz mayhem.
Heavens help the cult of Salman worshippers. Race 3 is a heretical anomaly.