Race 3 - Next level of disappointment.
It follows the dysfunctional family of Shamsher Singh (Anil Kapoor) a kingpin of arms business and his attempt to keep his family together amidst hatred, betrayal and the illegal businesses they own. It's a race to the finish to reveal how the family stays together in the usual Race franchise template of greed.
Let me be honest. This tacky screenplay and lazy writing still could've easily worked. The lack of experience and inability to handle the biggest megastar of the industry has made the final product end up as an unforgivable mess.
So let me list out why the scenes which otherwise could've worked, failed big time.
The lengthy introductory action scene designed for the main cast. Sure, it was meant to introduce Salman Khan in the usual larger than life manner. But, this action sequence is prolonged due to introducing each of them, Daisy Shah, Saqib Saleem, Salman Khan & Bobby Deol individually. And mainly this action scene follows a lengthy car chase scene which was designed to introduce Anil Kapoor's character. What was supposed to generate WOW factor, gets tedious soon.
The follow up love story after this lacks spark. There is zero chemistry between Salman Khan & Jacqueline Fernandez pulls down the scenes. The slow number I Found Love just doesn't fit in, severely impacting the pace of the film.
By the time, Party Chale On is over, the RACE template of revealing a twist comes out bland because of the poor dialogues and the slow pace.
The first half ends on a stale note with another twist to justify the RACE brand. Sadly, the pace remains sluggish, the characters uninteresting and the tone seriously questionable.
Now, what made the entire first half terribly boring was the complete lack of entertainment. It's a downhill right after the lengthy action scenes. No proper scenes provided to choose which character to root for. Anil Kapoor's Shamsher Singh came out as a typical whining dad whereas every other character including Salman Khan's Sikandar was painfully one dimensional. The entire first half completely fails in establishing why should the audience care for any of these characters. No actor could've done justice to the terribly written dialogues and that remains a major turn off throughout.
Coming to second half,
The makers kinda relied on audience to give the writing the benefit of doubt considering how the entire reason for the heist planned looked so silly. But the story slightly picks up for some action to happen on screen worth noticing with the chartbuster Heeriye.
The predictable twist and another slow number Selfish not filmed on Salman Khan takes the center stage before the crucial and lavishly shot action sequence which is supposed to be the highlight of the film even takes off.
Complete lack of elevating the scenes on dramatic front hurts the action scene. In the end, you just see Salman Khan kicking butt without really feeling the need to care for it.
The film finally gets saved (hardly) by the much needed twist, something the entire screenplay is built upon. The pace quickens and the action mode is turned on. Too late ofcourse.
The second half is not as terrible as the first half. The twists do work to an extent, no matter how predictable they are. The problem here is the fact that we as audience still don't feel to root for any of the character. Once again I repeat, one of those character is The Salman Khan. Instead of the crisply executed thrilling scenes and carefully designed suspense, what we get is lavish sets and expensive stunts. Even the final action scene, a Salman Khan trademark one, turns out to be a rehash of all the shirtless fight scenes in this decade minus the fun part.
My biggest complaint will be regarding the lazy dialogues written. This is an event film to be this careless. If you felt mocking "our business is our business, none of your business" then you aren't ready for some of the gems like "Dil nahi Dell kholke dikhao" or frequent use of the word "bro" which would even put Aishwarya Rai from Dhoom 2 to shame for abusing the word "like". Who told them, using English in every sentence was necessary? or would make the characters sound cool? Salman Khan mouthing words like "See you later, alligator" or throwing "what is their modus operandi" out of nowhere just because of one dialogue which said he studied in Oxford was not enough to justify. Even if using English to sound cool was indeed the case then why over use the Awadhi dialect?
Pluses - Since I am only bashing in the name of honesty.
Anil Kapoor lives his character and he justifies perfectly.
Action scenes are really well shot.
Final twist involving Anil Kapoor.
Saansein Hui Dhuaan Dhuaan song in the background.
Anil Kapoor excels in his role with few shades. Not much of a challenge but he has brought his A game.
Salman Khan is fine but his role is extremely one dimensional. The kind where he says "parivar, insaniyat, mohabbat" as a counter reply to Anil's "mere paas daulat hai, power hai". The struggle is evident to fit him into the Race franchise and it doesn't look good because he just never fit in.
Bobby Deol again suffers from one dimensional character. But the main problem is, he is made the parallel lead to Salman Khan. When you write the two lead characters to be this weak, then it's just going through the role without leaving any impact. It's a comeback role for him and Bobby Deol is committed. If only he was offered a better role & a better film.
Daisy Shah surprisingly gives it all to her character. Sadly she gets to mouth most of the badly written dialogues but it is commendable to see her try to bring out a noticeable performance despite everything. Again her character too is strictly one dimensional.
Saqib Saleem hardly gets anything to leave a mark. Unlike Daisy's character, all he gets is to whine about his brother and when he's not doing that, yell. The other scenes strictly have him one toned.
Jacqueline Fernandez sticks out as a sore thumb. She does pole dancing well. But she hardly tries to do anything for her terribly written confused character. She's there for the songs and she's there during action scenes. A weirdly written weirdo character.
Sharat Saxena gets one scene to say his dialogue. Freddy Daruwala without a doubt is wasted in a thankless role.
Remo D'Souza fails in understanding how to handle the biggest megastar. Sure, as a fan he is aware of all the on screen moments featuring Salman Khan that were welcomed by strong whistles and hooting. Dabangg shirtless scene wouldn't have worked without elevating the scene dramatically. Same with other blockbusters. Those aren't deliberate pauses. Those are the necessary ones to make the tacky scenes whistle-worthy. To leave the desired impact.
Further, he failed to realise it's not about random twists. The importance of maintaining the suspense between one twist to another is completely omitted. Sure, the content he got was weakly written. But weak content doesn't have to be devoid of entertainment. The same scenes could've been elevated if he had realized the cuts he approved weren't really working. In Race 3, it was every other scene which didn't involve stunts. And the one thing that worked, was backed by strong writing. [Anil Kapoor's track]
Final Rating - 1.5/5 [0.5 for the action scenes, 0.5 for Anil Kapoor & 0.5 for the laughable dialogues.]
Final Word - It is the audience who will feel the next level of disappointment.
Oh the 3D! The TIPS logo in the opening credits is the only thing that justifies the 3D conversion.
Note: The entire heist is planned to steal an hard disk comprising of sex footage of politicians with call girls. There's a scene where the photos are spread across the table while the father & children (Anil, Daisy, Saqib & Bobby) are looking at it getting hysterically happy. This cringe worthy scene in an Salman Khan starrer with the biggest following from conservative family audience. Without the Salman factor also this scene was yucky and the makers thought of inserting it in Bhai's EID-wala event film?