Given our experience of the Race franchise, we are fully prepared for bad guys, fast cars, faster gals, dazzling foreign locations, shiny dance-floor moves, locomotives that cost more than a good sized 2BHK flat, supersize mansions, and a thin plot spiced by a twist or two. It’s a template, but we are always up for tales with all of the above if they are smart and pacy enough. The trouble with this third part is that it is neither. At two and a half hours, it is a scattershot snoozefest, perking up only when Salman Khan shows up. I never thought, constant reader, that I’d say this, but it has to be said: the only time Race 3 revs up is when Bhai and his lady love exchange a bit of banter: the hell-for-leather parts take a back seat.
Helmed by Remo D'Souza, Race 3 is a dance of dunces that hits a convoluted track from the moment it kicks off. The game has too many players and not enough rules to keep them sane. The formula - a bunch of super-rich blokes and bling-bedecked broads gypping each other in a game involving power, pelf and perfidy - has worn awfully thin. No amount of surface gloss and 'explosive' action can lend a fresh veneer to the rickety vehicle that Race 3 is. With all the junk in the trunk, it delivers a ride that is bumpy, noisy and aimless. Salman Khan throws his box-office weight behind the scrappy enterprise, but the unimaginatively scripted thriller can only plod its way through a heap of inanities. Served up ill-advisedly in 3D, the bluff and bluster are amplified beyond endurance.
Race 3 – which becomes Lace 3 when any of its two ladies appear on screen – is an atrociously brainless movie. Even by our appallingly low standards of popular entertainment, this one takes the beefy cake. Its existence single-handedly diminishes the intellectual capacity of humankind over 160 minutes. It is made by a choreographer who thinks he is a director, and yet boasts of perhaps the worst soundtrack of all time. It has 8 music directors and 10 lyricists, one of which is Salman Khan, who I’m sure is behind the poetic depth of “nobody knows what the future holds, let’s give it our best, I found love, love, love.” From the trailer itself, it was clear that Remo D’Souza’s Race 3 would be a shameful exercise in Botox-injected vanity because its hero is also the co-producer. But there’s a strange kind of smug awfulness attached to this sequel. Even though the first two installments were ridiculous, there was something infectiously silly about them – because we knew they were conceived by two small little Indian uncles dressed in pristine colour-coded whiteness in an effort to come up with bombastic ideas to out-spy James Bond. The self-seriousness, naivety and datedness were almost cute – like watching our analogue dads trying to figure out the latest smartphone.
Race 3 has the cars and locations but everything else is in short supply. But that twisty, popcorn thriller was the brainchild of the veterans of suspense – the brothers Abbas-Mustan. Here Remo D’Souza takes over. He and writer Shiraz Ahmed design a showcase for their superstar. Salman is in every frame, solving every problem. Even the agony of being stuck in traffic – because he just puts on this winged suit and flies where he needs to go. I need to know where to get one of those. . This isn’t Race. It is, as Salman is rumored to have described it, Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! meets Dhoom. You can imagine how that plays out.
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.