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Race 3
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by Jay Seaver

"Barely gets out of the starting gate."
2 stars

If one's filmgoing tastes stretch far enough for Indian action-adventure and "Race 3" is playing at the local multiplex - and it's more likely than usual; the big Eid release is getting more screens than Bollywood films typically get in the U.S., including some in 3D - the number in the title should not deter you; it's not connected to the two previous movies and even the returning actors are playing different characters. No, give it a pass because it's not very good, a prime example of how a movie can have a little bit of everything and not enough of anything.

It revolves around Shamsher Singh (Anil Kapoor), a weapons manufacturer chased out of the Indian town of Handia to the island of Al Safia twenty-five years ago. His family serves as his inner circle and most ferocious enforcers: Stepson Sikander (Salman Khan), who has recently spent time in Beijing; daughter Sanjana (Daisy Shah), a martial-arts expert; her twin brother Suraj (Saqib Saleem), a fast-car-loving hothead; and Sikander's bodyguard Yash (Bobby Deol), practically part of the family. The favoritism Shamsher shows Sikander has the twins plotting against their step-brother, who has recently met the charming Jessica Gomes (Jacqueline Fernandez) on a trip to Beijing. And while Rana Singha (Freddy Daruwala) is their fiercest competitor, Shamsher has his eye on a hard drive full of blackmail material in a Cambodian bank vault that could give him the leverage he needs to return home.

There's a good action/adventure movie or two to be found in there, but <I>Race 3</I> has as bad a case of Bollywood bloat as I've ever seen. It's the sort of movie that tells you Sanjana knows three kinds of martial arts and that her brother loves driving fast cars in an efficient briefing at the start and then doesn't have them get into a fight or a chase for the two whole hours. In the meantime, the record labels which pay for these movies need to get their numbers on the soundtrack, even though that means little really happens before intermission - the musical numbers are either stalling scenes of them hanging around nightclubs but not actually advancing things, or very familiar romance montages. Given how the opening of the film is a major bit of tell-don't-show, it's a lot of running in place despite a couple early action scenes.

It's not much better in the back half. Things had built to a central heist, but it's a major disappointment; it's not a lot of effort for such a major prize and doesn't make use of any particularly special skills the Singhs have. After that's done, there are too many plot twists piled on top of each other, turned about in rapid succession and treated as little more than functional moving parts, revelations that cause people to quickly switch sides without any sort of lingering uncertainty or doubt. The relationships also get more than a little questionable and seem to shift in the hope that the audience won't track them with much precision ("brother" becomes "like a brother", for instance).

The big action sequences are not built particularly well; they tend to feel like director Remo D'Souza watched John Woo movies and thought the slow motion was the point itself, not just a way to emphasize something important; there's a lot of the sort of cutting that lightens impact or allows things to come out of nowhere. When either the violence or the dance works, it's out of sheer scale; D'Souza and his crew are good at going big, and nobody plays into that as well as producer/star Salman Khan, who spends much of the climax cribbing straight from the 1980s Schwarzenegger playbook, whether by firing weapons meant to be mounted on vehicles from his shoulder or making sure to get good and shirtless for the last fight so that the audience can see his muscles ripple with each hit (there's similar fun in watching Daisy Shah's Sanjana get frustrated by the difficulties of doing martial arts in a tight knee-length dress and high heels). It's aided a bit by one of the better 3D post-conversions I've seen; action sequences seem laid out with it in mind and busy dance numbers benefit from a deeper stage.

It's not enough, unfortunately. "Race 3" tries to mix romance, music, intrigue, and action together, but never gives any enough room to be done well, and even the moments when it winks at the audience (at some points literally) aren't committed enough. It's slick-looking and throws a lot onto the screen, but doesn't do any one thing well enough to recommend.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=32258&reviewer=371
originally posted: 06/18/18 11:29:41
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User Comments

8/27/18 Saif K. Tons of slo-mo posturing, zero brains and skills. Watch better Indian cinema. Its there. 1 stars
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Directed by

Written by
  Shiraz Ahmed

  Anil Kapoor
  Salman Khan
  Jacqueline Fernandez
  Bobby Deol
  Daisy Shah
  Saqib Saleem

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