Race 3 review: Sorry Bhai fans, this one’s a big zero!

If ‘I have no words’ could be an actual review, I’d leave it at that.

But if you absolutely must know, Race 3 doesn’t merely demand you to leave your brains behind but guarantees you won’t find them anywhere even after the ordeal is over, much worse if you’re suffering it in 3D like yours truly did. 

In this ineffably stupid and tortuously long movie dangling between daft and deafening, slow motion dominates 100 minutes of its 159 minutes and 41 seconds running time. In its first 30 minutes, only guns and grenades are fired against the changing backdrop of an airbase, highway and warehouse.  

There’s a scene where a drone vamooses with a suitcase full of money. I don’t know about cash but I wonder if it also took along the script. Maybe it was never written at all given how triumphantly a pen is blown to smithereens in the opening sequence itself.  

The Race franchise, a stylish hodgepodge of glamour, adrenalin and flimflam kick-started by Abbas-Mastan, was never particularly bright. But Race 3’s mental incapacity — abounding with nuggets like ‘Bro isse dil nahi Dell khol ke dikhao’ — under the baton of choreographer-turned-director Remo D’Souza makes its predecessors’ follies look like action thrillers of its decade.  

Having run out of fruits to pun innuendoes around, Anil Kapoor is now cast as Oxford-educated Salman Khan’s step daddy running an arms dealing empire in Saudi Arabia. Sporting a scruffy silver fox, Kapoor looks like an actor running between a Sanjay Gupta and David Dhawan set. 

When not swaggering in slo-mo and trench coats, he’s harping about homesickness and returning to Zila Handia like a filmi UP gaonwala. Zila Handia is uttered so many times in Race 3, it might just come close to breaking Padmaavat’s Rajput record. His other two kids, Saqib Saleem and Daisy Shah, play hamming twins and come a close second with their usage of ‘Bro’ in every single sentence.  

Lending them company is the ‘loyal, loveable and lethal’ no, not a Labrador but a deadpan Bobby Deol. Basically, he’s the equivalent of the parcel used in a game of, well, passing the parcel. His mobile allegiance prompts one of them to say, ‘Team Sikandar ko chhod ke Team Twins join kar lo.’ Who he ultimately joins is as relevant as Jacqueline Fernandez’s input in any movie she’s ever starred in.

Here’s the thing with this one.

Interpol acts as a middleman to expedite a meeting of politicians caught in a sex racket while a hard disk containing visuals of their colourful libido is stolen from a locker in Cambodia and an army of camo-clad men is thwarted single-handedly by Bhai. 

In the middle of this ruckus, Remo throws in a splash of family drama involving sibling rivalry, property dispute, mother’s will, sepia flashback, a vapid love triangle, a con girl from Beijing, random henchmen and pointlessly withheld secrets for over a decade. Mostly, though, everybody breaks into group dance whenever they discover the truth about a deceitful friend or family. 

It’s almost as if a character is defending the idiocy when she says, ‘When the money is so good, why ask questions?’

Such sheer randomness is superstar indulgence at its worst.

Co-producer, leading man and lyricist Salman Khan has infused life in many a mindless movie but his barely awake disposition made me wonder if he has accidentally popped some of those Calmpose pills Anil Kapoor keeps referring to. And what was with that unexplained fake moustache and beard getup in the Beijing interlude? Tiger to Sikandar, continuity woes?  

If entertainment amounts to sedans and sunglasses doing all the emoting, cars going kaboom, one fancy bike vrooming ahead a host of others, cat fight of She Hulks, a takedown of shirtless wax mannequins, folks jumping off from buildings and mountain tops in magically emerging wing suits or conducting a bank heist while two members of their group arrive in a chopper, inject themselves with micro fluid tracker device to distract non-existent security by pole dancing in a swanky Cambodia club, then Race 3 deserves a gold medal. 

But, sorry Bhai fans, it’s a big zero from me.

This review was first published on rediff.com.

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