Race 2008 Bollywood Movie Review

race-movie-review

race-movie-review

The Singh family comprises of Shamsher (Anil Kapoor) his step-son Sikandar (Salman Khan), twins Suraj (Saqib Saleem) and Sanjana (Daisy Shah). They run a business of illegal arms and trade with the help of their friend Yash (Bobby Deol). Things get dramatic when Jessica (Jacqueline Fernandez) meets Sikandar and the family ties are strained under each character’s ulterior motives.

Race 3 Review: The Race franchise is known for its excessively stylized characters and high-octane action. These films showcase expensive cars and fancy set pieces, they have everything to please the an action movie buff and James Bond fans. ‘Race 3’ puts the pedal to the metal when it comes to making stylish statements. But as it zooms ahead in style, the substance is left behind in a cloud of dust.

This film is about a rich family dealing with a lot of double crossing and scheming, as you’d expect from a film of this franchise. The Singh family is executing a high stake heist, where they have to steal a hard disk from a bank, so the setup looks like it’s going to have a lot of thrills and action. But the generous dose of action never translates into any serious thrills because the story is so flimsy. To say that the film has a wafer thin plot is an understatement. Unlike the action, the script lacks any real punch as the story does not engage the viewer at all. Trailer of the film had sparked off a bevy of memes on social media and when you watch the film you realise there are more such dialogues like, ‘Our business is our business, none of your business’ and that makes you wonder what the writers were thinking.

What redeems the tissue-thin plot is the larger-than-life action sequences. You have it all – car crashes, explosions, combats, cat-fights and wingsuit diving stunts. Yes, there’s lot of smoke and fire, but no real steam – in the story or the performances. Most of the action scenes are in slo-mo, meant to heighten the drama and thrill obviously, but it often ends up making the scene a tedious watch. The best directed parts of the film are the songs, which look like elaborately designed music videos. The movie is mounted on a lavish canvas, and shot on some beautiful locales, but none of that holds your attention for more than a few minutes. It’s a visual delight to see a range of super cars in action, glamorous girls throwing kicks and punches, and of course, fans will relish the sight of Salman Khan and Bobby Deol ripping their shirts off to flaunt their well-greased and chiseled bodies.

There’s a star studded cast on offer so the fans will have plenty of moments to cheer for their favourite stars. Salman Khan leads the pack with the main role, and while he’s great with the action and the style, the character has very little depth. Anil Kapoor plays the father figure of the Singh family with ease. Bobby Deol and Daisy Shah are at their stylish best, too. Jacqueline Fernandez and Saqib Saleem look fantastic as well. ‘Race 3’ will work for Salman fans the most, as bhai kicks and punches with gusto.

But for all its big moments, ‘Race 3’ just does not work up the feeling of suspense and intrigue that made the previous masala movies from the franchise a guilty pleasure. While the film wants to keep you guessing on who will finish the Race first, you are left wondering when you will cross the finish line.

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 a ritual that male stars of the Hindi film industry have followed with religious fervour for too long now, Salman Khan and Bobby Deol strip off their shirts in the closing minutes of Race 3 for an extended sequence of hand-to-hand combat. Some directors in recent years have managed to lend heat or humour to this over-familiar cliché, as Ali Abbas Zafar did last year with Tiger Zinda Hai when Khan’s character – hilariously and memorably – gave ISIS the full blast of his naked torso. Remo D’souza’s Race 3 lacks the panache to turn such triteness on its head and/or to keep it still interesting.
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 the 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 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.