Race 3: Subpar, Silly, Superfluous

The Race franchise of Bollywood is well-known for its crisp direction, unexpected thrills, and the perfect blend of masala and classy cinema. Unfortunately, Race 3, does not live up to the high quality of its predecessors, as it has neither the beloved Saif Ali Khan nor the cherished director duo Abbas-Mustan. Race 3 revolves around the Singh family – Shamsher Singh (Anil Kapoor), arms dealer, business tycoon, and father of his three children – Sikander (Salman Khan), Suraj (Saqib Saleem), and Sanjana (Daisy Shah) – who all come together to complete a heist for their father. In the melee are also Yash (Bobby Deol), a trusted associate of the family, Jessica (Jacqueline Fernandez), a con-woman and the female love interest, and Raghu (Sharat Saxena), Shamsher’s bodyguard.

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Race 3 is unnecessarily complicated by the expansive and confusing family tree, frequent flashbacks into the past, and political scandals and illegal moneymaking schemes. Not to mention that the film is primarily situated on a mysterious isolated island called Al-Shifa and a Beijing that definitely resembles Southeast Asia more than mainland China. The introduction to each character in the Singh family feels strained and easily places them into boxes, and the language/accent switching between Hindi and Braj dialect is random and inconsistent. The editing could have definitely been more suave and crisp, particularly in the first half, which was filled with more cringe-worthy “bro” dialogues than anything of substance. While the second half was considerably better and had the Race trademark plot twists, they lacked any thrill and seemed as if they were inserted simply to bear some resemblance to previous Race films.

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One of the most confusing things about Race 3 was its action sequences, especially the characters’ choice of outfits for such scenes. For instance, in one of the opening scenes, we see Daisy Shah struggling to fight wearing a formal knee-length dress and heels, after which she decides to use a knife and cut a slit through her dress for more mobility and flexibility. Salman Khan, too, takes a stab at looking classy donned in a full suit and jacket while fighting off villains. Another absolutely ridiculous element of the stunts was the bat-like costume worn by Sikander and Jessica to literally jump out of a truck and fly away into the sky. Then again, when has Bollywood cinema ever been realistic and practical when it comes to stunts and action…

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The two somewhat redeeming qualities of Race 3 are its background music by Salim-Sulaiman – which feels tacky only on rare occasions – and Anil Kapoor’s acting. It is self-evident that Anil Kapoor is quite a talented actor in the Hindi film industry, but it is disappointing to see him take up roles in films like Race 3 that lack a gripping script or nuanced direction. Like many other Hindi films nowadays, the music and songs are boring, repetitive, and uninteresting, while the choreography for the version of “Selfish” with Bobby and Jacqueline is multidimensional and well-composed. It goes without saying that Remo D’Souza is an incredibly talented dancer, so it may be best for him to stick to what he is good at – choreography and dance-based films.

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Final Verdict: Race 3 is an average film with subpar direction, silly dialogues, and a superfluous plot. It is largely forgettable and uninteresting so feel free to skip this latest edition of the Race franchise.

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