A still from the Hindi movie "Race 3" Image Credit: Supplied

Bullets are being sprayed indiscriminately and souped-up cars are going up in flames in quick succession, but no amount of slick well-timed stunts can save this star-powered vehicle. 

Race 3 is a doomed adventure.

The thriller, starring Salman Khan and directed by Remo D’Souza, reeks of bad writing, terrible dialogues, pretentious acting and a lame plot. It’s also a classic example of how throwing wads of cash into an action thriller and dolling it up with snazzy cars or having its gorgeous but questionably talented stars do slow motions cannot save the day. 

Even a fight sequence with the gleaming, sculpted torsos of Salman Khan and Bobby Deol wrestling in the Liwa desert isn’t a balm to a viewer, who’s simply exhausted by antics of the players in Race 3. There’s even a random fierce girl-on-girl action sequence between Sanjana (Daisy Shah) and Jessica (Jacqeline Fernandez) at a nightclub thrown in. But swagger and stylish stunts cannot compensate for a terrible storyline.

Race 3, which delves into the lives of a wealthy dysfunctional clan led by patriarch Shamsher Singh (Anil Kapoor), is a stylised take on illegal arms dealing. Abu Dhabi has been dressed up as the fictional island Al Shiffah, the epic centre of Singh’s business empire. From the outset, it’s established that it’s the playground for the rich and ruthless. You cross Shamsher and he will wickedly blow you up in pieces. His children —  played by Saqib Saleem, Daisy Shah and Salman Khan — aren’t as united as they look. When they are not indulging in pretentious ‘bro’ and ‘dude’ speak, they are scheming to kill one another for money. It’s supposed to be a giddy bullet-riddled action-adventure, but it’s just a colossal mess.

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

The actors - in the midst of a heist  or some evil plan-hatching — have the propensity to also break into song and dance. Sadly, even Salman Khan’s fail-proof charisma and star power cannot elevate this thriller, which is defunct when it comes to a believable storyline.

But history has taught us that a film starring Salman Khan, now past 50,  doesn’t have to be high on logic as his swagger can elevate any mediocre project. But the deal with Race 3 is that the dialogues seems to have been written by an amateur writer high on a sugar-rush.  Sample this: Our business is our business, none of your business, uttered by a dead-pan Daisy Shah; “I am sick of this Sikku” spoken by an uninspiring Saquib Saleem and, “The fools who are trying to remove me from this Race don’t realise that I am the champion of this race”, by a gilded Salman Khan is as trashy as it sounds.

Race instalments, which were once a shameful guilty pleasure that prided themselves on being effortlessly sophisticated despite camp storylines, feel let down - laboured even - by this one. 

While the action sequences, spearheaded by Hollywood stunt legend Tom Stuthers, is visually compelling and might appease the motor-head soul in you, the story fails to ignite any emotion in the viewer. 

The wafer-thin plot that skims through illegal arms and drug dealings feels like a joke. Even the allure of  Khan going shirtless or watching catfights unfurl cannot save this inglorious mess.

Bobby Deol, who makes a comeback with Race 3 as a sly commoner, Yash, harshly reminds why his career failed to take off. 

Watch this if you are a motor head who loves to watch cars being blown up, but if you are looking for an intriguing story, then Race 3 isn’t the answer.


Cast: Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Saquib Saleem, Jacqueline Fernandez and Daisy Shah

Stars: 1.5 out of 5