The dominant sound in Vijay Krishna Acharya’s “Dhoom 3” is the revving up of a bike. The bike never quite takes off though, resulting in a lot of noise and smoke, but not much else.
Hyped as the biggest release of the year, and as the slickest action thriller to come out of India, “Dhoom 3” turns out to be a damp squib. For an action film, there is hardly any action – instead the 172 minute film is laden with an insipid romance and many other distractions that add nothing to the story except lengthen it further.
Even the action sequences aren’t clever – the bike that Sahir (Aamir Khan) uses can apparently travel on water, fire and in air – can combine with another bike to transform into another machine altogether, and even straddle a rope across two buildings. If the film had gone on any further, it might have solved world hunger.
Inspite of this magical bike, on which Sahir makes all his escapes – all of which seem inspired from “The Fast and Furious” and the Batman films – the action looks slick only because the other side stares open-mouthed as he makes these apparently great escapes. At one point you want to shake Abhishek Bachchan’s character and say “do something, don’t just stand there!”
Bachchan plays Jai Dixit, the intrepid police officer, who is referred to as “India’s top cop”, and is called in to Chicago, along with his deputy Ali (Uday Chopra) to solve a series of bank robberies that take place at different branches of the same bank. The thief leaves a note in Hindi and a smiling clown mask as his signature, and always manages to evade capture, zooming away on his bike before anyone can sight him.
This invisible thief is Sahir, who owns a circus and nurses a grudge against the bank in question. When he finds out that Dixit is hot on his trail, he presents himself at the police station, claiming to have been acquainted with the thief and offering his help to the police. Up until here, the film trundles along fine, except for the minor hiccup.
But then Acharya plays his cards wrong – he reveals his biggest twist at intermission, and then plunges into a tragic family saga that is completely out of place in a film like this. What also weighs the film down is the clunky and cringeworthy dialogue – at one point Sahir’s assistant tells him about his inability to find a female performer for their circus saying “Is area ki saari hot Asian girls aa ke audition de chuki hai” (All the hot Asian girls in the area have already auditioned”.
Acharya borrows heavily from Hollywood films like “The Dark Knight”, “The Prestige”, and even Indian films like “My Name is Khan” to ultimately deliver a film that is entirely predictable. Unlike the earlier two “Dhoom” films, this one takes itself too seriously, forgets to have fun, and thus becomes a deadweight film that collapses soon enough.
Of the performances, Abhishek Bachchan tries hard to match the swagger that a police officer who is on the side of right should have, but fails. Uday Chopra, surprisingly has the best lines in the film, and gets away with a few laughs. Katrina Kaif is obviously there to show off her perfectly toned body, and to create a minor conflict in the film. As Sahir, the clown thief, Aamir Khan delivers his weakest performance yet. His menacing snarl comes off as comic and his emotional side comes off as fake. Whether it was a bad casting choice or not, he is far from convincing as the cunning, intelligent criminal.
Except for a couple of action sequences and a few laughs from Uday Chopra, there is nothing about “Dhoom 3” that justifies you buying a ticket to see this film.