'Dhoom 3' review: Aamir Khan doesn't have the sexy-badness
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Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya
The Indian Express Rating: **
Somewhere in the build-up to the film, a character tells another: just make sure my eyes do not move from you for five whole minutes. Dhoom 3 is nearly three hours long, and I am here to tell you that my eyes strayed from the screen many, many times.
My attention shouldn't have wavered. Because the third installment of 'Dhoom' has the kind of tech specs the slickest Hollywood flicks do: superb cinematography, great-looking sets, expansive foreign locations. And the promise that leading man Aamir Khan is meant to bring to his act. But very soon into the film, you are overcome with the feeling that engulfs you when you encounter stuff you've seen too many times before. Dhoom 3 is a victim of both a crying lack of imagination, and franchise fatigue.
In snowy Chicago, young Sahir (Khan) is witness to his deep-in-debt-father's (Shroff) humiliation at the hands of a stony-faced banker, and the subsequent loss of his circus. Years later, in the same place, the Great Indian Circus opens to a glittering evening. Sahir, now grown up, has perfected his double-bill: that of the smart thief, and a skilled showman. When he is not leading imported-from-India cop-duo Jai (Bachchan) and Ali (Chopra) a merry
dance all over Chicago, he is charming awed audiences with his beautiful partner-on-a-trapeze Aliya (Kaif).
By rights, this should have been a blast. That's what the 'Dhoom' flicks are meant for: ultra-toned bikini-ready bods (remember the homely Esha Deol, yes the very one, transformed into a bronzed babe in the first one, and oh that Aishwarya in her teeny-weeny blue outfit that created such a storm in the second?), the funny ha-ha chatter between the tapori Ali and the dour Jai, and the sizzling hot bad guys. I would pay good money for John Abraham and his bikes, and Hrithik and his golden-streaked hair, even on a second run.
Both those films were entertainers to the core, Yashraj style, unabashedly over-the-top, and fast-paced enough to make sure that we didn't have any time to think. Dhoom 3 is too long and too laboured. And a lot of that has to do with Khan: he just doesn't have the sexy-badness that is required for a part like this. He is in almost every frame, widening his eyes, rolling his neck, and trying for twinkly-wicked, but he comes off trying too hard. Bachchan and Chopra, carry overs from the previous 'Dhooms', aren't given anything fresh to do; Kaif is the only one who has a moment or two.
It doesn't help that the plot is so blah, and so reminiscent of films that have had magicians and pilfered banks (those scenes of dollars raining down on the streets were an integral part of Hollywood film Now You See Me; there's also a bit of Prestige in here). What should have been thrilling — all those boys and their toys and their million dollar bikes — is all so seen it, done-with-it. There are just a couple of spectacular high spots in the chases, but for a film that coasts mostly on its stunts, that's just not enough.
The film comes alive in scenes where good old Bollywood emotion — tears-welling-up-eyes between father and son, and ladka-and-ladki — is allowed to come to the fore. Those earlier two films had the right doses of cheese and speed, and that's why they worked. Dhoom 3 is more bust than boom.