Dhoom: 3 is a hard movie to review in a conventional manner, because the minute you start speaking about the story, people are going to feel like they’ve been spoiled. That’s only because very, very little has been revealed in advance about the plot. It’s a good experience, actually, going in to watch a film when you barely know anything about the story – so I’m going to avoid telling you anything about that. Instead, I’m going to jump straight in to telling you what I liked about it, and what I didn’t. You can decide, then, whether you want to fork over the cash for the tickets (they’re priced on the higher side) based on that.
1. It’s a lot slicker than its predecessors. The Dhoom franchise has always been about bikes and chase sequences, but there is a very obvious attempt in Dhoom: 3 to overtake all that they have done previously. A lot of attention has been paid on making this film look good: the actors have better bodies, the chase sequences get more screen time, the gadgets are more high-tech, the scenes are shot in better locations, and there’s a certain grandeur about The Great Indian Circus. This, definitely, makes Dhoom: 3 feel like a step up from its predecessors, at least in the look and feel of it.
2. It’s fun, in a Bollywood masala type of way. The film throws one WTF element after another, and it’s all utterly unbelievable – Aamir walking vertically down the side of a building is unbelievable, him sliding cleanly under an upcoming truck is unbelievable, the special shape-shifting properties of his bike is unbelievable… but, I mean, it’s still a lot of fun if you remember that you’re watching a Dhoom film and therefore should not be taking things too seriously. If you’re going to go in and compare it to a Hollywood film, then you might as well not bother – you’ll only waste your money, and your scoffs will probably end up spoiling it for those who are genuinely entertained.
3. There’s more of a human element. This could go either way for you, really – there are some who’ll believe the backstory and emotional angle take away from the actual action, and that’s a fair enough point. But I like fleshed out characters, and this film – more than the previous two – concentrates on delivering a villain whose motives are explored and understandable (if a little misplaced).
1. The rest of the characters don’t have much to do. It was obvious from the beginning that this was going to be Aamir’s film all the way, but it’s a little surprising how little the other characters have to do. Katrina has more screen time in songs than anything else – she hardly has a meaty scene, although it’s evident that she’s put in a lot of work to learn the acrobatics and her dance moves. Uday has nothing even mildly substantial to do in this one. I have always found him endearing in the Dhoom films (don’t disown me, please), but in this he only pops in and out occasionally, without having an actual role in nabbing the villain. Even Abhishek looks a bit out of place, and although his credentials as a “super cop” were always questionable, ACP Jai Dixit seems to be even more incompetent in this film.
2. We don’t get to see the execution of the robberies. What’s the point, if we don’t get to see the actual robbery taking place? We see the planning stage in flashes (even that’s not fleshed out) and then the subsequent chase sequences (in slow-mo, this time), but the actual event is never shown. This just reeks of laziness, and was a big downer.
3. The plot twists are underwhelming. Once the film gets rolling, it’s not very difficult to at least have an inkling about what the major plot twist is. This twist, by the way, comes in at the interval, which makes the second half feel a little underwhelming. It also makes it feel stretched out, since you know all there is to know already. After a while, you’re just waiting for the villain to be nabbed, without really enjoying the thrill of it.
Dhoom: 3 is not groundbreaking, but it still has quite a bit to offer and is worth a watch – if you manage to snag tickets, that is, since it’s surely going to go housefull for some time.