In 1987, a masterpiece called Hard Ticket to Hawaii arrived in theatres. It chronicled two Playboy models sent undercover to Hawaii to bust a diamond racket and battle a mutant snake. Why am I telling you about Hard Ticket to Hawaii? Because like that film, Dhoom:3 is stupid, ridiculously over the top, unbelievably hammy, hilariously terrible cheesy, contrived and non-stop fun.
Back in 2008, director Vijay Krishna Acharya made Tashan which flopped because believe it or not, it was way ahead of its time. Had it released today, in the post Rohit Shetty-Prabhu Deva Rs 100-crore era, it would easily have made a few hundred crores. Acharya got a second chance with Dhoom:3 and with its humongous budget, he’s really let his imagination go berserk.
Aamir Khan makes his entry by running vertically down a building, with currency notes flying everywhere and a background score that sounds like “We want chocolate we want chocolate”.
Abhishek Bachchan makes his entry by breaking through a concrete wall in an auto rickshaw, then jumps over rooftops in the auto and then does Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible 2 bike stunts with the auto.
Katrina Kaif makes her entry by doing a Marky Mark-“Good Vibrations”-style, five-minute-long aerobics workout (and/or striptease) as an impromptu audition for The Great Indian Circus in Chicago.
Really, Dhoom:3 is Dhoom to the power of 3. It’s 27 times as ridonkulous as the previous Dhoom films in every department. The longer it runs, the more preposterous it gets, and you can’t help but admire it for what it is.
The action sequences were most certainly conceived during a drunken chor-police game that Acharya played with his toys one night. You see Khan driving a bike that turns into a boat that turns into a submarine that turns into a bike. You get Bachchan Jr tailing Aamir’s bikeboatmarine while clinging on to the rope ladder of a helicopter. You get Uday Chopra wearing a Captain Jack Sparrow costume and chasing Khan on a BMW in random corridors.
And don’t you dare think there is no substance to this movie. Prepare to have your mind blown – the villain in the film is not Khan, but banks. Yes, Dhoom:3 is a social commentary on the postmodern world being afflicted by the tyranny of bankers. It’s deep stuff. In one scene, a wicked man looks at the camera grimly and tells a destitute common man, “We are bankers. We understand the world of money.”
And since this is a Dhoom movie you get a ginormous buffet of bad acting, cheesy romance, dreadful songs and plot holes so big you could drive Van Damme’s Volvo trucks through them. It’s not fair to take pot shots at Chopra because he’s the only genuine element in the film – all of his jokes are self-referential. Bachchan Jr doesn’t do much more than grimace a couple of times and walk around extremely determined. With her back perpetually arched, midriff perpetually bare and dialogue perpetually corny, Katrina comes off like a parody of an action movie heroine.
But Dhoom:3 will be remembered for being the point where Khan gleefully ignored all of the accolades he’s ever received for being a good actor. He clearly worked extremely hard on his muscles, but every dialogue he utters magically produces ham hocks around the screen. In the film he’s either
a) Too serious, and hence unintentionally funny or
b) Completely barmy, and hence unintentionally funny.
Khan is a good dramatic actor and a great comedic actor, but is not a commercial action hero. Someone needed to tell him to lighten up a bit. This is a Dhoom movie after all.
You may have predicted all of the above things, but nothing will prepare you for the barn burning ‘twist’ just before the interval. You can see it coming, but you desperately wish and pray for that to not be the case. But it does come, and you’re left groaning in defeat, wrapping your face with as many palms as you can find. It’s the kind of stuff you’d see in Hard Ticket to Hawaii and the twelve other films by the director Andy Sidaris, all twelve of which are available in a single DVD pack with your neighbourhood pirate.