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Jan 10, 2014 at 03:47pm IST

'Dhoom 3' review: The film is a sloppily scripted sandwich of hammy acting

Cast: Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Jackie Shroff

Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya

Dhoom 3 is a sloppily scripted sandwich of hammy acting and cheesy dialogue. Which wouldn't have mattered if it was at least as much fun as the previous two films, because this franchise has never promised much more than cool men on fast bikes, and hot women in short skirts. But the new movie lacks the required adrenaline rush of a Fast and Furious-type thriller, instead falling prey to the kind of melodrama and over-plotting that doesn't belong here.

Saahir (Aamir Khan) is a talented magician who runs an Indian circus in Chicago, also using his unique skills to routinely rob a bank that he holds responsible for his father's suicide many years ago. He must stay out of the reach of surly cop Jai Dikshit (Abhishek Bachchan) and his motor-mouth sidekick Ali (Uday Chopra), who have been dispatched to the Windy City to crack the case.

Aside from some genuinely cool moments like Aamir's getaway on a Chicago waterfront or the climax staged on a dam, Dhoom 3 doesn't offer very much by way of novelty or inventiveness. What's more, the film's middle half gets weighed down by Saahir's dreary revenge agenda which gets derailed once a woman enters the fray. Aliya (Katrina) is part of Saahir's circus act, contorting her body into Cirque Du Soliel kind of rope gymnastics. But all this mid-air flexing barely drums up excitement. The film is missing the thrills that went hand-in-hand with the outrageous heists, screeching tires, and bad guy attitude associated with Dhoom. It's hard to go into any more detail about the plot without giving away the film's big twist, which reveals itself right before interval.

Unlike John Abraham and Hrithik Roshan in the previous films, Aamir doesn't quite make for a particularly sexy villain, and his character, with its inevitable plot twists, is overwritten and overplayed. Twitches, frowning, stammering are all used as crutches, while the camera lingers unwaveringly on his pecs, abs and bare back. Abhishek Bachchan spends most of the film glowering angrily, while Katrina seems to show up strictly for the song sequences. Uday Chopra is back in tapori mode as Ali, but to give him credit, he gives the character shape.

Ultimately, the film is let down by a convenient script and its inability to deliver solid entertainment. I'm going with a generous two-and-a-half out of five for writer-director Vijay Krishna Acharya's Dhoom 3. All you expect from the Dhoom movies is a thrill ride, but this one makes you feel like you're stranded in rush hour traffic.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

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