Baaghi 3 Movie Review: A predictable potboiler that needs rapid reinvention
Tiger Shroff and Sajid Nadiadwala's Baaghi franchise was always supposed to be about mindless plots and mind-boggling action, but who would've expected unintentional comedy?
Director: Ahmed Khan
Cast: Tiger Shroff, Shraddha Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh, Jameel Khoury, Ankita Lokhande
Fans may differ, but for a lot of critics, even the harshest ones, War still remains Tiger Shroff's most compelling film, both in terms of story and stunts. It was a character that was driven by both valour and vulnerability, and the fact that he was acting with his idol Hrithik Roshan made his character Khalid a lot more fun. Siddharth Anand rightly extracted the vanity of two of the biggest stars of the country and gave them the right narrative.
And now for the fans, they love the Baaghi franchise and the box-office numbers say so. Critics have never mattered to his solid fan-base and the staggering success of Baaghi and Baaghi 2 is proof. Baaghi 3 was announced even before the second one came out that only showed the faith the makers had in Shroff's celluloid infallibility. And here we are, watching the man battle the whole nation this time, because conquering a mere group of villains would be too mainstream and a cakewalk for his athletic and acrobatic skills.
When the makers mount an entire franchise on the shoulders of one man, the sheer lack of coherence in the other characters and the narrative they are occupied by shows. Riteish Deshmukh plays our hero Ronnie's elder brother Vikram, and the actor, throughout the film, looks horrified and heart-broken. Such is the extent of his sorrows that he even weeps while watching Judwaa and Judwaa 2. And only writers Farhad Samji and Sajid Nadiadwala can explain the reason behind Deshmukh's one-note performance.
And then we have Sia, played by Shraddha Kapoor, who overcooks her feisty mode and fondness for expletives to compensate for Vikram's blandness. She has visually no chemistry with her leading man, and by the time the couple begins to click, the end credits have begun to roll. Director Ahmed Khan stages the canvas of the action very similar to Tiger Zinda Hai, and reminds us how it will all unfold because his Tiger is also alive, and he will conquer everyone without being scathed.
Watch the trailer of Baaghi 3 below:
The villains are caricaturist representations of what we have seen in films based on similar themes, kohl-eyed monsters with remorseless motives and problematic dialogues. Jaideep Ahlawat and Vijay Varma are the only two characters that get some room for layers, but the uneven writing and the greed to let the leading man shine never allow them to have their moment of glory. There are multiple montages of sheer emotional manipulation that seemed to have been added only so that they could tell us how Baaghi 3 isn't just about action but also emotions.
Khan gives precisely one moment to Deshmukh to showcase his heroism but that too ends in unintended comedy. And now, coming to the man who's the driving force of this action franchise - Tiger Shroff. To blame him entirely for his unconvincing performance would be unfair, as stated above, Anand did a fine job of peeping into his untapped potential in War. The equal onus lies on Khan for relying way too much on Ronnie's abs and muscles that he conveniently forgets to focus on his face. I didn't feel anything for him when I saw his bond with his brother, I didn't cry with him when he was begging for his brother's life, and I didn't feel anything for him when he reunited with him after nearly demolishing the whole of Syria.
Like he always does, Shroff makes it up with his action, but that too seems to be running out of steam. There's an action set-piece that unfolds inside a factory and Ronnie challenges to destroy all the henchmen in 45 seconds, and as soon as the combat begins, the timer on the screen begins as well. But the breathlessness in the choreography is missing that was so impressive in the first film. Way too many slow-motion shots hamper the joy of watching this impressive action star pummelling everyone to the pulp. And given that we pretty much saw everything in the trailer, the sight of him dodging bullets, bomb explosions, and helicopters fail to infuse any energy or enthusiasm either.
It doesn't matter how Baaghi 3 is received, it will go bonkers at the box-office and that will only pave way for Baaghi 4, 5, and 6. This could be the longest-running franchise of Hindi Cinema, but as a fan of this genre and especially the first Baaghi, I'm hoping to see something refreshing in the next film. Because sometimes, not only the story, the stunts need reinvention too!
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