If there is one thing that you know heading into this movie, it is that both Tiger (Salman Khan) and Zoya (Katrina Kaif) will beat up bad guys with élan. They do. While Tiger hits hard, Zoya's style is more technical. Why is this relevant? Because the consistency in the fighting style of its main characters is perhaps the best thing about the Tiger franchise.
Right from Ek Tha Tiger (2012) to Tiger 3, Tiger and Zoya have progressed on the path dictated to by their core skill-sets. This approach lends itself brilliantly to the fight choreography in this movie. Particularly in the case of Zoya's fights—some of her moves are quite special. Katrina seems to be taking things up a level every time she plays this character. It is undoubtedly the best role of her career. And while her detractors may argue that the superstar has not had enough good roles, action is now very much a viable genre for Bollywood's leading ladies. And going by the proof of Zoya, no actress in India does it better than Katrina.
Salman is taking a lot more hits than we are used to seeing. Perhaps it is meant to show that Tiger is no longer invincible. But, he is still unstoppable (mostly). Also, if Tiger had found a way to get out of all the situations he finds himself in, the plot would not have needed a cameo. So, just when all seems lost for our hero, a familiar face turns up to save the day. There are no prizes for guessing who it is given that it was basically announced as part of the dialogue during Tiger's cameo in Pathaan earlier this year. A well executed action set piece follows, along with a few jokes for good measure. From start to end, the fight choreography is top-notch in the film.
But, as the movie moves into the second half, the action is surprisingly relegated to the background for a while. Given the fact that the hero of this story is known and loved for his heart and his brawn, more than his brain, it was slightly disappointing to see the film trying to be smarter than it needed to be. Our hero and villain (Emraan Hashmi as a disgraced former ISI agent) try to outsmart each other, but neither come out of it looking smart enough. And then they try to settle it in a fist fight. Why not just do that to begin with?
The portion in the second half with all of the supposed twists and turns is the worst part of the movie. In fact, throughout the plot, the 'revelations' are utterly predictable. The villain's back story has been incorporated into the events of Ek Tha Tiger. It is not seamless, but it could have been messier. Despite some important villainous virtues, like patience and planning, the character is just not as menacing as the plot required it to be.
Salman and Katrina do not leave much space for the supporting characters to shine. But Kumud Mishra is still notable, just like he was in Tiger Zinda Hai (2017). Revathi and Simran also do commendable jobs.
Those who leave as soon as the movie ends stand to miss out on something big. Though it has already been leaked, it is worth waiting to see the post credit scene for yourself. While you wait, you can enjoy a beautifully shot song, which also gives Katrina the opportunity to once again show off her dancing skills.
The third installment of the Tiger franchise is everything it promised to be. The only issue is that it tries to be more at times. However, it is still by far the best movie in the YRF Spy Universe, yet.
Movie: Tiger 3
Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Emraan Hashmi, Kumud Mishra, Simran, Revathi
Director: Maneesh Sharma