The YRF Spy Universe is the only thing that’s shining as bright as the moon these days in the Hindi Film Industry.

It was Salman Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger that retrospectively laid the foundation stone for the franchise in 2012, backed up by Tiger Zinda Hai in 2017.

Now, six years later, the time is ripe for Tiger 3 to brace the big screen. Practically, this is the first time Tiger is coming since the inception of the Spy Universe, consisting of Tiger, War, and Pathan.

In my Tiger 3 review, you will find whether the film performs on expected lines or if there are any hiccups.

Tiger 3 Synopsis

India’s best spy, Tiger, is confronted by Aatish Rehman’s dream of a military coup in Pakistan. Can Tiger beat his planned onslaught to save India’s neighbor?

When Aatish plots a plan to thwart Tiger’s credibility, his mission becomes all the more difficult to execute.

Directed by Maneesh Sharma, Tiger 3 stars Salman Khan (Tiger), Katrina Kaif (Zoya), and Emraan Hashmi (Aatish Rehman), and Kumud Mishra in pivotal roles.

What Works for Tiger 3?

Like most films in the franchise, Tiger 3 also embraces its storyline. It goes in the past to create links and put new characters into the spotlight while trying to enhance the prominence of existing ones.

Despite the cliches, what I liked about Ek Tha Tiger was its emphasis on the spy narrative in the Indian context. 

Back then, the makers tried to force glamor into the scheme of things, which came down in Tiger Zinda Hai. 

However, in Tiger 3, there’s a conscious effort to harmonize style and action. Whether it’s Salman’s flair with a scarf or Katrina’s intense towel fight, the film strives for a distinct aesthetic.

Just a slight hunch of mine says that the makers wanted to have a social media rampage via reels. Grand-scale action scenes will help them in growing the word of mouth especially since the promotions were almost nil. 

Moreover, Tiger 3 aces chase sequences. Call it creativity or ostentatiousness, in one of the scenes, Salman Khan rides his bike on rooftops in a small town, dealing with goons on the way. 

Overall, it emerges as a grand spectacle, one that sparkles like a Diwali firework, catering to the desires of the Indian masses during this celebratory week. 

While it attempts to evoke emotions and induce tears, this aspect doesn’t resonate as strongly, save for a single poignant scene in the latter part of the movie.

Sentiments wouldn’t have been a problem but Tiger 3 wants you to feel them. It creates drama and wants you to cry, which didn’t work, at least, in my case.

Another upside is the lack of typical songs like they did with Pathan. This accentuates the impact of the tale instead of breaking the audience’s focus.

One thing that is sure to create hype is Shah Rukh Khan’s magnificent cameo. The moment I stepped into the theatre, I could sense excitement for SRK’s arrival.

It enhanced further during the interval when the audience was literally running theories with regard to his cameo.

And when the moment came, the superstar didn’t disappoint. You’d love him in every frame of Tiger 3. His witty dialogues and banter with Salman Khan will trigger splashes of laughter.

SRK recreates Karan Arjun’s iconic dialogue, “Bhaag Arjun Bhaag” with “Bhaag Tiger Bhaag.” Salman comments about his hairstyle in one of the many sarcastic jibes they take at each other.

To sum up the positives, the movie has a vibe associated with it and rides more on the goodwill created over a decade or so.

If you are planning to watch Tiger 3 on the big screen, make sure to stay till the last credit rolls, post the “Leke Prabhu Ka Naam” song.

Hrithik Roshan is waiting for you with a savage teaser of War 2.

How are the Performances?

Salman Khan continues his legacy of dominating action films in Tiger 3, displaying the same fervor that has characterized his career. 

Be it Garv, or Wanted, Khan has never taken for granted his masculine build. 

While he’s had occasional missteps like Race 3 and Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan, this franchise, with its enormous fanbase, sees him fiercely reclaiming his expertise. 

On your part, you just have to ignore his juvenile emotional face and focus more on his action and intensity.

I have criticized his acting separately in the next section of my Tiger 3 review.

Zoya is a name that found cinematic footing in India with Jannat, back in 2008. However, its popularity touched the sky in 2012 when Katrina Kaif first played Zoya in Ek Tha Tiger. The rest is history. 

After 11 years, Kaif has not changed a bit in appearance and despite the presence of so many brilliant actresses, no one can play Zoya better than her. 

Kaif seamlessly transitions between an endearing persona and a formidable action hero. 

She stylishly reimagines the character in Tiger 3. Much of her demeanor is gutsy, a quality you’d love about Tiger 3’s Zoya.

But, on the dialogue delivery front, Katrina still languishes far from hitting the home run.

Emraan Hashmi in a negative role works to the script. His gray avatar is a cause for restrained excitement. 

It is worth noting that the actor is making a comeback to the big screen after a string of flops. 

Hence, expectations and pressure had no bounds. Thankfully, Hashmi doesn’t disappoint and brings an electrifying presence, matching up commendably against Salman’s iconic protagonist.

His style of delivering dialogue is unparalleled. However, the script lets him down by making him so weak on paper itself.

He keeps trying to create a rich aura for himself, but the loosely written character sketch doesn’t allow Emraan to reap positive results.

Comparing him to John Abraham would lead to false equivalence because the latter was written to achieve a different objective.

What Doesn’t Work for Tiger 3?

The screenplay of Tiger 3 lacks a consistent spark, fluctuating between moments that stir interest and those that fall flat. 

Unfortunately, it seems to grapple with similar issues as Pathan

There’s a noticeable demand placed on the audience to develop a soft spot for the stars and the narrative, which sometimes feels forced.

Secondly, the story is predictable, a downgrade from previous iterations. You will be able to guess most of the twists, both in the first and the second half.

I hate to say this but Tiger 3 doesn’t take care of technicalities. When it goes back into a 12-year-old flashback, Salman’s physique and appearance don’t go through a transformation.

At the least, the makers should have gotten rid of his beard or come up with a distinct hairstyle to differentiate the timelines.

If you remember, Ek Tha Tiger had a clean-shaved Salman Khan. And that’s the time they take us back to for a brief 10-15 minutes.

More attention to detail was needed to maintain both consistency and authenticity.

Lastly, Salman Khan lacks the old aggression one used to associate with his name. He doesn’t get angry anymore, there is no tension on his face, and the absence of vulnerability pushes him down.

The actor is too dominant, honestly, a trait that the viewer cannot feel close to even after trying.

An issue with Khan is his lack of vocal dynamism. He speaks an emotional dialogue with the same force as he would utter a normal sentence.

Although the background score is high and stimulating, the overuse of the Tiger theme starts feeling dull after a time.

Monotony kicks in and you can do nothing about it than wait for the next big exhilarating element.

If you look closely, you’ll notice VFX deviations in certain scenes. So, that’s one more pitfall for this Diwali release.

Is Tiger 3 Worth Your Time and Money?

Tiger 3 is a very loud film but I don’t think it can surpass the tag of being a pass time entertainer. But definitely, it is a one-time watch for the big-screen experience of claps, hooting, and hurrahs. 

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