The biggest problem with Baaghi 3 is that there's hardly any storyline in the film. Sajid Nadiadwala's adaptation is lame and it rests on a wafer-thin plot. What could've been an exhilarating thriller, with pulse-pounding moments, ends up being a run of the mill saga, courtesy a half-baked screenplay (Farhad Samji). Since Baaghi 3 goes beyond the shores of India, director Ahmed Khan and his team of writers (Sparsh Khetarpal, Tasha Bhambra, Madhur Sharma) could've used their imagination and packed the film with moments that would've made your jaws fall on your knees. Baaghi 3 is a big film in all respects - big stars, big canvas, big expenditure on VFX, big expectations. Sadly, it's a big, big, big letdown as well.
The experience with Baaghi 3 is like, you enter a posh restaurant, waiting for a sumptuous meal to be served, but what's served on your plate is vada-pau. Baaghi 3 takes you back to the 1970s Bollywood, when illogical situations, blood and gore, for no rhyme or reason, were the main ingredients that made the junta break into taalis. Sorry, the formula doesn't work anymore! Seriously, what were director Ahmed Khan, Sajid Nadiadwala (story adaptation) and Farhad Samji (screenplay & dialogues) thinking when they went ahead with this apology of a script? It's perfectly okay to pay homage to the masala films of yore, but the new interpretation has to make some sense at least. The one thing that you realize after watching Baaghi 3 is, no amount of gloss, glam and top-notch stars can ever substitute for a riveting script. Great stars, great styling and great visuals work as long as the script is great.
Farhad Samji's screenplay is a complete mess. In fact, if at all there would be Razzies in Bollywood, Farhad Samji should be nominated proto for coming up with a slipshod, brainless and witless screenplay. What saddens your heart is the fact that Sajid Nadiadwala and Fox Star Studios, the producers of Baaghi 3, have spared no efforts in giving the film a spectacular look. The vision is perfect, but how about narrating an absorbing and attention-grabbing story? You remember Baaghi 3 for its striking visuals, not storyline. It's like embellishing priceless and precious jewels on a mannequin. The fight becomes too Bollywoodish as the hero eliminates an entire army of terrorists, is difficult to gulp! Perhaps, director Ahmed Khan's intentions are right, to make a hard-hitting film that marries realism and fiction beautifully, but the writing indulges in too many cinematic liberties and that's precisely why Baaghi 3 goes off target.
However, lovers of action fares are in for a treat, since the stunts, action and chase sequences in Baaghi 3 are truly captivating. Sure, a few sequences aren't for the faint-hearted, but you can't help but put your hands together for these sequences and the man behind those death-defying stunts. Coupled with top-notch cinematography (Santhana Krishnan Ravichandran) and stylish action (Ram Chella-Laxman Chella, Kecha Khamphakdee) the film begins to grow as reel after reel unspools. But, alas, the film goes for a toss in the second hour. Things actually stagnate as the hero turns into super-hero and combats an army of villains on land, sea and air. Director Ahmed Khan and his team of writers seem to have substituted action for content and that's the most glaring flaw. In fact, you feel that the director and screenplay writers must've decided to go on a vacation in the second hour, entrusting the responsibility on the stunt directors to conclude the second hour.
Baaghi 3 is soaked in high-voltage drama and action, with a consistent undercurrent of tension. As a matter of fact, there's an overdose of action in the film, though, I must admit, a few action pieces are deftly executed. But the absence of a riveting and absorbing screenplay looms large in the post-interval portions. Sure, some sequences do hit you hard, but the writing tilts heavily towards been-there-seen-that kind of situations persistently, promising little or no surprise as the plot unravels. The background score (Julius Packiam) enhances the impact, while the dialogue (Farhad Samji) are power-packed at times, but plain mediocre at places. The film's music is awful but thankfully, there aren't too many songs.
Director Ahmed Khan tries to camouflage the defect (lacklustre screenplay) with stylish execution, hair-raising stunts, eye-filling visuals, but let's not forget that the moviegoer wants to listen to a captivating story at the end of the day. Everything else is secondary! The film goes on and on and on with unwanted scenes galore (editing: Rameshwar S. Bhagat), the outdated love angle and the lenggggggthy fight sequences. Director Ahmed Khan seems to have taken the audience for granted. He has concentrated more on giving the film a slick look than narrating a gripping story and this fact reverberates at several points in the film. There's no denying that Baaghi 3 bears the stamp of an upmarket product all through, but how one wishes the director and the writers would've ensured that the film has a power-packed screenplay to offer as well.
Baaghi 3 belongs to Tiger Shroff completely. No two opinions on that. Take Tiger out of this film and the movie is a big zero. He's the lifeline of this project and his performance will be loved by the masses. Shraddha Kapoor looks gorgeous and acts very well. Riteish Deshmukh is relegated to the backseat. What did Riteish see in this role? Ankita Lokhande's character lacks meat. Jackie Shroff and Vijay Varma are alright. Jaideep Ahlawat and Jameel Khoury evoke terror that one would associate with their characters. They are fantastic.
To sum up, Baaghi 3 is regressive cinema with a capital R. The film has some engrossing moments in the first half, that's about it. The post-interval portions are an absolute downer. The plot is formulaic, while the screenplay is riddled with cinematic liberties. Fans of Tiger Shroff might patronize the movie; however, the aam junta might not take a liking to it. At the box-office, the film will embark on a strong start, but it doesn't have the merits to sustain after the initial curiosity subsides. Baaghi 3 fails as a film.