Tiger 3 Review
The Spy-Universe by YRF welcomes a new chapter with Tiger 3, directed by Maneesh Sharma. Tiger and Zoya’s story is the cornerstone of this universe, taking us back to the time before they first crossed paths. Ek Tha Tiger initiated the idea of RAW & ISI agents working together and falling in love, and Pathaan followed suit over a decade later. While War (2019) distanced itself from these elements, it stumbled in the second half with numerous implausible theories. Now, Tiger 3 revisits the conflicts between Tiger and Zoya, reintroducing a patriotic theme after some time.
Across the five films in the Spy-Universe (including T3), the consistent issue has been the writing. However, the screenplay, mass appeal, action, and scale consistently elevate. Despite this, we’re in a post-pandemic era, demanding smarter writing, and unfortunately, all Spy-Universe films, from Ek Tha Tiger to Tiger 3, have fallen short in this aspect. As mentioned, the action and scale continue to expand, and Tiger 3 follows suit.
Tiger 3 kicks off with the much-anticipated twist we’ve all been waiting for. Yes, there is a connection between Zoya (Katrina Kaif) and Aatish (Emraan Hashmi). The narrative takes a journey back in time to unravel the reasons behind it, with Tiger (Salman Khan) finding himself unexpectedly involved.
In the present, Tiger makes a dramatic entrance with a lengthy action sequence to rescue Gopi (Ranvir Shorey), who, in his final moments, hints at a double agent. Tiger becomes suspicious of Zoya, catching her in the act, but there’s a surprising turn to the situation. Aatish leverages their common weakness—Junior (Sartaaj Kakkar)—to bring Tiger and Zoya down. As family conflicts intensify and Tiger’s patriotism is put to the test, he and Zoya must find a way to prove their worth and safeguard the reputation of their respective countries. The central question looms: Will they succeed in this challenging mission?
The writing in Tiger 3 presents a mixed bag of highs and lows. This spy world caters to an intelligent audience familiar with terms like RAW, ISI, secret missions, codes, hacking, and intricate plans—elements commonly found in Mission Impossible and James Bond series. However, Tiger 3 takes a considerable amount of time to establish the plot for the broader audience. Distinguishing whether it’s a personal or national issue takes time, causing a temporary loss of audience interest. Subsequently, the movie must exert extra effort to regain that attention.
The inclusion of some predictable twists, nationality conflicts, and revenge theories may feel like a recurring theme that has persisted for over a decade, making it occasionally seem repetitive and lengthy. On a positive note, Tiger and Zoya teaming up with a group of officers for a novel and intriguing mission is a fresh aspect. Saving Pakistan’s Prime Minister is not your usual Bollywood conflict—thrashing is, but saving, not so much. Despite some hiccups, the film manages to reach a safe point by the end, fueled by high stakes and an abundance of action.
Salman Khan continues to embody the ultimate swag as Tiger, and this time, his persona is even more colossal. The entry scene is spot-on for a well-known character, and there are multiple scenes that feel like entry moments, filled with heroics, pauses, and impactful dialogues. “Choti screen dekhna chodo Bhai saahab, mein aapko bade parde par live action dikhata hai,” he declares to a Pakistani soldier before delivering a powerful beatdown. “Hamare yaha Diwali 3 din hoti hai. Aatishbazi tumne shuru ki thi, khatam mein karunga.” That’s the essence of Tiger. Katrina, portraying Zoya, exhibits various shades with brilliance, except for a bit of a hiccup with her accent. The towel fight scene with Michelle Lee is poised to create a moment of silence, followed by chaos from the male audience. Another noteworthy action sequence takes place in the climax at Pakistan’s PM’s bunker, providing two Hollywood-style action segments for the Bollywood audience.
Emraan Hashmi, playing the role of an ex-ISI agent, brings brutality, intelligence, and a sense of order to Aatish’s character. Hashmi infuses some of his unique accent, adding a dark and raw edge. However, a bit more physical prowess and violence could have intensified the character. Supporting roles by Kumud Mishra, Revathy, Ranvir Shorey, Vishal Jethwa, Simran, Ridhi Dogra (cameo), Gavie Chahal, Aamir Bashir, and others are commendable. Shah Rukh Khan’s special appearance adds a massy touch, but it raises concerns about YRF’s approach. In Pathaan, we witnessed Tiger and Pathaan handling situations with levity. In Tiger 3, the special role is extended, only to witness them engaging in somewhat childish conversations and executing Krrish-level flying, which seems inappropriate for “Indian Spy Agents.” It’s not just about bringing two superstars together for temporary mass hysteria; it’s about presenting them in a glorious manner. Pathaan lacked this, and now Tiger 3 follows suit. However, Hrithik Roshan’s elevated cameo in the post-credit scene helps recover some lost ground.
Tiger 3 boasts some remarkable action set pieces—arguably the most in the entire spy universe thus far. From Tiger’s grand entry to the PAL Codes heist in Russia, Pathaan’s arrival in Pakistan, and the three pivotal scenes at the Pakistan PM’s office in the climax, these moments stand out as the major highlights of the film. The cinematography is solid, complemented by a fantastic background score, especially Tiger’s theme music. Tiger 3 features two songs: “Leke Prabhu Ka Naam,” which serves as the end credit celebration song, and “Ruaan,” a track about love and pain best experienced in theaters to avoid spoilers.
The first half of Tiger 3 starts slow, but the second half, although longer, picks up the pace cleverly. This strategic move is commendable, and the editing team deserves credit for taking an initial risk and finding a successful rhythm by the end. Maneesh Sharma elevates the scale to new heights, but the storytelling seems to hover at a mid-level. This appears to be a consistent issue across all Spy-Universe films, and one hopes for a remedy soon, envisioning a memorable action film instead of the usual run-of-the-mill offerings. While Tara Singh smashes Pakistanis in Gadar 2, Tiger takes a similar route, but this time the message of communal harmony resonates louder. It’s rare to witness Pakistanis singing India’s national anthem in films, and Tiger 3 is poised to set cinemas ablaze with this scene. Apologies, but this particular spoiler needed to be shared.