Asia Life

Dhoom 3: Another Bollywood Hit or Box Office Doom?

One of India’s hottest action franchises is about to unleash a new installment. Teasers have failed to impress.

Jonathan DeHart

“This year will end with a Dhoom.” So goes the tagline seen on the official film poster for Dhoom 3, a Bollywood action flick directed by Vijay Krishna Arya and set for release in India on December 20. Based on the reactions to the high-octane trailer that was released on Wednesday, the next round may just be more of the same: A heist story that always comes with “one hot villain, and uber stylish bikes,” writes DNA India.

Filmed on location in Chicago, the trailer opens with aerial views of the city and moves into a large open office with floor-to-ceiling windows. Standing before them and gazing out over the urban expanse—Sears Tower looming in the distance—is Aamir Khan as villain, shirtless and wearing a bowler hat. The camera soon cuts to scenes of him tearing through the streets on a motorcycle, with lots of slow-motion.

The good guy, a cop played by Abhishek Bachchan, is then seen firing a pistol while hanging (handless) from a drop-down rope ladder dangling below a helicopter, not a single hair moving on his head. Next comes a glimpse of the film’s vixen and Khan’s love interest, played by Katrina Kaif, who makes a dramatic entrance wearing a white halter top and shorts. She is seen swinging acrobatically on ropes, into a vaguely warehouse looking environment. The trailer ends with a flaming “Dhoom 3” and a final glimpse of motorcycle glory as Khan skids underneath a moving semi-truck on his ride.

For all of the theatrics and despite the hype, some have been underwhelmed by this first peek. “The action seems very repetitive and not at all jaw dropping, even the skiding bike beneath the truck didn't excite me,” writes

Many are anticipating that Dhoom 3 will be another mega-blockbuster, set to give Shah Rukh Khan’s recent Chennai Express a run for its money. King Khan’s recent blockbuster met with tepid reviews—or outright lashings, depending on the reviewer. But it hasn’t stopped the film from doing a bang-up job at the box office.

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The first two iterations of the villain-centric series starred John Abraham and Hrithik Roshan as the respective baddies. Chasing Khan and Kaif are Bachchan, who plays the super-cop in the third installment, with Uday Chopra as his sidekick.

We’ll have to wait until Christmas to see if this chapter of the franchise will be a hit at the box office or end in dhoom.