November 27, 2023
by Carla Hay
Directed by Maneesh Sharma
Hindi with subtitles
Culture Representation: Taking in various countries in Asia and Europe, the action film “Tiger 3” features an all-Indian cast of characters representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.
Culture Clash: A husband and wife, who are government spies for competing agencies, get into various problematic entanglements involving betrayals and conspiracies.
Culture Audience: “Tiger 3” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the “Tiger” movie franchise/YRF Spy Universe and movie’s headliners, but the movie is overly convoluted with almost nothing original to offer.
“Tiger 3” is the continuation of 2012’s “Ek Tha Tiger” and 2017’s “Tiger Zinda Hai,” a movie series about love partners who are also spies for the Indian government. All three movies are part of the larger YRF (Yash Raj Films) Spy Universe, which includes 2019’s “War” and 2023’s “Pathaan.” “Tiger 3” certainly has the production budget to be a big movie spectacle, with all the expected explosions and over-the-top fight scenes. It could have been a much better action film, but too much silly dialogue and too many formulaic scenarios lower the quality of the movie. It’s a globetrotting spy flick that frequently changes locations but tells the same type of revenge story.
Directed by Maneesh Sharma and written by Shridhar Raghavan, “Tiger 3” has a convoluted story that often gets unfocused. It’s not necessary to “Ek Tha Tiger” and “Tiger Zinda Hai” before seeing “Tiger 3,” but it helps if you want more information about the main characters. Seeing these previous two movies will just show that “Ek Tha Tiger” and “Tiger Zinda Hai” are better than “Tiger 3.”
The two spy spouses who are at the center of the “Tiger” movie series are Avinash “Tiger” Singh Rathore (played by Salman Khan) and Zoya (played by Katrina Kaif), who each work for different government agencies. Tiger works for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), which is the foreign intelligence agency for India. Zoya works for The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which is the largest intelligence agency for Pakistan.
“Tiger 3” begins in London, with a flashback to October 1999, when Zoya (played Gurket Kaur) is in her late teens or early 20s. She is shown doing kickboxing exercises with her father Rehan Nazar (played by Aamir Bashir), who works for ISI. Rehan is soon killed in an explosion. Rehan’s ISI colleague Aatish Rehman (played by Emraan Hashmi) asks Zoya if she wants to lead a normal life or follow in her father’s footsteps. Of course, viewers know what decision she makes.
“Tiger 3” then jumps to the present day to show an elaborate rescue mission sequence where Tiger is supposed to save his former handler Gopi Arya (played by Ranvir Shorey), who has been trying to get information about a planned assassination of a RAW agent named Jibran Sheikh (played by Neeraj Purohit) in Pakistan. And what a coincidence: Zoya is somehow involved in this assassination plot. (Her reason won’t be revealed in this review.)
The movie then zig zags between betrayals, kidnappings, framing for crimes and imprisonments, while the story jumps around from place to place in various countries such as India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, and Austria. Somehow, with all this mayhem going on, and Tiger and Zoya spending very little time at home, viewers are supposed to believe that they are also attentive parents to their son Junior (played by Sartaaj Kakkar), who’s about 11 or 12 years old.
But surprise! There’s another member of the family who is introduced in “Tiger 3.” This long-lost family member is named Hassan Ali (played by Vishal Jethwa), who meets Tiger for the first time in the movie. Hassan’s relationship to Tiger is explained in the story, which just seemed to throw in the Hassan character just to add to the overstuffed plot.
One of the worst scenes in the movie is a fight between Zoya and a mysterious operative named General Zimou (played by Michelle Lee), who attack each other inside a luxury spa in Istanbul. Zoya and General Zimou are wearing nothing but towels in this fight scene. And during the most brutal parts of the fight, the towels unrealistically stay intact.
General Zimou is an unnecessary character, so this fight scene looks like it was put in the movie as an exploitative gimmick to show two women fighting while barely clothed. The male stars of “Tiger 3” would never have been asked to do this type of scene that tries to tease the audience into thinking that there will be some nudity from the brawlers during the fight. It’s all just so blatantly sexist filmmaking that treats women as sex objects.
Tiger’s supervisor is RAW chief Maithili Menon (played by Revathi), who seems to be in the movie as a useless boss, since she doesn’t know a lot of what Tiger is up to and doesn’t really help when Tiger needs her the most. The movie also does a terrible job of convincing any viewer with common sense that Zoya and Tiger, who openly live together as spouses, can continue to fool their competing government agencies that this marriage is not a conflict of interest to their jobs. Because of the movie’s ridiculous action scenes, the mediocre-to-bad acting, and flimsy plot twists, “Tiger 3” becomes mind-numbing after a while and does not earn its long-winded 156-minute total running time.
Yash Raj Films released “Tiger 3” in select U.S. cinemas on November 11, 2023, and in India on November 12, 2023.