One of the things that makes the "Bollywood Oscars" more fun than the real Oscars: You won't see a Hollywood actor win a best villain award. And the International Indian Film Academy Awards may not be for several more months, but rest assured a hot contender for the award technically called Best Performance in a Negative Role is going to be Aamir Khan as "the clown thief" in this weekend's highly anticipated Dhoom 3. The actor known as "Bollywood's perfectionist" even got top billing over the series' returning heroes.
One of Bollywood's most successful franchises in recent years, Dhoom (unrelated to the English word doom) isn't about superheroes or transforming alien robots or sparkly vampires. But things certainly do go boom — or, rather, dhoom. 2004's Dhoom and 2006's Dhoom 2 — written by Vijay Krishna Acharya, now also the director — are about a cop struggling to outwit motorcycle gangs.
Or at least bad guys who ride motorcycles, anyway.
Khan is new chopper-driving villain Sahir, a circus magician moonlighting as a bank robber who has eluded Chicago — yes, Chicago — police while leaving scrawling messages in Hindi. Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra reprise their roles as hard-nosed police officer Jai Dixit and comic relief sidekick Ali Akbar, respectively, who are in fact so expert on motorcycle villains that they must be called in from Mumbai to help. Katrina Kaif adds the necessary estrogen to the film as Aaliya, Sahir's acrobat love interest.
Dhoom 3, with subtitles, opens Friday at the AMC Veterans 24 in Tampa.
Caitlin E. O'Conner, Times staff writer