You are watching a film. It’s slow and taking its time to get to the fun part. And just when it get going and you are hooked, it ends. The credits roll and they setup for a sequel which doesn’t warrant much interest whatsoever. This has been the case with the 3 Bahadur franchise.
The third offering, 3 Bahadur: Rise of the Warriors, is when it finally becomes fun. And then it ends. What you’re left thinking is whether you should be happy that the animation quality and story has improved from the previous two parts or be disappointed because what follows is branching out into a new franchise that will cash in on what Commander Safeguard did years ago.
If fizzy drinks compete in the music battlefield, is our animation industry already plagued by soaps? Regardless, at least Rise of the Warriors presents a fascinating and different story in a time duration that doesn’t feel endless. But in order to enjoy it, one must forgo logic and consistency.
We see the rise of the fourth ‘bahadur’ Erma (perfectly voiced by Mehwish Hayat) in the film. While the arrival of the alien magician and Babushka (Nimra Bucha) throws planet Earth into a famine, the three bahadurs also get caught up in the fiasco, causing them to doubt their allies.
However, until nearly the end, one keeps guessing who the actual villain is. This, in a way, serves in keeping us at the edge of the seat. A few scenes such as the one between Erma and Amna (one of the bahadurs) are executed impressively and manage to create the needed tension.
What balances out that factor, though, is that the film gets caught up in the twisted mechanics of its own fantasy world. It also suffers from a lack of urgency in the villain’s goal. If your superpowers were diminishing with time, you would not be chilling at the tower and playing games with children. There seemed more urgency in the team wanting to release this film at its earliest than the villains chasing their goal.
One expects certain finesse from Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and her team. And while the animation quality has improved tremendously in the franchise, it was still rough around the edges and lacked detail in most parts. The sound goes out of sync and uncomfortably loud in many places as well.
One can’t deny that Rise of the Warriors has matured in content. But the heavy influences are pretty obvious. Commander Safeguard was all the rage back in early 2000s when we were learning to wash our hands repeatedly to defeat “Dirtoo” and get rid of germs. In Rise of the Warriors, Germoon replaces Dirtoo, and takes the costume of the Skeletor. Babushka is an archetypal wise old (wo)man character-turned-fighter, whose name is as lazy as it can get (Babushka literally means ‘grandma’ in Russian).
Amidst all the characters, the most impressive remains Erma (it even looks like half the budget was spent on her). Sporting the Super Saiyan hairstyle and a cool voice, her presence engages and entertains. Only if the script had given her something more interesting to do!
But regardless of all its flaws, the climax of Rise of the Warriors is the best of the 3 Bahadur franchise. Sure, it gets confusing but don’t worry, it is fun in a very cheeky, Bollywood way.
Verdict: 3 Bahadur: Rise of the Warriors is the best the trilogy has to offer but it’s good to finally see it come to an end.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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