Overdressed, overblown and vey over the speed limit; the characters in Dhoom are exactly what you expect. You have the biker-dudes with their bandanas, and shades, sporting about as many brand names as a commercial break during the World Cup. You have the babe-factor. Much much babe-factor. And, finally, you have one smooth operator of a cop, who comes this close one time too many. Oh yeah, and bikes too. Lots of 'em, in varying shades of jhatang (look it up).
You know how some movies are made for the sole purpose of looking cool? This be one of them. Every frame is shot with an attempt at extreme coolness. All angles geared towards hepdom. And, for the most part, it happens for Dhoom. The trying is apparent, you can spot it from Saturn, but the result is fun anyway. Because between the strutting about and the burning of rubber, somebody has the good sense to insert snappy dialogues and snappier narrative.
Dhoom is essentially a police-chor story, with bikes. ACP Jai Dixit (Abhishek Better When Sloshed Bachchan), who unfortunately remains sober, cryptic and a tad too wooden for most of the movie, is a wickedass cop. His first assignment in Mumbai is to investigate a series of robberies that have left his department eating dust. All the trouble at high noon is caused by a gang of bikers, who manage to outstrip the cops with ease on their Fireblades, Bandits and other weapons of mass envy.
Since his Mahindra jeep hasn't a chance against the mean machines, Jai decides to join forces with a lesser evil, Uday Chopra in embroidered jeans. And a leather jacket. And a bandana and a scarf around his knee, and rings that would make a garage DJ blush. If the entire cast of Grease threw up on him, it would have a subtler effect. But Chopra (who plays Ali, bike mechanic and racer) is pretty good in his role as the goofy police informer and general aide. The chemistry between the stone-face Bachchan Jr. and his grinning moron of a sidekick works.
And whom the duo is itching to land in prison is the mastermind of the highway robberies, Kabir (John Abraham looking very buff and very unimpressed). Abraham's character is kind of a quiet one, but it has some good scenes, and he understates appropriately. Then again, considering he mostly has to just walk around looking built, this is not exactly the role of a lifetime.
So you have the two fellas chasing the third one all over the place. That really is pretty much it. Jai and Kabir try to outwit each other, and the climax is an 18-crore casino heist with bombs, blackouts and bimbettes. Speaking of which, Esha Deol doesn't do much more than dance the title track (very catchy) and look supremely bored. She probably was too, not much to do here for the girls.
Dhoom doesn't, however, drown you in testosterone; it wants too much to please. And if you're looking for eye or ear candy, you won't be disappointed. If you're looking for a few laughs, you'll get your money's worth. If you're looking for mindless but stylish timepass, you'll be entertained. What else do you want? Meaning and substance? From a movie called Dhoom? Get real.