Dhoom was one of contemporary Bollywood’s first franchises, and its impact can still be felt in the Indian action genre. A studio known for its romances more than anything else, Yash Raj Films decided to enter the action genre when it greenlit Dhoom (2004). The heist thriller ended up igniting a craze for sports bikes in the country and turned John Abraham into a full-fledged star after he played the villainous biker gang leader Kabir Sharma.
The late Sanjay Gadhvi helmed the direction of both Dhoom and its sequel Dhoom 2 (2006). While the latter upped the franchise’s scope by throwing in more foreign locations and roping in stars like Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai, Dhoom 3 (2013) set even higher standards for the franchise with more sophisticated stunts, a narrative almost entirely set in Chicago, and the inclusion of bankable stars like Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif.
From the franchise’s title song “Dhoom Machale” to the bike chases and heist sequences, the Dhoom trilogy might have polarised critics but for the Bollywood audience, it has set a benchmark in action filmmaking. Here’s how to watch all the Dhoom movies.
The Dhoom movies follow the same order as their release date
Each movie in the Dhoom franchise follows the same chronological order as the year of its release. So, all three movies can be conveniently watched as per their numbers.
Dhoom 3 opens with a flashback but it just sets up the backstory of the newly-introduced villain Sahir (Aamir Khan), keeping the recurring characters’ stories from the previous films intact.
Dhoom movies at a glance
Dhoom introduced the Mumbai cop ACP Jai Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan) teaming up with novice mechanic Ali (Uday Chopra) to take on a biker gang responsible for committing several robberies. John Abraham played the gang’s leader.
Dhoom 2 served as a direct sequel even though Jai and Ali were the only returning characters. This time, the duo attempts to prevent a heist by the mysterious expert thief known simply as “A” (Hrithik Roshan). With the villain’s tendency to steal priceless artefacts from all over the world, this sequel made room for some stunning international heists. Aishwarya Rai was also a notable addition in the sequel as she plays a morally grey character who seems to be both an ally to the cops and the thief.
Dhoom 3 followed the same approach as Dhoom 2 in the sense that it featured an all-new mission for Jai and Ali (without any other characters returning). Borrowing a page out of Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, director Vijay Krishna Acharya (who had also penned the screenplays of the previous two Dhoom movies) carved a detailed backstory for the villain this time. Aamir Khan, in a fascinating dual role, played the illusionist thief Sahir and his naïve twin brother Samar, both of whom team up to take down the bank they believed caused the death of their father.
With numerous high-octane bike chases (one with even an auto-rickshaw involved), Dhoom 3 took the franchise’s action a notch higher. Fleshing out the villain’s origins also offered Aamir Khan to evoke sympathy out of his characters, something that hadn’t really been achieved with the villains of the first two Dhoom movies.
Why are the Dhoom movies obsessed with bikes?
Interestingly, Yash Raj Films supremo and the franchise’s producer Aditya Chopra initially envisioned Dhoom to feature car chases instead of the ones on bike. But it was director Sanjay Ghadvi who convinced Chopra to side with the two-wheelers so that he could show the lead characters’ faces more clearly.
Further, Gadhvi had a personal bias towards motorcycles as the late director’s interview with Rediff suggests. To quote Gadhvi, “I was crazy about bikes in my youth. When you speed them up, and the wind hits your face, it gives you a rush that you cannot get in a car.”
The Dhoom trilogy led to a video game and a comic
The Dhoom franchise wasn’t just limited to movies. In 2012, Ali actor Uday Chopra authored a 98-page comic titled Dhoom – Redux 893. Considering that it was published a year before Dhoom 3, it’s possible the comic dealt with a mission set before the third movie. In this comic published by Yomics (the graphic novel division under Yash Raj Films), Jai and Ali found themselves dealing with a Japanese Yakuza gang in Mumbai.
Dhoom 3 also spawned a video game of the same name for Android and iOS phones with the gameplay mainly revolving around Aamir Khan’s character riding around Chicago on his bike after successfully conducting a string of high-profile heists.