Rush Hour 3

Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan teamed up for the third installment of this series to make Rush Hour 3.  Brett Ratner, who also directed the first two Rush Hours, sat in the director’s chair once again for this film.  The screenplay came from Jeff Nathanson.  It was also the first major role before American audiences for French actress Noémie Lenoir.

At the film’s opening, LAPD officer James Carter (Chris Tucker) has been busted down to a traffic corner and Chief Inspector Lee is back in his bodyguard role over the Chinese Ambassador.  Then the assassins enter the scene and make an attempt on the Ambassador’s life.  Carter hears the news over his police radio and assumes he’s the man for this job.  Lee takes off on foot after the bad guy.  Soo Yung comes to check on her father and persuades Lee and Carter to give her their word that they will find the man who tried to assassinate the Ambassador.  As it turns out, her life is also in danger.  There’s a generations-old secret that some are killing to keep secret and others are killing to uncover and the key is a French woman in Paris.  Lee and Carter jump a plane.

The always funny Chris Tucker is the sole reason this film is even watchable.  The plot is ridiculous and some scenarios were so off-the-wall, they seemed cartoonish.  Carter and Lee have no questions to answer when hospitals and freeways are shot up and torn apart.  Carter is stripped of his gun by French detecitve Revi (played, oddly enough, by Roman Polanski) and in the very next scene, somehow he pulls a gun out of the air and puts it to a cabby’s head.  Of all the things that were overlooked, the most absurd has got to be the very end.  Lee and Carter have risked their lives to save this girl.  But as the credits roll, they just walk off and leave her!  Edwin Starr starts playing and they forget that sects of lunatics around the world are trying to kill or capture this girl and they dance off into the night.

I enjoyed the first Rush Hour.  It wasn’t an amazing movie, but Tucker and Chan have an amazing chemistry on screen.  The second one, I can’t seem to really remember much from, other than Chris Tucker singing karaoke.  This one was a complete let down.  I’m sure there are plenty of people who saw it and enjoyed it, but I have a hard time enjoying an action movie where guns are being fired and cars are skidding into traffic and everyone walks away without a scratch.  I’m not sure where the fault lies, but I would have to assume I wouldn’t be wrong if I pointed my finger at Nathanson on this one.  Honestly, I felt like there was a point in at least every other scene where I was thinking, “Oh come on…”

While Jackie Chan is always entertaining to watch and Chris Tucker is always going to deliver that line funnier than it was written, it’s still not enough to make this film good.  Not to mention the fact that the fight choreography was so boring.  Chan’s was great.  But that’s it.  Even Soo Yung, who was introduced as a Kung Fu teacher in Chinatown (Right, the daughter of the Ambassador of China teaches Kung Fu in LA) never showed off any fighting prowess.  She kicked a few guys and threw some bent elbows in the air, but that was about it.  The climax had Chan in a big fight scene, but Tucker was just standing there with four bad guys for most of it.  Then – for no real reason – they decided it was time to fight and Carter took out all four of them, besting their karate chops with his, um, fists, I guess.

If you’ve seen the first two and you feel like you’d be missing something if you didn’t see this movie, knock yourself out.  If you want to watch a good movie tonight, pass this one by.

2 thoughts on “Rush Hour 3”

  1. Great review. I love the way you write. There isn’t one thing that you said that I don’t agree with. You must hate the film “XXX” if you have “a hard time enjoying an action movie where guns are being fired and cars are skidding into traffic and everyone walks away without a scratch.” That film was ridiculous.

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