Rush Hour 3 (2007)

Genre(s): Action / Comedy / Martial Arts
New Line || PG13 - 87 minutes || August 10, 2007
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-08-11

.:: F I L M ::.

Director: Brett Ratner
Writer(s): Jeff Nathanson (written by)

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Warning: Minor Spoilers!

The Rush Hour movies took the buddy comedy genre to new levels (spawning another Chan/American match-up, Shanghai Noon). Neither of the first two films were that good. Yeah, Chanís stunts were very cool but now 9 years later, itís all too familiar. As is Rush Hour 3 in general. Not only is Chan doing the same things, but also Tucker does the same old same old smack talking and jokes intertwined with Chanís work.

The ďstoryĒ this time around finds Chief Inspector Lee (Chan) teaming up again with Detective Carter (Tucker) after the assassination attempt on Ambassador Han. His daughter, Soo Yung, is also in danger after Han receives information that may finally dismantle the Triad gang. After following leads, Lee and Carter set off to Paris where they meet a sexy woman (Lenoir) who might be a part of everything going on.

It is amazing to say, but director Brett Ratner has reached new lows. I personally donít have a problem with him as his movies were always mildly entertaining, but what he and writer Jeff Nathanson (Rush Hour 2, Speed 2) have basically done is actually remake the original Rush Hour but just change of locality. Along with the involvement of Ambassador Han and his daughter, there are other elements that would fall into spoiler territory, but if youíve seen the original, youíll know what I mean.

Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker return after a 6 year absence (and Iím sure a nice $20m paycheck helped) and although the two seemed to be having fun, it felt like dťjŗ vu to me. Chanís fight sequences are cool but nothing innovative. Thereís not much else I think Chan can do to impress American audiences. This is not to say his stunt work isnít impressive, but seeing the same kind of things after so many years gets old. Luckily, he does have an action flick coming up co-starring Jet Li, so that will certainly bring some new life to his stunts.

Chris Tucker is, well, Chris Tucker. Again, heís not that bad of an actor but to say heís a one-note kind of guy is an understatement. He throws out more wisecracks, fights a little and then dances to his own groovy tune. It says a lot about an actor who in nearly the past decade has only appeared in one franchise (he has done NOTHING else since 1998). Kudos to Tucker and his agent. Hey, heís living the American dream and rather than over saturating himself on the movie marketplace, he instead grabs a large paycheck and lives off of that.

I cannot leave this review without mentioning the presence of Max von Sydow. Why, oh why was he in this? Itís not a particularly fulfilling role nor one an actor could have fun with (itís more of a cameo anyway) and the character itself is obvious (take that for what you will). Sydow is fantastic actor but his existence in this entry was either unneeded or an absolute waste.

Course, still doesnít excuse the fact Rush Hour 3 ever needed to be made in the first place. Why should one pay $7 for a movie ticket when, more than likely, they can pull either or both Rush Hour DVDs off the shelf?

That is the crux of whatís wrong with this third entry. Itís not terrible by any means and holds some escapist entertainment value, but it recycles everything from the first two and offers little else original. After 6 years, certainly they could have come up with something better, right?

If you want to see a good sequel, there are better oneís that already came out in í07. Personally, one of my favorites of this year (and high up overall) is The Bourne Ultimatum, released just last week (8/3). If youíve already seen Ultimatum, you can always try Oceanís Thirteen (which probably has made it to the bargain theater by now) or just see Ultimatum again.

Rush Hour 3 is merely an OK movie and fits in with the others, but at a paltry 80-minutes, excluding end credits but including the outtakes, the plot is paper thin and a basic rehash of the original and the Tucker/Chan combination just wasnít as entertaining as it once was.