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  Rush Hour 3

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Max von Sydow, Noemie Lenoir

Directed by: Brett Ratner

Produced by: Arthur Sarkissian, Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman, Jay Stern, Andrew Davis

Written by: Jeff Nathanson
Distributor: New Line Cinema

 

     Going into Rush Hour 3, I didnít remember much about its immediate predecessor, Rush Hour 2, other than the fact that I didnít much like it back when it came out in 2001. Realizing that the franchise never pretended to be much about plot, I figured that I would be able recall enough of the previous entry to follow this new one just fine. This turned out to be an accurate assessment on my behalf, but not exactly for the reasons that I had expected. Rush Hour 3 not only brought back my memories of Rush Hour 2; it duplicated them. Aside from some minor differences, this final film of the trilogy is nearly identical to the middle-piece as far as its tonal spirit and narrative ambitions are concerned.

     Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are back as the investigative, ass-kicking duo of Detective James Carter and Chief Inspector Lee. After the assassination of an international ambassador who had information regarding a corrupt Chinese Triad gang, the two must travel to Paris to further investigate matters. Carter and Lee obviously run into problems along the way, and a lot of tired humor and not-especially inventive fighting sequences ensue. Director Brett Ratner does nothing to spice up the material; as I mentioned previously, the picture functions as a thematic carbon-copy of Rush Hour 2. Because it is such a blatant cash-out on the success of the previous two entries in the series, Rush Hour 3 becomes boring for the viewer long before even its second act begins.

     Not to mention, the microscopic plot on display here doesnít make a whiff of sense. Carter and Lee soon discover that the answer to the Triad-mystery exists as a tattoo on the back of a supporting characterís head. However, despite the fact that they spend the vast majority of the running-time protecting this character, they never seem to think to copy down the contents of the tattoo. (Would this not be an act of common sense for any good detective?) Instead of merely solving the case and protecting their source, our trusted heroes act like boneheads for nearly the full final half-hour of the film, needlessly fending off trivial antagonists who will stop at nothing to kill both them and the tattoo-bearer.

     Itís actually somewhat of a shame that Rush Hour 3 is such a crapshoot because Carter and Lee are actually rather amusing characters when afforded the proper resources. The original Rush Hour was a brilliant action-comedy, and both of them provided an endless amount of entertainment in that picture. The real problem with Rush Hour 3 is that it was made for entirely financial benefit: neither Ratner nor screenwriter Jeff Nathanson are very interested in giving the once-lovable pair anything new to do. Replacing all potential segments of originality are hackneyed rehashes of what viewers experienced back in both 2001 and 1998 when the first two films in the series were released. Any way you look at it, Rush Hour 3 is a big waste of moviegoersí time and money.

-Danny Baldwin, Bucket Reviews

Review Published on: 8.10.2007

Screened on: 8.10.2007 at the Krikorian Vista Metroplex 15 in Vista, CA.

 

Rush Hour 3 is rated PG-13 and runs 90 minutes.


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