Rush Hour 3
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E dir Brett Ratner
scr Jeff Nathanson
with Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Hiroyuki Sanada, Max von Sydow, Jingchu Zhang, Noémie Lenoir, Yvan Attal, Youki Kudoh, Roman Polanski, Julie Depardieu, Tzi Ma, Sun Ming Ming
release US/UK 10.Aug.07
07/US New Line 1h30
Rush Hour 3
Wild and crazy: Tucker and Chan

sanada vonsydow polanski

RUSH HOUR 2 (2001)

Rush Hour 3 The first two Rush Hour movies (in 1998 and 2001) were so forgettable that you spend much of this one wondering why the cast and crew bothered to get back together. Everything's strained this time, and even a handful of decent gags can't save it.

After an assassination attempt at the World Criminal Court in Los Angeles, Inspector Lee (Chan) chases the Triad gunman (Sanada), but hesitates when he sees his face. They clearly have a past. Now Lee is reunited with talkative cohort Detective Carter (Tucker), following the trail to Paris and a rendezvous with the mysterious Genevieve (Lenoir). Along the way they're chased by another ruthless killer (Kudoh) and a dorky French cop (Polanski), and get help from an action-loving cabbie (Attal) before ending up, of course, atop the Eiffel Tower.

Frankly, it's looking a bit tired after the six-year break. Ratner's direction borrows heavily from corny 1970s cop movies, cranking up only during two or three whizzy action sequences. Chan does very few of his flashy moves, and his impersonation of parkour is a bit embarrassing. Tucker's nonstop chatter has moved beyond annoying into the realm of bug-eyed hamminess. You don't expect a coherent plot from this kind of film, but it would be nice if the climactic twist wasn't obvious from the start.

Besides a number of extremely strange scenes (the most bizarre is when Von Sydow, as a French ambassador, suddenly turns up in Chan's hotel bathroom), the comedy simply isn't funny. A few offhanded comments spark a chuckle, but the rest feels forced and underwritten. Awkward slapstick and lame innuendo tries to generate laughs; insinuating music tries to stir suspense. And then there's the attempt at emotion when we learn about Lee's troubled childhood. Cue the soppy soundtrack song with the too-appropriate lyric: "It's sad, so sad ... and it's getting more and more absurd."

Yes, it's pretty agonising, from the misogynist display of female flesh to a truly horrific musical number to the no-longer-amusing closing credits outtakes. Although, to be fair, the final action fight on the Eiffel Tower is astonishingly well filmed, however cliched it may be.

cert 12 themes, language, violence, innuendo 7.Aug.07

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... Rush Hour 3 Darren Hammond, In a land Downunder: 5/5 "This film was great, full of laughs, action and all around greatness!" (12.Aug.07)
© 2007 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall