July 4, 2017

Movie Review: Rush Hour 3

I remember when the first Rush Hour film came out, it was way back in 1998. Jackie Chan was on a run of action films that was raising his international recognition (Rumble in the Bronx, Supercop, First Strike, Operation Condor) and Chris Tucker was a rising star following Friday, Money Talks, and The Fifth Element, so it seemed like a good idea to combine the fleet feet of Chan with the fast tongue of Tucker. I have to admit, I really liked that first film, the second two. Granted it has been some years since I have revisited them. Now, for some reason I decided to revisit part 3, and it has not aged well. I’m not sure I really liked it the first time around back in 2007.

Watching Rush Hour 3 made me realize that this particular pairing had an expiration date and I am pretty sure that came shortly after 2001’s Rush Hour 2. The buddy formula that had been mined so well in those first two films (and in countless better films period) no longer worked here. All of the East meets West, cultural differences, miscommunication hi-jinks were all used up. What is left is something of a cinematic husk, a creative team trying to rehash what had already been done and failing.

The movie, along with the first pair, was directed by Brett Ratner. Now, Ratner has never been a great director, but he has made a few serviceable films over the years. I feel that it did not help being the first film he made following the X-Men: The Last Stand debacle, which I do not really blame him for. The writing was handled by Jeff Nathanson (Speed 2: Cruise Control, Catch Me if You Can), who also wrote the second film. Based on his filmography, he has been involved with some good projects, which makes his two Rush Hour films look like work for hire with no personal investment, resulting in the not so greatness we see in this third go around.

The plot has Carter (Tucker) working a punishment detail as a traffic cop in LA while Lee (Chan) is in town as a bodyguard for a Chinese Ambassador. As luck would have it there is an assassination attempt on the ambassador finds Lee doing one of those “no one but Jackie Chan” style chases, which sees Carter join the fray. Before you know it, the two are reteamed and following clues to France that connect the shooter to the Chinese Triads. There really isn’t much to it beyond that, there are a couple of other characters added to the fray, but it is mostly just a clothesline for some action bits and verbal sparring that get us to the inevitable conclusion.

It wasn’t my intention to write about this movie when I revisited it the other day, but there was something about it that kind of made me want to. It might have been the way Jackie Chan looks throughout the movie, tired, exasperated, wondering what he was doing there. The action, while somewhat enjoyable was not up to the level he had demonstrated earlier in his career, which is understandable, doing what he does will take a toll after awhile. It might have been Chris Tucker and his high pitched motormouth shtick was running a bit thin. Seriously, I found him to be more annoying than funny this time out, almost made me long for more Ruby Rhod. Perhaps it was the story just didn’t grab me. Or maybe it was the odd cameo by Roman Polanski?

I guess Rush Hour 3 was enjoyable enough if you have nothing else to do. I do love Jackie Chan and Tucker is entertaining in small doses. In the end, it seems this was more about the paycheck than the movie and I guess I can’t fault anyone for taking the money.

Not Recommended.

Related Posts with Thumbnails


Post a Comment