Movie Review: Rush Hour 3
January 08, 2008

Reports I've read online take fiendish delight in claiming that "Rush Hour 3" is the worst in the series (a point I'm willing to perhaps concede), that Brett Ratner is an awful director (a point that I've yet to see proved, at least by any of the "Rush Hour" films) and that the movie is just plain awful as a general rule. That's the sort of baggage I was carrying when I watched the movie today, but I promptly forgot about all of it as I kicked back in my chair and had a good time the likes of which only a few action movies can ever hope to provide.

"Rush Hour 3" is formulaic, has cheap laughs in several instances and some of the most ridiculous action sequences yet seen in a series of films best known for cramming as many of the last into an hour-and-a-half show as possible. In spite of that--or perhaps because of it--the movie manages to be thoroughly entertaining during nearly every one of its 86 minutes. So although the movie isn't going to be an Oscar contendor, it'll probably entertain most people who watch it a great deal more than Hollywood's most prestigious films of 2007.

The story basically works like this: Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker's characters are broght together to take on various bad guys that plan all sorts of nasty things. That's been the plot of all three movies, and as usual the differences from one to the next come down to who the sexy female heroine is (in this case, a young woman with gang connections and a tendency to take off most of her clothes at the club where she works as a showgirl), who the questionable but sexy woman is (a mysterious young lady Jackie Chan is destined to meet at a club) and where the action primarily takes place (France). From there, all the movie needs to do is plug any holes with absurd kikcing and punching and it's halfway done.

Before you even sit down, you might expect to find out about some associate Jackie Chan has that he never told Chris Tucker about (check), a scene where Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker get very angry at one another and part ways (check) and maybe something involving a really long flag/banner and a very long fall (check). See, when I said this was a formulaic movie, I really meant it.

That's surely the problem most people will have with "Rush Hour 3," but I say that's picking at things for the sake of picking at them. If you can get over the notion that we've seen a lot of this stuff before in slightly different context, then you can get ready to have a lot of fun. There's a spectacularly good car chase fairly early in the proceedings, a thrilling fight between Jackie Chan and an assassin... and yes, there's even a sword fight (yikes!). In fact, most of the movie consists of fight scenes. Even when there aren't feet or fists flying, there's lots of noise because that usually means Chris Tucker is at leisure to talk and say something funny.

Chris Tucker can be a funny, funny guy. Fortunately, "Rush Hour 3" lets him do what he does best. I don't usually laugh out loud at movies, but I did a few times in the course of watching this one. The on-screen personality of the two leading stars is such that if you haven't at least snickered within the first few minutes, you might as well turn it off and go watch something else. I hear "No Country For Old Men" is very good, and there have been rave reviews for "Brokeback Mountain."

In the end, "Rush Hour 3" isn't nearly the jumbled mess that I've made of this review and it doesn't prove that Brett Ratner can't direct. In fact, it does quite the opposite. With incredible action scenes that are perfectly captured on film, a bushel full of hilarious one-liners from Chris Tucker, plenty of intense action and the expected scenes that defy the laws of physics, "Rush Hour 3" is nothing more and nothing less than a competent and thoroughly enjoyable entry in a series that apparently doesn't know when to quit. If you watch it with an open mind, there's a good chance you enjoy nearly every minute of it, just as I did. Dare I hope for a "Rush Hour 4"?


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Halon Halon - January 08, 2008 (09:39 PM)
Think I posted this a week ago or so but I'll do so again. RH3 wasn't the disaster everyone is making it out to be but the action part was lacking due to Jackie Chan's age. The end scene was great even if he is only a fraction of what he was.

Chris Tucker is funny but can't carry a movie alone, which is almost what he did here.
Felix_Arabia Felix_Arabia - January 08, 2008 (09:53 PM)
I have a friend named Chris Tucker. He is white.
siara79 siara79 - January 09, 2008 (07:50 AM)
My favorite scene had to be the interrogation with the nun as translator. I giggled all the way through it. :D

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