US Release Date: 08-10-2007
Directed by: Brett Ratner
- Chris Tucker, as
- Detective James Carter
- Jackie Chan, as
- Chief Inspector Lee
- Max von Sydow, as
- Varden Reynard
- Hiroyuki Sanada, as
- Yvan Attal, as
- Youki Kudoh, as
- Dragon Lady
- Noemie Lenoir, as
- Jingchu Zhang, as
- Soo Yung
- Roman Polanski as
- Detective Revi
Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in Rush Hour 3.
I was astounded that The Bourne Ultimatum was the third and best film in the series. How often does a series get better as it goes? It certainly is not the case with the Rush Hour movies. In Rush Hour 3, Tucker and Chan still have the charm, but the thrown together plot is as outdated and stale as they come.
As the credits rolled at the beginning of the movie you know who the bad guy is. Remember, in Rush Hour 2 Carter said, "Behind every big crime there's a rich white man..." In Rush Hour it was Tom Wilkinson. In Rush Hour 2 it was Alan King. So when Max Von Sydow's name appears you just know it is him this time around.
Having run out of ideas, the writers bring back the Chinese ambassador and his daughter that were in the first movie. An assassination attempt on him takes Carter and Lee to Paris to fight, who else, the Chinese mob known as the Triads. Once in Paris the plot holes start growing. Carter and Lee go into a night club and Carter just happens to start flirting with a girl, Genevieve, that turns out to be very pivotal to the plot. Later, Carter, wandering the city of Paris, just happens to come across another nightclub where Genevieve is the star performer. The worst coincidence happens near the end after Carter and Lee parasail off the Eiffel Tower to avoid being shot and land several blocks away in a large pool. The bad guy and his hostage are there waiting for them?
The plot holes are not the only problem here. Genevieve does a number dressed like Madonna from her Express Yourself video. How long ago was that? Speaking of old songs, The movie opens with Chris Tucker doing an obnoxious version of Prince's Do Me. That song was from the early 80's. Besides the old song, Rush Hour 3 visits old routines. In one scene Carter gets confused talking to a Chinese man name Yu. The same routine was done in Rush Hour 2, not to mention 50 years ago by Abbott and Costello.
With all of this mess going on I have yet to describe the most groan inducing scene put on film since Van Diesel did the Peter Panda dance in The Pacifier. Some Triads are in the audience as Genevieve is on stage making like Madonna. They are there to shoot her with machine guns as she performs. Apparently it never occurred to them that having 100 witnesses might not be a good idea, but I digress. To save her, Carter jumps on stage and starts singing to her. Lee does a Nicole Kidman, from Moulan Rouge, imitation and swings in, dueting on the same song. Chan should never sing again, at least not in English.
The movie's brightest spot comes in the form of an annoying French cab driver who at first hates Americans because they are so violent. After surviving a car chase with Carter and Lee he wants to work with them but his wife, played by Gerard Depardieu's daughter, won't let him. "Now I will never know what it's like to be an American. Now I will never know what it is like to kill someone for no reason." He moans.
Rush Hour needs to get out of the fast lane. It is holding up traffic.
Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan, and Yvan Attal in Rush Hour 3.
This third installment certainly doesn't break any new ground but neither is it as disappointing as Eric claims. If you enjoyed the first two Rush Hours then you will most likely enjoy getting stuck in traffic with Carter and Lee a third time. The comic chemistry between Chan and Tucker remains unabated.
I thought the funniest scene was one Eric disliked. Chan and Tucker dueting on stage to “Closer I Get To You” was hilarious. Music has always played a big role in these movies and this one is no exception. From the opening scene where Tucker is directing traffic while singing and grinding to Prince's classic sex ballad “Do Me, Baby” to the French street musician singing and strumming an acoustic guitar version of The Beach Boys' “California Girls”, music adds to the fun.
Sure there are a few plot holes but then logic was never the point of these movies. As far as the buddy/cop genre goes the Rush Hour movies lean way out on the comic side of things. The stunts are fun but there is never any question of real danger for our heroes. In an odd bit of casting Oscar winning director (and child rapist) Roman Polanski plays a smarmy French detective.
I agree completely with Eric that George, the French cabbie (see photo), steals his scenes. “I'm sorry, I won't be here when you get back... my wife says I can't be a spy anymore. I have to be home for dinner.” But the real selling point of these movies has always been Tucker and Chan. A fourth installment in the franchise has long been rumored. Although judging by how much Tucker and Chan aged between Rush Hour 2 and 3 they shouldn't wait too long to head back out into traffic.
Photos © Copyright New Line Cinema (2007)