RUSH HOUR 3
Chinese Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma) is shot by an assassin in Los Angeles just as he's about to blow the cover on a secret triad conspiracy before the World Criminal Court. As bodyguard to Han, Lee (Jackie Chan) chases the assassin only to discover the culprit is Kenji (Hiroyuki Sanada), his long-lost companion and 'brother' from their childhood orphanage. Unable to shoot Kenji, Lee lets him get away. Lee partners with local cop Carter (Chris Tucker) to try and track down an envelope with vital clues to the conspiracy, which has been stolen by the triad from the kung fu academy in Chinatown run by Hen's daughter Soo Yung (Zhang Jingchu). The chase takes them to Paris, where they encounter several obstacles including the sadistic Police Chief (Roman Polanski).
Review by Robert Newton:
In the original 1998 Rush Hour, the dynamic between Chris Tucker and still spry co-star Jackie Chan was fresh, and the script was funny. Tucker was the street savvy wisecracking L.A. cop, Chan the tradition schooled outsider.
Three years later in the sequel, Tucker and Chan had found their groove, even if the movie did not have as many good laughs and great stunt work. Now, though, it is an awkward Greatest Hits Reunion Show, and neither one of them seem up to the task. Tucker's character is irrational and irritating (imagine biting on a sheet of aluminium foil). Chan still does some of his own stunts, but he's 53 now and some of the stunts he does do cause more concern than wonderment.
The story is just an excuse to go road tripping, Hope and Crosby style, to Paris, for the usual jokes about ugly Americans and Europe's begrudging love of them. Believe it or not, screenwriter Jeff Nathanson has an otherwise impressive résumé, boasting The Terminal, Catch Me If You Can and next year's Indiana Jones sequel for Spielberg. Here, though, he phones it in, more of a typist than a writer. The script seems like a collection of action movie clichés, and not in a self-knowing way like Hot Fuzz, either.
Tucker and Chan both look bored, and the moment that lazily cast genial giant Swede Max von Sydow appears on screen, the "Bad Guy!" gong rings loudly. While the cuddly Chan is impossible to dislike, this is still the kind of movie that fans feel a duty to say they didn't hate, both because Chan has brought them so much joy in the past and because they need to delude themselves into thinking the movie was better than it was because of the $15 plus snacks they spent to see it.
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RUSH HOUR 3 (M)
CAST: Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan, Max von Sydow, Hiroyuki Sanada, Yvan Attal, Youki Kudoh, Neomie Lenoir, Jingchu Zang, Tzi Ma, Henry O
PRODUCER: Roger Birnbaum, Andrew Z. Davis, Jonathan Glickman, Arthur M. Sarkissian, Jay Stern
DIRECTOR: Brett Ratner
SCRIPT: Jeff Nathanson
CINEMATOGRAPHER: J. Michael Muro
EDITOR: Mark Helfrich, Billy Weber, Don Zimmerman
MUSIC: Lalo Schifrin
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ed Verreaux
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 27, 2007
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