Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

In the last ten years Chris Tucker has made three movies.  Those movies would be ‘Rush Hour’, ‘Rush Hour 2’ and ‘Rush Hour 3’.  So if you happen to be a fan of the comedian you unfortunately have to wait every four or five years for he and the producers of the ‘Rush Hour’ series to come to some kind of salary agreement so that you can see him and Jackie Chan in another Rush Hour movie, since apparently it’s the only movie that Tucker is remotely interested in making.  Mr. Tucker received a lot of flack for his perceived outrageous salary demands for the third ‘Rush Hour’ film, but allow me to be the first to tell you that there is NO SUCH THING as an outrageous salary demand, as you can only receive what they are willing to pay you.  Athletes receive all kinds of hell for the money they make, but they only get what some dude is willing to pay them.  Do you suggest they turn it down and beg for less?  Of course you don’t.  My problem with people who gripe about the bloated salaries of athletes and celebrities is they act as if those dollars would otherwise come to them if they weren’t paying x-dude 20 million dollars per season.  It’s not trickling down your way man, so relax.  Practice your jumpshot, go to the batting cages or tell more jokes so you can have outrageous salary demands too since you can only get what they are willing to pay you.  Quite honestly I despise the ‘Rush Hour’ films and I’m a much bigger admirer of Chris Tucker the actor, as he displayed in ‘Dead Presidents’ and ‘Jackie Brown’ than Chris Tucker the comedic clown as he is in ‘Rush Hour’ or say ‘The Fifth Element’, but if the producers of the ‘Rush Hour’ series were so desperate to get this movie made that they gave Tucker 20 million large and a reported 20 percent of the gross (Gross people, not Net) – Then damn boy, you go get that money.  Though I am happy the brother got his loot, I’m less pleased that I had to sit through another ‘Rush Hour’ film which seem to get dumber and dumber with each episode.  Editorial rant over.  And just go get yours baby.

It is my journalistic responsibility to tell you that I did not like this film.  I can’t sit here and type anything otherwise.  I also need to tell you though, at the screening I went to which had to turn away a good 400 people all having free passes – I would have been sent home too had I not already had a press row reserved seat – had a packed house full of people who seemed to absolutely love this movie.  In a nutshell Inspector Lee (Chan) and Detective Carter (Tucker) have to go to Paris to track down the elusive, almost mythical chief of the Chinese Triad mafia called the Shai-Shen after Chinese ambassador Han (Tzi Ma) was gunned down at the World Criminal Court on the verge of releasing the identity of Shai-Shen.  I had to Google the World Criminal Court to see if such a thing really exists, and lo and behold, it does.  It would have to be the ultimate goal of ANY criminal to be tried in the World Criminal Court I’d think.  I mean you’re so bad that the WORLD is trying to prosecute you.  How cool is that?

In Paris Lee and Carter discover that that a burlesque dancer named Genevieve (the impossibly beautiful French supermodel Noemie Lenoir) possesses Shai-Shen, but a figure from Lee’s clouded past, Kenji (Hiroyuki Sanada), a valued Triad member (despite the fact he’s Japanese) is attempting to kill Genevieve as well as Carter and Lee.  With all of the pieces now set into play, simply sit back and watch the hilarity, hi-jinks, kung-fu action and wise cracks ensue.

What director Brett Rattner has essentially done with ‘Rush Hour 3’ is setup a series of disconnected set pieces for Chris Tucker to act a complete fool and Jackie Chan to show us some acrobatic kung-fu action -  and vice versa as Tucker gets to do some Kung-Fu in this one too.  If you go into this film looking for a narrative that makes any kind of sense and has some kind of continuity, characters that behave in any kind of logical way or dialog that seems to remotely come from this planet, then this probably isn’t a movie you want to see.  From the earliest scenes it was fairly obvious that any attempt to create a semi-logical buddy cop action comedy with substance, and it can be done, were thrown out the window at go.  Instead what we are given are loosely connected scenes that allow Chris Tucker to adlib numerous humorous comments to varying degrees of success, reused comedy bits such as a dog peeing on somebody’s leg or our cops getting anally probed, and a series of death defying action sequences which were way more amazing in 1998 than they are in 2007.

‘Rush Hour 3’ certainly had it’s moments though, such as the singing duet, no matter how little sense it made at the time, between Carter and Lee which was hilarious.  And allow me to inform you that any time Noemie Lenoir showed up on the screen time literally stood still.  Truly a marvel of meiotic division that woman.

Nonetheless, there are way better movies to watch this summer than ‘Rush Hour 3’, but if you do happen to be a Chris Tucker fan and can’t wait another seven years to see the man in what I’m guessing will be ‘Rush Hour 4’, then you really have no choice but see this.  Or you could go to Blockbuster and have great double feature night and watch ‘Friday’s’ then follow that up with ‘Super Cop’ to enjoy Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan at there absolute best.  At least that’s what I’d do.

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