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STARRING
Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Yvan Attal, Roman Polanski, Dana Ivey, Noemi Lenoir
DIRECTOR
Brett Ratner
SCREENPLAY
Jeff Nathanson
MPAA RATING
PG-13
RUNNING TIME
90 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
New Line
 "Rush Hour 3" Review 
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There is no reason to rush to a theatre to see "Rush Hour 3."

In fact, you've already seen "Rush Hour 3." You saw "Rush Hour 3," the latest and worst of Summer 2007's threequels, in "Rush Hour" and "Rush Hour 2," not to mention a host of other films with similar themes and sequel patterns.

"Rush Hour 3" is, however, more bothersome because it features a cast that can be entertaining and a director who knows how to make a decent film. Unfortunately, neither is true here...Chris Tucker appears bored and uninvolved, Jackie Chan still can't act and director Brett Ratner offers zilch that is new, exciting or funny.

In short, "Rush Hour 3" is simply a crass attempt by New Line Cinema to milk the cow just a little bit more before it heads off to slaughter.

I have often wondered if cows have any realization that they are headed off to slaughter...I similarly wondered throughout "Rush Hour 3" if any of the cast members had any realization that "Wait, we're really making a remarkably bland film here."

I get the sense that Chris Tucker likely realized it, while Jackie Chan was simply thinking "Taking this role will finance my next 3 independent projects."

Not that plot really matters here, but "Rush Hour 3" has our guys, Carter (Chris Tucker) and Lee (Jackie Chan), reuniting and headed to France to track down the mysterious head of an elite crime group in France.

This set-up, along with practically every other set-up in the film, is constructed flimsily and without purpose and, essentially, the scenes that wrap around the set-ups end up looking like nothing more than a series of ill-constructed, misconceived Saturday Night Live comedy sketches with an occasional attempt to emotionally connect that falls woefully short.

Tucker is inherently funny, and almost single-handedly saves the film from being a dismal failure despite a performance that can be best described as disinterested. One gets the sense that Tucker could be bought for a high price to return to the series and, well, it appears that New Line Cinema paid the price.

Now, I wonder if audiences will pay the price and place "Rush Hour 3" at the top of the box-office alongside its predecessors.

Despite my lack of fondness for the predecessors of "Rush Hour 3," I held out high hopes for this Paris adventure. The trailers, which were hot and heavy in theatres in recent weeks, were downright funny and the quirky take on the "Who's on first?" classic comedy routine always makes me giggle.

Well, the good news is that the quirky take on the "Who's on first?" classic comedy routine is actually one of the film's highlights, a surprisingly original take that takes full advantage of the simple comedy routine's potential while capitalizing on the cultural differences evident throughout the film. Likewise, there's a closing scene involving the Eiffel Tower that is simply beautiful to behold. During a year in which there seems to have been a plethora of France-based films, this shot alone reminds us why there can never be too many.

It was stupid, but I sure laughed.

Then, there's an anti-American cabbie (Yvan Attal) with a secret agenda, a translating nun (Dana Ivey), an invasive police inspector (Roman Polanski), Max Von Sydow in an almost stereotypical role as the head of the World Criminal Court, a musical number and, well, I think you're starting to get my drift.

Plot ain't the point..."Rush Hour 3" is a disconnected, disjointed, disinterested and disappointing film that somehow is impossible to ever completely dismiss. It's funny, at times, almost despite itself.

Fans of beautiful women won't be disappointed, either, with French lovely Noemie Lenoir along for the ride (Hmmm. One can fantasize) and Youki Kudoh as a EVILLLL villain.

"Rush Hour 3" is likely to work much more successfully for those in the audience able to detach from Jeff Nathanson's "been there, seen that" script. Audiences able to embrace the big budget campiness contained within may, in fact, find themselves howling loudly completely oblivious to the fact that they've seen this film at least a couple times previously and, if I have a clear picture of said audience, likely many times before.

While "Rush Hour 3" is far from a complete failure, it is a remarkable disappointment even for the modest expectations that accompany the "Rush Hour" films. The "Rush Hour" films are not and have not attempted to be brilliant cinema or comedy, instead deriving almost all of its laughs from the inherent funniness of two completely different people learning to get along.

By the third time around, though, we KNOW that these two get along and it's just not as funny anymore.

Skip "Rush Hour 3" and, instead, check out Summer 2007's BEST of the threequels, "The Bourne Ultimatum."
 
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic
    The Official Rating Guideline
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