Rush Hour 3
The best of this summer's threequels, but the finish begins to tarnish.
If you'll pardon then diversion for a moment, I'll always have a soft spot for the Rush Hour franchise. It is, after all, in no small part what prompted our original gang of three to set up this blasted site in the first place, specifically the reviews given to Rush Hour 2. Anyone having seen the film blessed with functioning eyes and a brain will note that in comparison with the first film, it had better chop-sockey action sequences and was funnier, which means that for a kung-fu comedy, it's demonstrably better than the first one. Cue a flood of reviews that gave the stock sequel review of "Like the first one but not as good". Coming after a run of reviews so completely out of whack with what we'd though of their subjects, a time came for action, in the shape of what you're sat here reading right now.
It's with some small degree of trepidation that I sit here and start writing a review that's going to reduce to "Like the second one, but not as good". Ah well, calls it like I sees it.
This umpteenth version three of the summer sees Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker return to do much the same schtick that saw them through the first two films, charged with the task of finding the current list of Triad bosses that's circulating in Paris as well as protecting Ambassador Han's daughter. Oh, and Max von Sydow's in it, so obviously you know who the bad guy is going to be. Not that we're saying that Max von Sydow is typecast as a villain or anything, but even when the bad guys are supposed to be Triad bosses, notable mainly for being Chinese, the bad guy is still Max Von Sydow. Who would have thunk it, eh?
I'm at something of a complete loss as to think of what to tell you about this film that you can't already gather from reading that it's a Rush Hour film. Tucker and Chan slip back into the mild culture clash roles of the previous films, and are clearly comfortable in them. It's full of probably the best stunt work that Chan's done in a good long while. Tucker remains amusing, probably due to his relative underexposure - his act could easily grow tiresome if he'd actually appear in any films outside of this series. But he doesn't. So that's alright, then.
Everything's well choreographed, although by the end of the film the silliness has been cranked up a little too far for its own good. Basically, Rush Hour 3 isn't the complete disappointment that a notable few of the other entries in this summer of sequels, and it's pretty decent entertainment throughout, although it's never going to rate above 'pretty decent' even for an admitted apologist for the series.
I suppose it's about everything you'd expect for a threequel. While it's funny, it's not quite as funny as he last two. While it's action packed, it's non quite as action packed as he last two. While it's good, it's not quite as good as the last two. In short, it's like the first two, but not as good. Funny how you always end up becoming like what hate most, isn't it?
Were I in the business of passing quantifiable judgements, I'd award this 3/5 TippyMarks.
Jackie Chan (Chief Inspector Lee)
Max von Sydow (Varden Reynard)
Hiroyuki Sanada (Kenji)
Yvan Attal (George)
Jingchu Zhang (Soo Yung)