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Review: Rush Hour 3 (2007)

Rush Hour 3 (2007)

Directed by: Brett Ratner

Premise: Detectives Lee (Jackie Chan) and Carter (Chris Tucker) are reunited to investigate an assassination attempt on the Chinese ambassador and expose an international crime syndicate. 

What Works: Undemanding filmgoers will enjoy Rush Hour 3‘s action scenes.

What Doesn’t: In this third installment, the Rush Hour franchise finally runs out of steam. The previous films have relied on a successful combination of Western and Eastern action film conventions melded with off color humor. This combination was entertaining when each of these elements were played to their best, but in this Rush Hour film very little works. The action scenes do not give Jackie Chan much to do in the way of stunts and most of the sequences are not shot very well and lack any visual flair. The humor fails as well. Chris Tucker’s comic relief was always a little obnoxious but his performance in this film is mostly phoned-in. The racial jokes are not funny because they do not revealing anything about the characters, their cultures, or their audience, and the film’s attempt to play on American-French tensions falls flat. While the Rush Hour films were never very strong on story, this film lacks any coherent narrative and just jogs the heroes from one scenario to the next, tossing in a lazy action scene in between to try and maintain audience interest.

Bottom Line: Rush Hour 3 is a disappointment, even by the modest standards set by the earlier films. Where previous Rush Hour films were silly but fun, Rush Hour 3 is just dumb. In all, Rush Hour 3 is a lazy excuse to reunite bankable stars and recycle old material.

Episode: #152 (August 12, 2007)