Rush Hour 3
Somehow there has been a
huge con job perpetrated on the world. We have been misled -- through
slight of hand and smoke and mirrors -- to believe that Chris Tucker is
actually a legitimate movie star.
However, keep this in
mind... since 1998 the entirety of his body of work has been made up of
Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3. The last three
films that he made without Jackie Chan all came out in 1997 --
supporting roles in Jackie Brown with Pam Greer, The Fifth Element with Bruce Willis
and Money Talks with Charlie Sheen. Not exactly the CV of a
Just for comparison's sake,
during that same time period, his co-star Jackie Chan has appeared in 22
movies. Now, I'm willing to give Tucker the benefit of the doubt that
he is more discriminating than Chan when it comes to picking roles.
After all, who isn't? However, even a blind squirrel finds a nut
sometimes. There has to have been some other role that a man who
co-starred in blockbusters like these could have been used for. Also, his taste can't be
all that discriminating -- he HAS made three Rush
Now I should come clean
right off the bat. I didn't particularly like the first Rush Hour
movie, but thought it was okay for what it was. I hated Rush
Hour 2. I had no plans on ever watching another of the series.
auteur Brett Ratner did something devious. He decided to set the movie
in Paris. Therefore, I had to weigh my natural distrust of all things
Rush Hour versus my natural love of anything Paris. After all,
I've seen lots of movies that I knew I never should -- just for the
opportunity to spend some time in the City of Lights. (Mr. Bean's
Holiday is just the last example in a long, awful list.)Then
So here I am, review copy
of Rush Hour 3 in my DVD player, hoping for the best but expecting
the worst. And yet, I am still shocked. I had no idea how bad it could possibly be.
Rush Hour 3 makes Rush Hour 2 seem like Citizen Kane.
The blame is not on Jackie
Chan. Chan does his normal, workmanlike job. He's not a very
good actor, and even with about thirty years of appearing on-and-off in US
films, he still does not sound completely comfortable acting in English.
Still, he is a wonderful stunt man and his fight scenes, if sometimes a
little ludicrous, are in general entertaining. He also has a
self-depreciating humor which can be charming. On the whole, Chan
doesn't really embarrass himself (except for one scene in which he is forced
to talk in street lingo.)
However, Tucker is -- if
possible -- even more annoying, grating, unfunny, over the top, ridiculous,
pathetic and completely unlikable than he had been in the previous movies.
This, undoubtedly, is the real reason that no one in Hollywood other than
Brett Ratner will hire him.
The plot -- as if it really
matters -- has the mismatched cops working together for the first time in
three years to protect the daughter of a Chinese ambassador as well as find
the mysterious Shy Shen.
They are aided by an
elderly British ambassador (Max Von Sydow) and a cab driver who wants to be
an American spy (Yvan Attal). Standing in their way are an obnoxious
French police chief (Roman Polanski) and Chan's long lost brother. If
you can't figure out who the ultimate criminal is, you just aren't trying
The guys go through the
motions, stumbling across major clues, meeting important participants in the
case just by chance, flirting with every woman who looks their way and
fighting their way through some of the most beautiful landmarks in the
world. It all leads to an absolutely absurd (and seemingly endless)
action sequence at the Eiffel Tower.
The plot is all very
confusing and yet at the same time seemingly completely random. The
story seems like it was made up as they went along, with narrative strands
forgotten or misused throughout. Still, with all the conflicting plot
points and muddled narrative -- I really only have one question about all
this. What the hell are respected talents like Max Von Sydow and Roman Polanski doing in Rush Hour 3?
Then, if there was any
doubt how much the movie sucks, the film ends by resorting to the one
absolute dead-giveaway of a movie that has no ideas in it's noggin -- a
montage of cast bloopers over the closing credits.
On the plus side, however,
the scenery is spectacular.
Oh, and by the way, just
for the record for all you fans of HBO's Entourage -- Johnny Drama
does NOT appear here in a cameo as a bus driver on the Champs Elysee.
Seems like he's the lucky one in this case. For sure the audience
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2007 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: December 23, 2007.