Rush Hour 3
Every time Chief Inspector Lee and Detective James Carter (Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker) get together, they always seem to get into trouble, right?
Take their most recent escapade for instance.
For a start, they just about foil an assassination attempt made on the life of Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma), just as he is about to declare war on the Chinese Triads. Then, they get into some mischief when they have to retrieve a document for Han's daughter, Soo Yung (Zhang Jingchu), at a
she has enrolled in. Plus,
in addition to this, whilst fighting some French assassins to protect both of
the Han's lives, they also discover that all of this trouble started out in Kung-Fu
Yes - I said
- the so-called 'City of Paris '.
However, do you think that both Lee and Carter get any love when they travel
there to investigate what the hell is going on? Love
No - I don't think so either.
Individually, yet together, both of these 'brothers of the law' keep on finding trouble with every move they make. At a casino, Carter falls for Parisian beauty, Geneviève (Noémie Lenoir) - whilst Lee gets himself into a scrap with Oriental nut-job named Dragon Lady Jasmine (Youki Kudoh). On the road, they both make the acquaintance of surly French mini-cab driver, George (Yvan Attal) - whilst in the sewers, they are accosted by Lee's half brother / Triad leader, Kenji (Hiroyuki Sanada). Oh! And on top of that, they have a falling out as well.
For a short while anyway.
Fortunately, though, amidst this separation, both Carter and Lee are revealed some very surprising facts. Carter figures out that Geneviève is a top French cat-walk model. Whilst Lee is told by U.N. Ambassador, Varden Reynard (Max von Sydow), that Geneviève is somehow associated with Han's subversion of the Chinese Triads.
Wow! What a coincidence, huh? Moreover, another coincidence, is that when they find her, save her from some gun tooting thugs, and then take her back to their hotel room for safety, Geneviève explains to them both that she is Shy Shen - a living ballad-box which the Triads use, when they want to enlist their next leader.
Well, I suppose that is why what next transpires is a right Frog-legged affair all in all. As brothers dance - governors don't know romance - and at the top of the
officers of the law take a very long glance. Eiffel Tower
Now I was fairly Luke warm with my assessment of Rush Hour 1 and Rush Hour 2 respectively (click on links for the reviews). And do you know what? Luke is the same for 'Rush Hour 3' as well.
Please note, I do not want to sound overtly critical with this film franchise, oh no. Rather, I find that this series of films could have been much better overall, if the stories were not so overtly contrived. If fact, this is the type of thing which makes me confused! And you all know what I do when I am confused, right? Advantage / disadvantage time.
(1) Jackie and Chris are just great when they are both on screen together, and for me, they are the best thing about the movie. (2) I liked the nods and the winks to old school cinema. I am sure that the tall Chinese man is a homage to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's role in 'Game of Death'. The Abbott and Costello 'whose on first' routine was done justice in the Kung-Fu school scene. And the sewer scene was somewhat reminiscent of a similar scene in 'Star Wars'. (3) I really enjoyed watching Youki Kudoh in this film - she had that bad-ass Chinese lady vibe about her, which was very captivating to watch. (4) Although Roman Polanski isn't in this film that much, it was still nice to see him in a fun role that he isn't known for. (5) One of my favorite scenes in this film, is the one where the Nun helps the guys interrogates the French assassin. It was just a laugh riot from beginning to end - and was on the same level as the
scene too. Class. Kung-Fu
(1) One of the main flaws with 'Rush Hour 3' is all to do with the 'rule of coincidence'. Granted, I understand that this is meant to be a fun and jovial adventure story. But come on! Too many coincidences are really a groan-worthy experience! Like the Geneviève sub plot for example, plus the French cabby always being at hand whenever the guys were in trouble. (2) Some times too pretty is just too much. Well, it can come across as feeling a mite too cosmetic in places, and can impede the overall flavor of the film with a dash of superficiality. (3) Now when Jackie and Chris's jovial hi-jinks work - it really does work. However, there are certain scenes - such as the cat-walk scene - where it just appears too far-fetched to conform of a pertinent tone. Too forced. (4) Why is it that the 'mysterious bad guy' isn't so 'mysterious' in this film? For that matter, any of the films in the series either! Now this has not got anything to do with Max at all - far from it. It is the brash direction and formulaic story-line to blame. (5) Oh! And while I am on the subject of 'formulaic story-lines' - this is one - too paint it by numbers in both plot and story.
OK, so that makes it 5 a piece for 'Rush Hour 3' - sounds about right. Personally speaking, it was a fairly decent Americanised version of a Jackie Chan film, with a dose of Tucker, and a spattering of old school humor with a silly story to boot.
Still, even with all of my negativity about this piece, I do hope that the guys come back together for 'Rush Hour 4', and be on the same par as...
Nice film - good on bloopers.
THE RATING: B-