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"Rush Hour 3"

Directed by Brett Ratner.
Written by Jeff Nathanson. 
Starring Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Hiroyuki Sanada and Max Von Sydow.
Release Year:  2007
Review Date:  8/11/07


I thought the first two "Rush Hour" films were pretty good--and, I loved the second film even more than the first--so I was happy to see that Chris Tucker finally got off his ass to make this third film (he had held out for money soon after the second one came out, then did some soul-searching for the last few years).  It's not perfect, but there are some great laughs to go with some not-too-bad action sequences.

Chinese Inspector Li (Jackie Chan) and American Detective Carter (Tucker) are back, and when the action opens, Li is in Los Angeles to help protect an ambassador with details on the Triad networks worldwide when he is shot by an unknown assassin during a presentation.  Li tracks down the shooter, only to learn that this shooter is none other than his foster brother Kenji (Hiroyuki Sanada, also currently in "Sunshine"), after meeting up with Carter in LA, the twosome get back together to follow a trail that leads from California all the way to Paris to track down Kenji and his team of Triad members.

The plot is fairly silly, but what summer franchise has had a great plot in '07?  I can't think of any, really, so the lightweight plot of "Rush Hour 3" just gives more room to the returning stars and director Brett Ratner (who did the other two films as well) to give us some good laughs and the trademark Chan style of light-and-easy fighting and physical humor that has made him such a world-renowned genius.  Tucker, as funny as he is, does have that high-pitched voice which can be a little grating in long doses, but thankfully, the filmmakers understand that and give us not only a mix of other characters to play off of Tucker but to also make the film a bit shorter than the others (a quick 90 minutes) and to have Tucker sing on occasion too; the film's best scene is a cabaret number featuring Tucker and Chan singing to a French audience while trying to hustle a key character (Noémie Lenoir) out of the building.

I thought the stuntwork and the action overall were just better in "Rush Hour 2"; here, we get a couple of cool bits with Chan running up some walls here and there, but the tag-team fighting bits are not present here since the Li character spends more time on his own avoiding trouble while Tucker's Carter has gone off and learned some martial arts, meaning he is not (quite) as reliant on Li to always bail him out of trouble.  But otherwise, "Rush Hour 3" is a lot of fun and makes a great capper to a funny action/comedy series.

Rating:  $9.50 Show


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09