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Rush Hour 3 the Best Rush Hour Yet

Published August 9, 2007 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of New Line Cinema.
Rush Hour 3 Poster Rush Hour 3
Rush Hour 3 is the best Rush Hour yet. It truly is their finest hour, as the advertising claims. I've long since accepted that these are not going to be the outrageous Jackie Chan vehicles I love, or the reinvention of the buddy cop genre. They're just going to be solid vehicles with one of my favorite people in the world.

Movie Review: Rush Hour 3

Their Paris isn’t much different from their L.A., Hong Kong or Las Vegas, except for the one national monument they utilize, but it’s just fun to see the guys messing around again.

This time Jackie Chan keeps up with Chris Tucker. He talks black at him. Of course it’s light, commonly known slang, but so is the way Tucker talks. The banter is fun, all with PG-13 safe allusions. Most of the humor is comprised of stereotypes but Tucker and Chan make the routines fun. Cavity searches, Frenchmen hating Americans, fried chicken, et al. It’s predictable, but comfortable.

The action is basic Jackie Chan, like the best of his technique. Only the climax has a real set piece, but that’s okay too. There’s 30 years of Hong Kong movies with mind-blowing set pieces. Rush Hour is just about having fun. There’s no one jaw dropping stunt, like going through the change slot in Rush Hour 2, but there are some inventive gags.

The fights are usually contained to a single room, like an old silent movie, which is Chan’s inspiration anyway. In chases, you see Jackie thinking before he bounces off the walls. He looks for the clearest path, then moves.

They fight some guys for no reason at all, but I love it. That’s part of the fun, it’s just a romp. I wanted to see a sequence with the dojo kids. That would have been brilliant to make Jackie find a way to defend himself without hitting any children, but maybe that’s the sort of thing he just can’t get away with over here.

There are some John Woo homages too. Tucker slides across the floor and does the double guns, and Chan has a Mexican standoff. One of the film’s cleverest gags involves reloading a gun so they bring the Jackie Chan touches to that technique.

Besides the climax, the most clever and thrilling sequence is a car chase incorporating funny stunts. It may be missing a shot showing how Tucker lands back in the car, but you follow along.

You may see a stuntman in some scenes, but they’re still bitchin’ stunts. I’ve always been fine with that because I want Jackie to be okay. He only ever did his own stunts because that’s how it was done over there. It’s just as cool when he designs it and lets an underling take the hit. Besides, they’re still stunts. It’s still rigged safely. It’s all an illusion. He’s never claimed to do anything for real. And some of Tucker’s kicks are shot in extreme close up but that’s fine too. It’s well cut together and that’s what filmmaking is all about.

It gets a bit plot heavy in the middle. There are five killer action sequences by the halfway point, then you have to wait until the climax, but it’s still fun. They explain what happened with Isabella from Rush Hour 2 as if continuity matters here. There are double crosses, yadda yadda yadda. It is fun to see how they dropped gefilte fish back in. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an inside joke about an outtake before.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of New Line Cinema.

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