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Rush Hour 3 Film Review

by Kam Williams


Chan and Tucker Teamed-Up Again to Chase Chinese Crooks around Paris

It's almost unfair to their fans for Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan to take so much time off between making movies together. Finally, after a six-year hiatus the dynamic duo is back with Rush Hour 3, and the good news is that it's well worth the wait.

This madcap adventure measures up to the prior pictures in every way, from the laff-a-minute hijinks to the genuine chemistry among the characters to the carefully-orchestrated fight sequences. And although LAPD Detective Carter (Tucker) and Hong Kong Inspector Lee (Chan) are just up to their typical tricks, there's something comfy about watching them in action again, even when you have a good idea what to expect. In fact, the pleasure probably comes from watching the pair perform in a fashion reminiscent of their earlier outings.

In any case, the story opens in L.A. where we find the motor-mouthed Carter demoted to directing street traffic while Lee is once more guarding Chinese Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma), as in the original. After an assassination attempt leaves Han seriously wounded, Lee promises the diplomat's now-grown daughter, Soo Yung (Jingchu Zhang), to track down the shooter.


The trail leads to a gang of Asian mobsters in Paris, and our heroes soon reunite and make their way over to France to crack the case. The mismatched partners immediately resume their oil-and-water bickering, a winning study in contrasts in which high-strung Carter's constant trash-talking, womanizing and general incompetence is offset by Lee's relatively low-key demeanor and suave savoir fare.

A third stooge is added to the mix after they land in Europe, when George (Yvan Attal), an insolent cabbie with an attitude, becomes their regular driver. He can't hide his contempt for American culture, and his presence not only infuses the film with some fresh energy but provides some of its most memorable moments of comic relief.

As always, the brand of humor relies on simplistic stereotypes associating, say, Asians with eating rice and speaking pidgin English, blacks with acting a fool and being well-endowed, and now, the French with smelling and being rude. Fortunately, in the hands of director Brett Ratner, the material never crosses the line to coming off as meanspirited, but remains the sort of good-natured ribbing unlikely to offend any ethnic group.


Despite the wafer-thin plot, at least the crime caper is compelling enough to keep you amused until the very end, though this is a flick to be savored scene by scene, for this joke, for that car chase, or for the grand-finale, a death-defying leap off the Eiffel Tower. Don't forget to stick around for the credits, and you'll be richly rewarded with a few minutes of equally-entertaining outtakes.

The best buddy-cop comedy since Rush Hour 2.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, nudity and action violence.
Running time: 90 minutes
Studio: New Line Cinema

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