Rush Hour 3 DVD Review
By Prairie Miller
Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are back again-as the dubious crime-fighting duo of LAPD Detective Carter and Chinese Inspector Lee, respectively-for yet another man-versus-vehicle smash 'em up. This time around, they're running interference against the Triads, an international crime syndicate headquartered in Paris, while battling the usual cultural and language differences between themselves that nicely distracts from the action with ample doses of comic relief.
Triads mastermind Shy, who is anything but, figures into the nutty mix as Lee's mysterious brother, which sets up a loony digression touching on sibling rivalry and Carter proclaiming superseding status as Lee's "brother from another mother." As usual, Chan's mostly exasperated Inspector Lee is doing his best to fight crime despite Carter's ever-more-inane blunders. Tucker sets the zany mood from the start, as he stops L.A. rush-hour traffic when he's supposed to be directing it, while obliviously dirty dancing to the latest thing on his iPod. Commandeering a vehicle with a couple of cute babes onboard, Carter joins up with buddy Lee in a chase after those international baddies, while also still unable to stall his libido on duty as he hits on those hotties for a post-pursuit dinner date.
Language barriers and cross-cultural insults are key to some of the biggest and boldest comical detours that give the mostly conventional action sequences a run for their money. One scene during a hospital standoff sets up an on-duty nun who mediates a cursing match between the Triads and the cops, negotiating multiple languages along with politically correct epithets delivered in first initials, N-word-style only, but you more than get the outrageous point.
Still hot on the trail of the elusive Triads, Carter and Lee head over to Paris, where an anti-American taxi driver-turned-spy at first refuses to cooperate while giving them French lip about his aversion to the U.S. appetite for violence, then getting helplessly hooked on the gunplay himself. Later, during a rendezvous down in the Paris sewers, Lee locks horns again with his wayward gangster sibling, whom he can't seem to kill. The persistent law-enforcement pair's antics also land them in the midst of the Folies Bergeres chorus line, where they get into instant undercover mode as a couple of cross-dressing chanteuses. A final showdown scaling the Eiffel Tower is just too repetitious in its somehow monotonous death-defying leaps, which elude bone-crunching near-misses through the maze of sky-high metal rungs, even with Chan's self-styled knack for seeming to cling to nothing but empty air whenever necessary.
Perhaps the strangest, most irreverent sidebar served up by Rush Hour 3 is the nearly show-stopping cameo by real-life fugitive from justice Roman Polanski, hiding out in Europe for decades from an L.A. statutory rape charge and turning up in the film as a police inspector at the Paris airport. One can only wonder what twisted meaning should be read into Polanski's more-than-enthusiastic body-cavity search of these two L.A. investigative representatives of U.S. authority.
New Line Home Entertainment
DVD Features: 2-Disc Platinum Series Edition; Production Diary; Director's Commentary from Brett Ratner; Gag Reel; Deleted scenes.
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