Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Movie Review: Rush Hour 3

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Action; story mostly works
Cons: Detective Carter’s antics, especially in the first half.
The Bottom Line:
Antics growing old
Story, action are still fun
Worth watching cheaply

“You Saved My Life Today.  How Can I Repay You?”  “Do You Have Twenty Dollars?”

It’s generally true that movie sequels get worse as they go along.  Writers and producers try to capture the magic of the first again and again and don’t allow for change.  As a result, what was fun in the first outing gets boring by the third.  That’s certainly the case with Rush Hour 3, which is definitely the worse in the trilogy.

As the movie opens, it’s been three years since we last checked in on Detective Carter (Chris Tucker) and Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan), who aren’t speaking much since Carter scared off Lee’s girlfriend.  We first see Carter directing traffic at a busy intersection while Lee is guarding Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma), who is giving a speech at the meeting of the International Court in Los Angeles.  It seems that he knows the identity of the leader of the Triad, an international crime cartel.  However, before he can reveal the names, he is shot.

As the danger continues to build, Lee and Carter find themselves following a trail to Paris.  Will they uncover the leader of the organization there?  Or will Carter be too distracted?  And what will happen when the case takes a personal turn for Lee?

For me, the biggest hurdle to the movie was Chris Tucker.  His act has gotten old here, and I thought about turning the movie off early because of it.  He’s obnoxious at best in the first half, chasing after any woman and playing the ugly American to the hilt when they first arrive.  It’s supposed to be funny; it isn’t.  Fortunately, this seems to drop way down when the plot gets going.

And in the second half, the plot really is entertaining.  It’s got twists and turns with plenty of action and a stunt filled climax that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  I do think they brushed over some things at the very end, but I’m willing to go along with it.

Also saving the movie are Jackie Chan’s stunts.  Honestly, I could watch clips of him doing scenes like he does here all day.  They are perfectly executed with split second timing, and I enjoy them every time.

The acting is fine.  It’s nothing outstanding, but it keeps us in the story as we wait for the next action sequence.

In the end, I was glad I stuck through the film for the story and the fun action sequences.  But there is no reason to go out and buy Rush Hour 3.  Wait for it to be on TV next time instead, and then enjoy it for what it is.

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