The original Rush is gone from the popular action-comedy franchise

Rush Hour 3

on August 10, 2007 by Wade Major
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Nine years after the first Rush Hour and a whopping six years after Rush Hour 2 , the buddy chemistry between Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker is finally showing signs of fatigue. The sixth and final “threquel” in the most threquel-packed summer in movie history, Rush Hour 3 isn't likely to leave fans entirely disappointed—the film's rousing finale helps partially redeem the missteps that precede it—but the inspired camaraderie with which the first film took audiences by surprise in 1998 is hard to come by in this disjointed assortment of action film clichés and recycled jokes.

An attempted assassination on the life of the Chinese ambassador by Triad gangsters is the incident that once again puts Chief Inspector Lee (Chan) and Detective James Carter (Tucker) back on the case, eventually leading them to Paris where an exotic supermodel named Genevieve (Noémie Lenoir) holds the key to unraveling the conspiracy. Complicating matters is the involvement of a Japanese assassin named Kenji (Hiroyuki Sanada), a childhood “brother” of Lee's from their days in a Chinese orphanage.

Screenwriter Jeff Nathanson, showing as much fatigue with the concept as everyone else, appears to have no inclination whatsoever to give the story any kind of logical shape. Assassins appear from nowhere, impossible car chases through the streets of Paris carry on without so much as a gendarme in sight, and bogus clues and leads are manufactured for no reason other than to needlessly prolong the story and over-complicate the plot. It's all part of a pattern of contrivance that turns Rush Hour 3 into little more than a frustratingly formulaic soup of comedic and action references to the first two films. Only this time, the references feel tired, overused and familiar.

It could be that the wear and tear of years of contentious negotiations over Tucker's paycheck simply drained everyone's enthusiasm for the project. It could also be that Chan, at age 53, no longer has the verve to do what once came easily. Or it could simply be that director Brett Ratner's staggering lack of talent is finally showing through. Whatever the case, Rush Hour 3 is an unavoidable disappointment, salvaged only by a handful of memorable set pieces and a sensational supporting turn from French actor and filmmaker Yvan Attal as an excitable Parisian cabbie.

Finally, for those who care, the film offers a pair of unremarkable but extended cameos by Max von Sydow and Roman Polanski.
Distributor: New Line
Cast: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Hiroyuki Sanada, Youki Kudoh, Max von Sydow, Yvan Attal, Roman Polanski and Noémie Lenoir
Director: Brett Ratner
Screenwriter: Jeff Nathanson
Producers: Arthur Sarkissian, Roger Birnbaum, Jay Stern, Jonathan Glickman and Andrew Z. Davis
Genre: Action comedy
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of action violence, sexual content, nudity and language
Running time: 90 min.
Release date: August 10, 2007
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