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Capsule Reviews

Rush Hour 3    (2007)
Rush hour 3 is probably not the most eagerly anticipated sequel in film history, but the series has until now been popular with Jackie Chan & action comedy fans alike. Needless to say, when it was announced Brett Rattner would return to direct another instalment I was of course excited to see the team reunite once again for perhaps a final time.

When I think of what I really enjoy about the cinema experience as a whole, of course I have many favourite actors, but above all I really enjoy a film from my favourite and respected directors. To see the latest film by Wes Anderson or Jim Jarmusch is a real thrill for me. Brett Ratner is one of the popular filmmakers who doesn't fall into that group.

After Rush Hour came out, he became known as one of the best for box office draw, and was able to follow up that success at least one further time with Rush Hour 2. However rather than it being the Director at the helm of the film calling the shots, Ratner was open to admit that he allowed Jackie and Chris Tucker to 'do their thing' in terms of action and ad-libbed dialogue (something that shot Tucker into the top dollar wage bracket as well).

When it came to making Rush Hour 3 Rattner had two very solid films to build from, the original Rush Hour had not only the very enjoyable story and partnership of Chan and Tucker, but also was extremely slickly produced, and looked amazing; Cinematographer Adam Greenberg was also responsible for the amazing visuals for Terminator 2 (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award). And were Rush Hour 2 followed suit, the newest instalment clearly falls far short of the standards set by the first two.

Without the style, experience and ability of the team around him, Ratner is reduced to making a cheap looking, hit and miss comedy that although laugh out load at times, sometimes just completely misses the mark. I know that fans tire of Jackie Chan's often typecast behaviour in films, but that's not the case in RH3. You will never see him doing so many sexual and toilet related jokes! I kid you not, the bottom of the barrel was really being scraped out here, especially when it comes to the character of Roman Polanski, who's part in the story is really shameful. Again, what was Ratner thinking?

To summerise, go see it if you are expecting no more than very slow action from Jackie, hardly any fighting (unless you count Chris Tucker being made out to be tougher than Bruce Lee during the finale) almost no plot, with certainly no mystery, sexist, racist jokes, and toilet gags. If you love Jackie and want to see the team together one last time, despite the very low production values, Rush Hour 3 is an 'ok' bet for a night out. But please Brett, no more.

William Blaik 8/20/2007 - top

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