The Movie Binge

Rush Hour 3

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Brett Ratner could have called the third installment in this series Rush Hour 3: The Search for a Plot. or MacGuffinfest or Money is just Paper. The first two films were tolerable popcorn movies, but this newest film feels like a clips episode of the never-aired Rush Hour television series. As friends pointed out last night, it is not shocking that Michael Scott loves Rush Hour.

The movie supposedly centers around mysterious Chinese Triad gangs and their willingness to kill anyone to protect their identities. While we find out early that Inspector Lee's (Jackie Chan) brother is a key member of the Triad, I wasn't sure until the very end that he was the Bad Guy. Detective work leads them to Paris, which is best known as the homebase of all international crime groups (and a chance to use the Eifel Tower in a fight scene). Unsurprisingly, Lee's brother, a hot girl and a painfully large hotel room greet the dynamic duo. They fight, they win, etc.

It wasn't until the last fifteen minutes, when I had realized this was the plot, that I became really disappointed. I admit, I had expected more from this film and I've learned my lesson. What truly amazed me was Ratner's insistence that I never suspend disbelief. Jumping out of windows and arresting beautiful ladies for dates are things I'm willing to accept, but I'll never understand how a L.A. cop owns vintage Corvettes and rents out $3000/night hotel suites. Oh, and the evil henchmen only noticed our heroes when it was convenient. "Hey, who are those guys in the burlesque show? It looks like Lee and Carter, but it couldn't be them. Move on!"

Still, my favorite and most ridiculous aspect of the film was George the cab driver. He always showed up out of the blue and at exactly the right time. He seemed to hate America, but was really supressing his desire to be a spy. At the very end of the film, he was the one to save the day. He was the MacGuffin-man.

Rush Hour 3 is a lazy mess. Chris Tucker definitely knows how to deliver a punchline, but that was the film's only redeeming trait. If you're looking for a chase-the-bad-guys-and-blow-things-up movie, go see Bourne Ultimatum.