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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rush Hour 3

***½ Rush Hour 3. Action/adventure.

Directed by: Brett Ratner.

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker.

We saw this with the boys at the Hercules, having enjoyed the first two in this franchise.

The action this time takes Lee (Chan) and Carter (Tucker) to France, where there's something about a list of the leaders of the Triads.... oh, you don't care about that--the plot's only there to give a reason for the jokes and the stunts.

Truly, the plot's a bit confusing. A diplomat who gets shot just as he was going to reveal the leaders of the Triads; a list of names tattooed on a woman's head; various factions after Lee and Carter and the woman and each other.

The action and jokes are pretty much what you'd expect if you've seen the first 2 movies. One of the bad guys, however, is Kenji (Hiroyuki Sanada) Lee's "brother" (they'd grown up together), and that provides a nice bit of emotional conflict.

The other thing that distinguishes this movie from the first two is the Paris setting, with a cool action sequence on the Eiffel Tower, but mostly with the sneering Parisian cab driver George (Yvan Attal), who provides even more laughs and ends up making a surprising ally. The addition of his character to the Tucker/Chan duo kept it fresh, not unlike an old married couple with a new audience for their stories (not that I'd know anything about that). I also really enjoyed his rather skewed view of America--it's not actually all that exaggerated.

It wasn't quite as good as the first two, but it was a fun way to spend an evening--we always enjoy Jackie Chan, even in his cheesiest movies (or maybe that's especially), and as Camden's English teacher is wont to say, "Chris Tucker is a funny man."


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If you lean towards the funny side of Jackie Chan movies, you might want to check out a couple by Stephen Chow -- Kung Fu Hustle or Shaolin Soccer. On the other hand, if it's the martial arts portion, and you don't mind the violence, Tony Jaa's movies are worth a look -- there's a parkour-ish sequence in Ong-Bak that had me wearing out the rewind button the first time I saw it.
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