Starring: Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan, Max von Sydow
Director: Brett Ratner
Running Time: 90 mins
Rush Hour 3 is an American film and the third in the Rush Hour series. Following the attempted assassination of the Chinese ambassador, Lee and Carter travel to Paris to help bring down the brutal Triads, and protect a woman with a valuable secret.
It’s not all that often that the third film in a series is the best, but that seems to be the case for Rush Hour 3. Although not perfect, it’s a well-refined third bash at the buddy cop genre with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, taking out all of the major issues of the previous two films and working to the series’ strengths (that being Chan’s martial arts and Tucker’s insane character). All in all, it proves the most entertaining (and least irritating) of the Rush Hour movies, and even though its story still lacks in interesting or properly exciting thrills, it’s a pretty fun watch regardless.
Let’s start off on the bright side, with the fact that this is easily the funniest Rush Hour of all. Why? Well, Tucker and Chan’s chemistry is well-cemented after three films, and the two work really well as the motley comedy duo. What’s more is that Carter has been further refined back from being the screechy madman he was in the first Rush Hour, and is as a result far less annoying to watch throughout, meaning that Chris Tucker can work his insane and zany magic once again, only with a welcome bit more moderation throughout.
What’s more is that the film keeps up its playful attitude when it comes to the story. Of course, the first two weren’t in any way serious films, but they did try to put a little more emphasis on the intricacies of the investigation at hand, which occasionally made for rather dull breaks in between the comedy. Rush Hour 3, on the other hand, isn’t quite as fussed about telling a riveting story, and although that doesn’t make it a bulletproof comedy, it does allow for the distinctly silly vibes of the film to give you as entertaining a watch as possible, making this easily the funniest film of the whole series.
However, while I was delighted by just how fun and simple this film was, I still didn’t find it fully satisfying, largely because it doesn’t have all that much of a story. Now, in comparison to the first two films, focusing on the silly comedy was definitely the right way to go – as an easy comedy with no story is better than one with a boring story. Now, of course, the plot does follow the typical crime/spy/cop etc. genre formula (which is entirely fair given the film’s comedic nature), but there was never a moment where I felt particularly taken in by Lee and Carter’s investigation over just watching their various hilarious hijinks. It’s a fine balance, and Rush Hour 3 doesn’t get it quite right.
That doesn’t make this is a bad film, but it doesn’t do it any favours in making something more engrossing over the course of an hour and a half. The best buddy cop movies combine their great comedy with a plot that would stand up fine in a real crime movie, creating a bit of depth and intrigue beyond simple laughs. This, however, doesn’t quite have that depth, and even though it’s actually the series’ most fun and easy-going edition because of just that, it’s not anything particularly special or memorable either.
In short, if you want a good laugh, then Rush Hour 3 will do the job just fine, but there’s not all that much else that will really enthral or impress you about it, which is why I’m giving it a 7.3 overall.