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Monday, August 13, 2007

RUSH HOUR 3 is not the best film in the series

Rush Hour 3 poster

This is what my sister had to say about RUSH HOUR 3 after we saw it yesterday morning:

"That's it? The climax didn't even feel like a climax at all!"

RUSH HOUR 3 is so bad that it isn't even entertaining enough as a mindless Hollywood action blockbuster, and pales in comparison with its two predecessors. This is shocking, since RUSH HOUR 1 and 2 were barely the pinnacles of action cinema, but at least Jackie Chan was in something fun and entertaining (albeit forgettable), light years ahead of the Hollywood fares Jet Li and Chow Yun Fat were in.

RUSH HOUR 3 had some funny gags that will induce some chuckles, but other than that, it was a mind-numbing experience. The last RUSH HOUR film was made six years ago, and it could be seen here, as Lee and Carter, Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker had seemingly lost much of their chemistry seen in the previous two films. RUSH HOUR 3 seems more interested in setting up solo moments for each actor. The film seems to stall as Chris Tucker performs his hit-or-miss humourous/annoying schtick, and moves on again when his 'moment' ends', then we alternate to a more serious, dramatic side of Jackie (he is perpetually gloomy in this film) and his martial arts sequences.

Unfortunately, the martial arts sequences involving Jackie are REALLY tame here, in fact, they could be some of the weakest I've seen in a Jackie Chan film (this comes from a guy who had seen almost every single Jackie Chan film in the past 23 years, except clunkers like THE MEDALLION, THE TUXEDO and AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS). He's getting old (53 this year), but the action scenes from last year's ROB-B-HOOD are so much more thrilling. Benny Chan can definitely direct Jackie Chan's martial arts scenes better than Brett Ratner.

Hiroyuki Sanada is pretty badass as the baddie in this film, but then, I can't remember a single film where he isn't badass in it. French Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski also cameos as a French policeman who 'anally rapes' Lee and Carter... to have a guy who fled from USA after having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13 year old girl play a role like this is, er, an inspired choice of casting... Yvan Attal steals the movie as an America-hating French taxi driver. Max von Sydow is obvious as the film's 'concealed bad guy'. Noemie Lenoir is pretty hot as Carter's (gasp!) romantic interest.

The biggest surprise of this surprise-free film was Zhang Jingchu appearance, she was last seen giving an award-worthy harrowing performance in Derek Yee-directed, Andy Lau-starrer, The Protege, earlier this year. She was really fluent in English!

Zhang Ziyi who?

Zhang Jingchu

Zhang Jingchu again

This film is no Die Hard 4. Nor does it even deliver as well in the action department as HK film Flash Point did. Other than Zhang Jingchu and some funny parts, this film isn't really worth watching. Even the Jackie Chan vs. Yao Ming Visa commercial shown before the start of the film is more entertaining:

Jackie Chan vs Yao Ming

Anyway, here's a scene from Rush Hour 3, it's Jackie and Chris vs the 7'9 tall Sun Ming Ming:

Jackie and Chris vs. Sun Ming Ming