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Rush Hour 3

Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan in Rush Hour 3

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentary By Director Brett Ratner And Writer Jeff Nathanson; Seven Deleted Scenes/Alternate Ending With Optional Commentary By Director Brett Ratner And Writer Jeff Nathanson; Outtakes; Five ‘Making Of Rush Hour 3’ Featurettes; Visual Effects Reel; ‘Le Rush Hour Trois’ Production Diary; Easter Egg.

SIX years after they last teamed up Rush Hour duo Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan reunite for more high-kicking, high-screaming escapades in the third film in the series. But the result is a tedious mess.

This time around LAPD Detective James Carter (Tucker) and Chinese Inspector Lee (Chan) head to Paris to try and stop the Triad syndicate responsible for the attempted assassination of the Chinese ambassador in LA. In doing so, they must also track down the group’s elusive leader Shy Shen.

But while the previous Rush Hour films traded comfortably on the winning formula of Chan’s athleticism and Tucker’s comic ability, Rush Hour 3 is let down by some lame jokes, a dim-witted storyline and the inevitable passage of time.

Despite his best efforts, Chan simply isn’t as sprightly as he used to be and the action sequences lack the zest of previous adventures.

Tucker, meanwhile, is ill-served by a poor script that seeks to derive most of its biggest laughs from language barriers and racial stereotypes.

There is some guilty amusement to be gained from watching a nun being forced to play interpreter to a Chinese assassin who passes insults via her to the two detectives, as well as the sight of Carter and Lee trying to out-wrestle an over-sized karate expert.

But any goodwill quickly runs dry as director Brett Ratner seems content to conduct things on autopilot, over relying on obvious, low-brow humour and repetitive scenarios – even some of the out-takes during the end credits feel staged.

Of the support cast, French actress Noémie Lenoir gets to pout lots without doing much and Hiroyuki Sanada is wasted as one of the main villains. But the presence of Max von Sydow and Roman Polanski is nothing short of baffling.

Had the action sequences delivered the goods viewers might have been a little more forgiving. But only the climactic tussle on the Eiffel Tower offers any real thrills and even that lacks the bite or ingenuity of the best films in the genre.

What’s left is a very tired formula that’s quite clearly running on empty. Don’t rush to see it.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 90mins