Sunday, September 02, 2007

Rush Hour 3

Well, it was mercifully short.

By my watch the film was over in about 85 minutes, give or take (not including the credits or the 15 minutes of ads that preceded it). An hour and 25 minutes is just enough time, apparently, to recycle all of the material from the first two Rush Hour installments.

Parts are entertaining, but Rush Hour 3 is basically the same fight involving the same people in a new setting (Paris). The once comical chemistry between Chan and Tucker has passed its sell-by date (think Danny Glover and Mel Gibson in the final Lethal Weapon), and we should all hope that the owners of the Rush Hour franchise quit while they're ahead (ahead?).

A grown up version of Soo Yung and her father, Ambassador Han, return to the fold, and Max Von Sydow (playing Reynard) takes a turn as the fatherly aristocrat. Hiroyuki Sanada (as Kenji) and Yuki Kudoh (as Jasmine) give Japan a substantial presence in Rush Hour 3. By the way, good work on the Japanese, Jackie! You sounded great!

The show is stolen by French taxi driver, George (played by Yvan Attal), who deftly transforms from anti-American pacifist to blood-thirsty, Starbucks-swilling, "super-spy" chauffeur. The chase scenes involving George's taxi and the never-far-behind-Parisian-Triads are good fun.

Other than that, director Roman Polanski makes an appearance as a body-cavity-searching French detective.

I'm going to have to agree with everyone else when they say, "meh", on this one. While I enjoyed the experience as a whole (partly due to the fact that draft beer is on sale at the snack counter at Toho Cinemas in Roppongi), I recommend holding off until the DVD release. And then you should wait until somebody else buys it and borrow it from them.

One of the trailers.

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