Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Rush Hour 3 (4½ Stars)

"A donkey's lips will not fit on a horse's mouth".

The film opens with Ray Carter (Chris Tucker) in New York as a traffic cop. Evidently he hasn't just been demoted, he's been kicked out of Los Angeles altogether. Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) is accompanying his friend, Ambassador Han, who we know from the first film, to speak at the United Nations. It's about making a final push to expose the Chinese Triad, a shadowy gang that has existed for more than 500 years. An attempt is made to assassinate Han during his speech. Lee pursues the shooter, but lets him go when he discovers that it's his brother. Carter and Lee follow clues that lead them to Paris.

I loved the first two Rush Hour films unconditionally. I have mixed feelings about the third. Putting it simply, the first half of the film is a four star film, the second half is a five star film, so I've averaged it out at four and a half. Not that four stars is a bad rating. By my personal definition any film I give four stars is worth watching. Rush Hour 3's only weakness is in comparison with the first two films.

For me the problem in the first half is the balance between comedy and action. In the first two films there was a perfect equilibrium. In the third film there's too much comedy, at the expense of the action. Other reviewers have criticised "Rush Hour 3" for being a copy of the first two films, adding nothing new. I disagree. If it were more like the first two films it would be better.

However, the scenes that take place in Paris can't be faulted. There's an exciting car chase, and the final battle takes place on the Eiffel Tower.

After three films Chris Tucker finally gets surrounded by hot girls. Can he handle that many? That's probably why he didn't survive to make "Rush Hour 4".

My friends in Birmingham know me as a passionate lover of live music. I was the founder of the Birmingham Rock Music group, which specialised in visiting concerts featuring local bands from Birmingham and the Black Country. The group still exists, but it's drifted off in other directions since I left England, arranging visits to any rock concerts, whether the bands are from Birmingham or not. I've been asked more than once why I don't write concert reviews in my blog. The reason is simple. I don't know how to. Reviewing films comes easily to me. When I visit a concert I know whether I enjoyed it or not, but I don't know how to explain why. It's not my thing. Sorry.

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