Rush Hour 3

By Mark Ramsey | 2007/08/15

It has been ten years since Chris Tucker did a movie that didn’t include Jackie Chan hanging above the title like a Chinese lantern. Then again, when your package includes $25 million and 20 percent of the gross, Hollywood seems to be paying Chris not to work.

And by “Hollywood,” I mean “Eddie Murphy.”

I do love to watch Chris Tucker. But I like Haley’s Comet too, and I don’t feel like waiting 76 years for it to come around again.

rushhour3_attention.jpgIt speaks volumes about the movie business today when the composer of Cool Hand Luke, the director of Rosemary’s Baby, and the priest from The Exorcist are all playing third fiddle to Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.

No surprise that in next chapter, the plot centers around the adoption of Tucker and Chan by surrogate parents Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor. “I hope to die before principal shooting begins,” said Taylor, who mistakenly assumed she had signed to star opposite Sophie Tucker and Charlie Chan. “And you can tell that to the director, Mr. Cukor!”

The gag reel is, of course, the main reward for 75 minutes of ho-hum filler-thriller oozing between 15 minutes of snappy comic antics. I don’t know about you, but I never get tired of seeing Jackie accidentally bruise whatever is left of his genitals. “I’ve got one ball in a sling and another in need of Lasik,” says Jackie. “My testicles have their own physical therapist, and my penis has key man insurance.”

Added high-pitched Chris, “Hey, they don’t call me ‘tucker’ because of my tidy bed-making!”

Sad to say, Jackie Chan no longer displays his legendary gymnastic flair. Now his distinctive grunts and groans suggest less badass athletic prowess and more badass case of rheumatism.

As usual, the plot of a Rush Hour movie is virtually impenetrable by any sort of coherent logic. The Chinese triads are on the warpath. They’re the “world’s largest criminal organization,” which I find hard to believe, because if they’re that large they’d have an annual awards ceremony hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

rushhour3_max.jpgThe Chinese ambassador has been shot! Note to self: When you assassinate somebody from high across the street in broad daylight, don’t jump out of the window and slide down the high-rise in full view of the victim’s witnesses. And then don’t plan your get-away by figuring “I’ll just run.”

In Chinatown, Tucker and Chan must take on a giant! “He has an overactive pituitary!” said Tucker. “At least one brain in this movie is stimulated!” added Chan, although his pronunciation of “stimulated” required 1,211 takes, challenging continuity when Chan visibly aged between the beginning and end of the sentence.

You know you’re in for trouble when Max von Sydow delivers his first line and the guy behind you in the theater mutters to his mate “he’s probably the bad guy.” Way to go, Mr. “Murder She Wrote”! “Mr. Monk and the Dumb-Ass Remark.” Back to Scotland Yard for you, Inspector Lestrade! No shit, Shirley!

What made von Sydow take the role of the distinguished heavy? “The power of Christ compelled me,” he said. “And somebody said Mr. Spielberg would be watching.”

“Unfortunately, they meant on DVD with his family in 2008.”

Like an evening with Liza Minnelli, there’s no such thing as a Rush Hour climax that’s too flamboyant. “In the next movie, Tucker and I take on the Chinese triads in Moonraker space shuttles,” said Chan.

At least that’s what I think he said. It’s hard to pay attention when Jackie’s testicular physical therapist is hard at work.

So to speak.

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