STUDIO: New Line Home Video
MSRP: $34.98
RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes
• Feature Commentary by Director Brett Ratner
• Theatrical Trailer
• Outtake Reel
• Deleted Scenes Including Commentary by Director Brett Ratner
• Making Rush Hour 3
• Le Rush Hour Trois Production Diary

The Pitch

"Brett Ratner gets Jackie Chan’s old ass to hop around for the third time."

The Humans

Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Max Von Sydow, Philip Baker Hall and Roman Polanski

The Nutshell

Chris Tucker doesn’t roll out of bed unless Brett Ratner has another bad idea to film. So, Ratner and company whipped together a tale of a Chinese Triad doing shady dealings in Paris. You get your cultural clash, your American-centric views of the French and a gross misunderstanding of many cultures to create comedy hi-jinks. Middle America laughs and money is made. The formula wins again.

Minerva always liked to keep the Muggles on their toes. Pray to me was what she would exclaim as she ate Christ Tucker and crapped Nick Nolte.

But, it didn’t quite come together this time out. Much has been made of how this film underperformed at the Box Office and how it only went to show how Jackie Chan is too old for this shit. Rush Hour 3 doesn’t offer anything new, but films such as these don’t have to whip out new tricks. They just eventually hit a wall and wait for the profit to fall out.

The Lowdown

Rush Hour 3 is a forgettable sequel that had no real reason to be made. I don’t know how many times that I can stress the point. We’ve been through Detective Carter and Inspector’s Lee cultural bickering before. We’ve seen better action set pieces. It’s not a great way to go about making film. What is in this film to make us give a damn about the narrative?

Reginald Hudlin presents Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale

The one thing that does work is the Triad Leader who also happens to be Lee’s brother. Taking a cue from the villains of Chan’s early work at Golden Harvest, we’re given a true Hong Kong action villain that knows how to bring the film to a close. But, it’s a little too late as it takes nearly seventy-five minutes before we even get a substantial scene with the character. That’s another problem with the film. Everything takes so long to develop for a film that’s barely over ninety minutes long. I’m not sure where this can be faulted. Nathanson’s script is where a lot of the Chan/Tucker dynamic problems start, but this lack of guidance falls squarely on Ratner’s shoulders.

Much has been made out of the fact that Roman Polanski and Max von Sydow both appear in the film. Max von Sydow gives the worst performance of his career as World Criminal Court Director Varden Reynard. Reynard is a Scooby-Doo international style villain that is just waiting for those meddling detectives to deliver to him the woman that the Triad is trying to find. Some could say that the script and direction gives the elder actor nothing to develop. But, Philip Baker Hall has been turning in solid supporting work in every film in the Rush Hour series.

Yao Ming practices the lost art of Phrenology-Fu

The problem is that the East meets West kung-fu action comedy has smashed through the wall of mediocrity and it’s now dredged in Shitville. Shitville is a town that’s full of other third film entries that didn’t manage to bring the goods this year. On your right, you can Shrek and company trying to keep their heads above the murky waters. On your left, there’s the bloated body of the Kraken and Spider-Man floating face down. It’s another wrecked ship from a disappointing summer. If you really feel the itch to revisit these films, just pick up the first one.

The Package

New Line Home Video has released this film in a two-disc Collector’s Set that honestly feels like a mismanaged one-disc release. There’s no reason why the special features couldn’t have been better managed and placed onto one dual layered disc. Sure, the Le Rush Hour Trois Production Diary runs very long, but a lot of it is fluff and could’ve stood a cleaner edit. Though, I did enjoy the Easter Egg I found in the Production Diary. It was a quick clip of the film’s finale reimagined with lightsabers.

If I climb up, I’m going to have make a sequel to The Tuxedo. If I let go, I get to die before Kung Fu Panda is released. Sweet Panda Express of Death, here I come!

The rest of the set boasts a collection of outtakes, a theatrical trailer, a five-part documentary that should’ve been included as part of the larger Production Diary. The Deleted/Alternate Scenes add no real insight to a film that was doomed from conception. But, what stood out for me was the commentary with director Brett Ratner and Screenwriter Jeff Nathanson. It’s been quite some time since I’ve last heard such a circle jerk on a DVD commentary. I found myself having flashes to the biggest dump episode from the past season of South Park.

Both men seemed to have missed the point of where the film faltered and took turns patting themselves on the back for making a giant turd on New Line’s dime. What kills me is that this DVD package is pretty sweet and any other film would be proud to have such treatment. But, it feels like overkill for a film that’s so forgettable, that I had to rewatch it three times to remember what happened. Hell, I didn’t even notice Roman Polanski during the first viewing.
It’s not that he wasn’t that big of a character. It’s that Rush Hour 3 is cinematic white space that fills your sense with a sense of pop culture death.

After watching this, you’ll stop caring if you ever see another Jackie Chan film again. You’ll want Chris Tucker to retire from show business and you’ll never hope to see Max von Sydow in an English speaking role again. This film is a Katamari of Cinematic Hatred that’s rolling down a hill trying to Velcro Rip your genitals off. If that sounds kickass, then you’ll probably want to rent this film.

You know that your movie is bad when even the old French whores want to leave.

5.3 out of 10