Rush Hour 3 (2007)

(In theaters, August 2007) Third time definitely isn’t the charm for this aggressively irritating comedy. From the very introduction of the Chris Tucker character, he starts grating on everyone’s nerves: his one-note shtick has seldom been as exasperating as in here. Who could actually believe that such a person would remain a gainfully employed policeman? But Tucker alone could be accommodated by a much-better film. Sadly, the rest of Rush Hour 3 seems to take its lead from him: the film is clunky, charmless and even Jackie Chan (now noticeably older) can’t do much to save it. Lousy jokes (including a hammered-in version of the old “Who’s on first” routine), blunt stereotypes and ghastly coincidences are enough to make us long for the breath of fresh air that had been the first Rush Hour. But there are serious problems here, and all of them can be explained either by stupidity or laziness. Even the blatant exploitation of women in this film doesn’t betray misogyny as much as it exposes the puerile minds writing or directing the film. Dumb script, lazy direction and irritating protagonist: After that, it’s a wonder if anything of note emerges from the film. Fortunately, Noémie Lenoir is captivating. Still, if a 5’10” ebony supermodel is the only reason why a movie isn’t a complete disaster, there may be something wrong with the rest of it.

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