Three Times a Charm for Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker
Finally, after a six-year hiatus, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are back with a madcap adventure which measures up to the prior pictures in every way, from the laff-a-minute hijinks to the genuine chemistry among the characters to the carefully-orchestrated fight sequences. And although LAPD Detective Carter (Tucker) and Hong Kong Inspector Lee (Chan) are just up to their typical tricks, there’s something comfy about watching them in action again, even when you have a good idea what to expect.
The story opens in L.A. where we find the motor-mouthed Carter demoted to directing street traffic while Lee is again guarding Chinese Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma). After an assassination attempt leaves Han seriously wounded, Lee promises the diplomat’s now-grown daughter, Soo Yung (Jingchu Zhang), that he will track down the shooter.
The trail leads to a gang of Asian mobsters in Paris, and the dynamic duo soon reunite and make their way over to France to crack the case. The mismatched partners immediately resume their oil-and-water bickering, a winning study in contrasts in which high-strung Carter’s constant trash-talking, womanizing and general incompetence is offset by Lee’s relatively low-key demeanor and suave savoir fare.
A third stooge is added to the mix after they land in Europe, when George (Yvan Attal), an insolent cabbie with an attitude, becomes their regular driver. He can’t hide his contempt for American culture, and his presence not only infuses the film with some fresh energy but provides some of its most memorable moments of comic relief.
Rush Hour 3 is designed to be savored moment to moment, for this joke, for that car chase, for that death-defying leap, and so forth. Soufflé-light fare with a wafer-thin plot just compelling enough to keep you amused by the comic crime caper until the very end.