Easily the weakest of the trilogy, “Rush Hour 3″ is presumably the final entry in the action-comedy series teaming Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker as mismatched cop partners. But “weakest” doesn’t necessarily mean “avoid” so much as “proceed with caution.”
Chief Inspector Lee (Chan) hits the beat again with Detective Carter (Tucker) when the politician the former is protecting is nearly killed, and the would-be assassin flees to gay Paree (Paris, in less flowery terms). They find trouble — and vice versa — in the City of Lights, partly in the form of the dangerous Triad gangs and their secret list of leaders.
Lacking energy, “Rush Hour 3″ is its predecessors’ inferior, but what appeared as tired in theaters plays a little better at home, where self-imposed bathroom breaks can make Tucker’s constant mugging easier on the brain. Lower your expectations, and an agreeable (if unremarkable) rental is yours.
According to the special features, however, director Brett Ratner thought this would be the best yet. He promises as much in a standard making-of featurette, and again in an hour-long “Le Rush Hour Trois” production diary, which is worth sitting through just to see him kissing the ass (metaphorically) of legendary hedonistic producer Robert Evans.
The outtake reel is the highlight of the bonuses, reaffirming the strength of the “Rush Hour” franchise from the start: the considerable chemistry of its two winning leads. —Rod Lott