The Rush for the 3rd Hour & Saving my PS2

This weekend went to Sungai Wang to send my PS2 to fix. Yup, if you didn’t know, my game console went kaput at a most perfect time last week. Just when all the players arrived (Phil, J-son & Vince) for a final session of “Pro Evolution Soccer 6” before J-son & Vince depart back to oh-so-wonderful Sweden, at the very second that Vince’s hand placed the CD into the slot, the PS2 died. Great Lucifer’s Balls, what the f**k??? It’s like Vince’s hand was the touch of death. Spent almost 1 hour trying to revive the thing (applied CPR) but alas, no help. I was seriously considering giving it an ‘IV’ drip attached to some whiskey for extra “ummpphh” but, nah, I’ll save the whiskey for something else instead. It officially died at 11:24pm, cause of death unknown. It’s dead, but not the hope that it will reborn again, it’s just a matter of time… Carlos Tevez at my control will roam the digital fields of my PS2 very soon…I hope.

Anyway, after explaining the problem to the store guy, he said it may take a few days. Oh well, few days no problem. After that, we went for shopping and a movie called…

“Rush Hour 3”

To keep my verdict short – there’s no need to rush for this 3rd hour.

Yes, Jack is back with Tucker tucking behind him as his loyal comedic partner in another installment of this uber-successful ‘Rush Hour’ franchise. It has been six years since ‘Rush Hour 2’ last came out and while the last two ‘Rush Hour’ movies had been fantastically enjoyable, I honestly wasn’t feeling that excited about another one. Partly because it has a ‘3’ in the title (after so many rotten pancakes like Shrek 3, Spider-man 3, Ocean’s 13) and partly because I felt that the franchise can only go so far with an ageing Jackie Chan and a Chris Tucker that had done only 3 movies in 5 years (and all of them are Rush Hour movies). And with Brett Ratner (X-Men 3) at the helm as director once again (renowned NOT for his creative flair, I must add), I was doubtful on how far this series can evolve to make things fresh and exciting. After almost 2 hours of ‘Rush Hour 3’, my doubts had been realized….

The highlight of the old ‘Rush Hour’ movies was the Asian mixture of Jackie Chan’s comedic kung-fu set-pieces with Western boom-box vocal jokes from motor-mouth Chris Tucker. However, this time around the mixture lacked the zest and energy from the previous movies (most probably due to the weak plot and script) and because of this the solid chemistry between Chan & Chris suffered badly. Chan is now aged 53, and his age was obvious in this movie as he was a pale shadow of himself, takes only minimal risks and while watching him on screen I was feeling kind of sad for him in this movie – it made me wonder if Jackie Chan is on the edge of retirement. As for Chris Tucker, his jokes were mostly predictable with major parts of his funny lines recycled from past ‘Rush Hour’ and other movies. If you are expecting the Chris Tucker of old, be sadly disappointed this time around.

The weakest of the weakest links in this movie was the plot. It was overly simple, recycled from any B-grade action movies you can think of and it is set in Europe - heading off to Europe is often a sign of creative bankruptcy for sequels, and ‘Rush Hour 3’ is no exception. I understand that we watch ‘Rush Hour’ movies not for the M. Night Shyamalan style endings, but come on, at least provide a story that is cool or reasonable on a decent scale. But, the movie failed on this point and it made me feel like the producers did not bother about any creative input whatsoever. They only wanted a script that can put Chan and Chris together in another outing and force them to blurb out all the jokes (good or bad) that they had wrote since ‘Rush Hour 2’.

To say ‘Rush Hour 3’ is a complete failure is wrong however as there some scenes that really made me burst out laughing. Moments with the French translating nun, with the kung-fu masters ‘You’ & ‘I’ and Chris’ sporadic inserts of jokes during the movie’s dull moments really helped keep the pace of the movie going. But besides this, the rest of the movie gives you the sense of ‘déjà vu’ as most of the scenes you may already have seen it before or are recycled jokes from better and funnier movies out there. If you are looking for super-fast kung-fu set pieces from Jackie Chan, you are looking at the wrong direction as Chan’s past work in the most recent ‘Rob-B-Hood’ or ‘New Police Story’ may satisfy you better. If you are looking for burst-out-laughing-out-loud-and-rolling-on-the-floor comedy, then you are looking at the wrong direction as well. Comedies like ‘Knocked Up’, ’The 40 Year Old Virgin’ and even ‘Blades of Glory’ are recommended to gratify that hunger for laughter. But if you are looking for that chemistry between Chan and Chris, yes, it is still there but only at its weakness blend.

All in all, do not expect anything more from ‘Rush Hour 3’ than a silly, mindless, B-grade feeling to a moderate 2-hour good time. And right after you have left the cinema, you will very soon forget about the movie as it will entertain you for those 2 hours only, and nothing more will linger in your thoughts as it as forgettable a movie as a newspaper comic strip you have read in the morning…
Verdict: 5 / 10
Reviewed by: Raymond Choy
What do you think? Love it? Hate it? Tell me about it!!!

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