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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Rush Hour 3 (review)

Can you understand the words that are comin’ outta my mouth? This is racist, bullying garbage. Okay, fine, if Chris Tucker, a black man, can stand whoring himself out to play a blackface caricature, with his ignorant buffoonery, singsongy voice, and unleashed horniness, like something out of KKK propaganda, that’s his choice, and who am I, as a white woman, to refuse him that freedom? But the passive-aggressive celebration of unbridled American belligerence at the center of this pointless three-quel? That I feel totally justified in railing against. As Tucker’s and Jackie Chan’s (Around the World in 80 Days) cops race around Paris, trying to discover the name of the secret leader of the Asian mob (his identity is perfectly obvious from a quick glance at a list of the cast), they corral a French cab driver (Yvan Attal [Bon Voyage]; I hope to god the paycheck was worth the debasement) whom Tucker forces at gunpoint to say he loves America; later, the driver’s Stockholm syndrome comes full circle as he discovers “what it feels like to kill for no reason,” just like a real Yankee! The “passive” part comes only in that this is meant to be “comedy,” and hence supposedly offered with fingers crossed behind the back, an out for the filmmakers to call it “satire” when called on it. The attitude is all aggressive, and represents a new low in bad-Americanism. On the other hand, it makes it hardly worth complaining about the juvenile level of the “humor” — which ranges from making fun of fat women to subjecting the “heroes” to anal violation — or fauxteur Brett Ratner’s (X-Men: The Last Stand) inept, inelegant direction. Maybe the title refers to the traffic jam of people rushing to exit the theater?

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MPAA: rated PG-13 for sequences of action violence, sexual content, nudity and language

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb
  • amanohyo

    When the first RH movie came out, I lived in East Oakland and everyone loved it. To actually see a black man and an asian man in starring roles with no white person in sight was like some kind of crazy fantasy for almost everyone in my neighborhood. We didn’t care that they were being laughed at, or that the movie was a typical violent, homophobic, misogynistic buddy pic, they were the stars!

    Now that I’m older, these movies just depress me. There’s nothing wrong with being a black comedian or an asian martial artist, but really… has no one in Hollywood been to a city? Any city in America? We aren’t all kung fu comedian gangsters. The saddest thing is, even given the limitations of the genre, Tucker’s verbal comedy and Chan’s physical comedy don’t have much of a chance to shine in this script.

    Ratner and his producers are so desperate for commercial success, I’m fairly certain that the coercion-of-the-French scene was put in because some focus group told him that people in the midwest needed to be reassured that the stars were loyal flag-worshipping Americans despite their odd pigmentation and facial features. I’m sure Mr. Ratner is a very hard working man, but I wish he had stuck to making music videos.

  • MaryAnn

    I’m sure Mr. Ratner is a no-talent hack who should fall to his knees and thank whatever gods of Hollywood there are for the sheer dumb luck he has had in meeting the right people he can blow to get work.

  • Rykker

    I’m sure Mr. Ratner is a no-talent hack who should fall to his knees and thank whatever gods of Hollywood there are for the sheer dumb luck he has had in meeting the right people he can blow to get work.


  • amanohyo

    It’s strange (and kinda funny) that on all the marketing materials it’s “Rush Hour 3: A Brett Ratner Film.” I would think that anyone who watches enough movies to know who Ratner is would actually go out of their way to avoid any movie with his name attached to it. They should have gone with: “Rush Hour 3: From the Makers of Rush Hour 1 and Rush Hour 2”

    I’m pretty sure that Ratner forced that little phrase on the marketing dept. to try to sell himself as a brand, but I pray it doesn’t work. I have this weird rule that I don’t read any book that has the name of the author printed in a larger font than the title. I hope we never see the day when a movie’s offical title is: “Brett Ratner’s Rush Hour 5.”

  • $50 million this weekend. I think I’ll just lock myself in the closet and scream now.

  • amanohyo

    If it makes you feel any better, the 2nd one opened with $67 million, so the series is spiraling closer to unprofitability… I hope.

  • Pedro

    Ok, i plead guilty…I’m a fan. I got this one on a bootleg illegal DVD-R just so i could complete my home-video RH trilogy. I watched it last night and wasn’t disappointed. it’s nowhere near as good as RH 2, and yes the anal probe and coersion “jokes” are distasteful, but the fun is still in the series. i loved the self-references and i’ll always love Tucker’s shtick. but the Chan fighting scenes were a tad poor this time round, and the “follow the rich white man” rule from RH 2 should have come to Tucker’s mind the moment he set eyes on the World Court president.
    other than that, a fully entertaining two hours, and well worth the (low) amount i paid for it.

  • MaryAnn

    Tucker’s schtick went out with vaudeville. Or it should have.

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