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Brett Ratner
Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Hiroyuki Sanada, Youki Kudoh, Max von Sydow, Yvan Attal, Noémie Lenoir, Jingchu Zhang, Tzi Ma, Roman Polanski, Henry O
Writing Credits:
Ross LaManna (characters), Jeff Nathanson

After an attempted assassination on Ambassador Han, Lee and Carter head to Paris to protect a French woman with knowledge of the Triads' secret leaders.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$49,100,158 on 3,778 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 90 min.
Price: $14.97
Release Date: 12/23/07

• Audio Commentary with Director Brett Ratner and Writer Jeff Nathanson
• Expanded Visual Commentary
• Theatrical Trailer
• Outtakes
• Deleted Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary
• Visual Effects Reel
• “Making Rush Hour 3” Documentary
• “Le Rush Hour Trois” Production Diary


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Rush Hour 3 [Blu-Ray] (2007)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 22, 2016)

Following a six-year absence, the Rush Hour franchise returned in 2007. Did anyone care? Yeah, but not as many people as one might expect.

After a $141 million gross for the first flick and a spectacular $226 million take for its 2001 sequel, 2007’s Rush Hour 3 ended up with $139 million. That’s not a bad total, but given high expectations for a resurgence in the series, it disappointed and made the chances of Rush Hour 4 seem slim.

Rush 3 picks up in LA with our old buddies Detective Carter (Chris Tucker) and Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan). An event a few years earlier strained their friendship, and Carter also finds himself stuck on traffic duty. In the meantime, Lee acts as bodyguard to Chinese Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma), the official tasked by World Criminal Court Minister Reynard (Max Von Sydow) with the fight against the notorious Triad gang organization.

Lee’s assignment doesn’t go well, as someone shoots Hans during a speech. Lee gives chase and discovers that the assailant is Kenji (Hiroyuki Sanada), a figure from his past. Their history means that Lee feels unable to harm Kenji, so the would-be assassin escapes.

Carter and Lee want the assignment to go after him, but LAPD Captain Diel (Philip Baker Hall) won’t let them near that job. Instead, they get to watch after Han’s daughter Soo Yung (Zhang Jingchu), the little girl from the first flick who’s now an adult.

Han sent a package for her protection, so Lee and Carter get involved with its secrets and how they inevitably relate to the Triads. Someone beats them to it, so the guys head off to locate it, discover the secret of Shy Shen, and solve the case. This leads them to Paris and all sorts of shenanigans.

Whatever charms the Tucker/Chan pairing once boasted pretty much evaporated during the bombastic Rush 2, and their six-year break between second and third films didn’t help reinvigorate their chemistry or the franchise. Indeed, Rush 3 feels like it’s still 1998, as it uses virtually the same kinds of “culture clash” gags from beginning to end.

Rush 3 offers a serious case of déjà vu. The various story threads all seem familiar, and the humor does virtually nothing to alter the formula from the first two flicks. I guess that makes sense from the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” category; given the success of those movies, why change things?

Because those methods make Rush 3 feel dated and stale. At times you might think they shot this flick back in 2001 and kept it in the can since then, though Tucker’s moderate girth belies that notion; he looks more and more like Ice Cube.

Other than Tucker’s expanding waistline, though, there’s virtually nothing to allow us to differentiate between this flick and its predecessors. The plot seems reminiscent of the first movie, as Soo Yung gets kidnapped again and Asian gangs come into the mix. I wouldn’t call it a true remake, but the plot similarities seem too close for comfort.

Usually the story exists for little reason beyond the delivery of jokes, though. Remarkably, during his commentary, director Brett Ratner extends the claim that the movie’s gags are organic and stem from the plot.

Did Ratner see the same flick I watched? The attempts at comedy fuel the tale, which is a backward way to do things. I get the feeling the filmmakers came up with a lot of gags and plot fragments and then attempted to construct a narrative around them.

Take the choice of locale, for example. Is there any reason for the film to spend so much time in Paris other than as a new setting for our heroes? They did LA and they did Hong Kong, so they needed someplace new.

With its many iconic spots, Paris opens up various possibilities, virtually none of which have anything to do with logical storytelling. The film puts the cart in front of the horse too much of the time.

Perhaps this wouldn’t matter if more of the comedy worked. Oh, Rush 3 gets in a few laughs, which seems inevitable. I think Tucker has talent, and he throws out enough goofy cracks that at least a handful have to stick.

Unfortunately, too much of the comedy seems stale and brings little zest to the flick, and the absolute nadir comes from the miserable scene at the martial arts studio. Not only does this pit our heroes against some little kids – always a worrying choice – but also it attempts the 10 millionth variation on Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First” routine. Frankly, I never thought the original bit was all that funny, so a version with Asian names isn’t any better. In fact, it’s painful.

It’s also a bad sign when a movie gives us a cheap gag about an overweight woman with a big butt and we’re still in its first three minutes. And why does Carter do a Michael Jackson dance while he sings a Prince song? I guess the producers couldn’t afford the rights to an MJ number.

Rush Hour 3 isn’t a terrible film, but it veers much closer to “bad” than to “good”. It rarely makes sense and the comedy doesn’t amuse well enough to allow us to ignore its problems. After six years, was this really the best they could do?

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus A-

Rush Hour 3 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image came across well.

Overall sharpness worked fine. A few slightly soft elements appeared during interiors, but the majority of the flick appeared accurate. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and neither edge enhancement nor source flaws interfered.

Colors went with the usual teal orientation as well as some amber. These options led to a limited palette but the disc reproduced them well. Blacks were dark and dense, and shadows showed good clarity. In the end, the transfer satisfied.

I thought the Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundfield seemed acceptable but not as involving as one might expect. Music received the most attention, as the score spread to all the channels in a satisfying manner. Effects were a less involving element, though – at least in terms of our expectations for a big action flick like this.

The various channels provided a good sense of ambience but didn’t present the life I’d anticipate. They broadened matters to a decent degree but weren’t particularly active or engrossing. This left the soundfield as satisfactory but not memorable.

Audio quality was largely fine, though the mix seemed compressed and loud. I needed to set my volume much lower than usual, and this left the mix as a little lifeless, as it lacked real dynamic range.

I thought music could sound a little dense, and effects appeared somewhat overbearing. Both segments came with reasonable clarity if I got past the loudness, though. Speech also sounded natural and distinctive, so edginess or other problems interfered with the dialogue. The mix was acceptable but not great.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? Audio didn’t show obvious improvements, as the mix’s compression meant the lossless option didn’t give us the range I expected.

On the other hand, the visuals demonstrated a good step up in quality. The image appeared more concise and film-like, so the transfer became a solid improvement.

The Blu-ray duplicates the extras from the DVD, and Disc One includes an audio commentary with director Brett Ratner and writer Jeff Nathanson. They provide a running, screen-specific chat. The track looks at cast, characters and performances, challenges involved in the third chapter of the series, influences and inspirations, sets and locations, the film’s tone, story and the approach to the material, stunts, music, visual effects, and a few other areas.

If you’ve listened to prior Rush Hour commentaries, you’ll know what to expect here. The chatty Ratner dominates, which is usually a good thing, though his propensity to praise everything he sees gets tedious.

Nonetheless, Ratner also includes a lot of good information and helps flesh out our knowledge of the production. Nathanson throws in some useful notes as well, but this is Ratner’s baby, and he makes it a reasonably interesting and enjoyable session.

In addition to the film’s trailer, Disc One offers the opportunity to screen the Ratner/Nathanson chat as an Enhanced Visual Commentary. While this provides the same discussion found in the audio-only piece, the “Enhanced Visual Commentary” lets us view Ratner and Nathanson via a small inset window.

The piece also adds occasional glimpses of the shoot and storyboards/previz, but the images of Ratner and Nathanson in the studio dominate – and make it a snoozer. While I like the commentary itself, it gains nothing from our ability to watch Ratner and Nathanson talk. Stick to the piece as an audio-only program.

Over on Disc Two, we open with Outtakes. This two-minute, 33-second reel gives us the same kinds of goof-ups found during the end credits. I’m happy it doesn’t just repeat the same clips, but that doesn’t make these particularly funny.

Seven Alternate/Deleted Scenes run a total of seven minutes, 12 seconds. These include “Extended Airplane” (1:34), “Extended Taxi” (0:57), “Extended Elevator” (1:01), “Hotel Hallway” (0:40), “Spotlight Guy: Follies” (0:35), “Extended Eiffel Tower” (1:01) and “Alternate Ending” (1:22).

Most of these give us pretty insubstantial additions to existing scenes, so they don’t contribute much. At least “Hallway” clears up some plot holes, and the “Alternate Ending” allows a prominent character from the second flick to return.

We can watch these with or without commentary from Ratner and Nathanson. They give us some insights into the shooting of the scenes and also let us know why they cut them from the final film. The remarks prove useful.

A documentary called Making Rush Hour 3 lasts one hour, 28 minutes and 11 seconds. It mixes movie clips, shots from the set, and remarks from Ratner, Nathanson, producers Arthur Sarkissian, Jay Stern, Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman and Andrew Z. Davis, production designer Edward Verreaux, costume designer Betsy Heimann, director of photography J. Michael Munro, 2nd unit director/stunt coordinator Conrad Palmisano, US stunt coordinator Eddie Braun, special effects supervisor Clay Pinney, visual effects supervisor John Bruno, choreographer Marguerite Derricks, editors Mark Helfrich and Don and Dean Zimmerman, sound designer/sound re-recording mixer Tim Chau, composer Lalo Schifrin and actors Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Roman Polanski, Yvan Attal, Julie Depardieu, Noemie Lenoir, Youki Kudoh, Hiroyuki Sanada, Zhang Jingchu, Sun Ming Ming and Tzi Ma.

“Making” looks at the development of the story and staying true to the Rush Hour series, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes, cinematography, stunts and various effects, shooting the action sequences, music and choreography, editing and audio, and a few other production elements.

The first 35 minutes or so of “Making” offer fairly superficial thoughts about the film. They include some basics but these come with a lot of praise and fluff, so they can be tedious at times.

Once we get 35 minutes into “Making”, though, matters improve as we get a “scene by scene” take on the flick. That side of things fills about 38 minutes and gives us plenty of good looks at the set.

We learn a lot about the production via these shots and various comments, so they help make the show more involving. Some happy talk still emerges, but at least we learn a lot along the way.

Next comes a two-minute, three-second Visual Effects Reel. It shows elements like digital doubles for actors, 3D models of sets, and comparisons between rough effects and the finished product. It provides a quick but interesting view of these pieces.

Finally, ”Le Rush Hour Trois” Production Diary goes for one hour, five minutes and five seconds. This divides into different segments that all provide “fly on the wall” glimpses of the shoot. I like this kind of material, and we get plenty of fun takes here. There’s nothing remarkable but it’s enjoyable to feel like we’re there on the set.

After six years, the Rush Hour franchise returned with a thud. Rush Hour 3 did passable business but seemed to disappoint on all levels. Anyone who expects great comedy or action from this messy affair probably won’t go home satisfied. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and supplements but the audio seems too compressed. Nonetheless, this becomes a competent release for a flawed film.

To rate this film visit the original review of RUSH HOUR 3

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