Rush Hour 3: Chris Tucker, Shut Up!

In this third installment of the guilty-pleasure Rush Hour series, squeaky-voiced LAPD cop James Carter (Chris Tucker) once again teams up with Hong Kong's goofy police inspector Lee (Jackie Chan). They're off to Paris, where they're given a decidedly unfriendly welcome by a French police inspector (Roman Polanski, at his snarky best), and later enlist an America-hating cabbie (French filmmaker Yvan Attal, stealing the show) in their search for the kidnapped daughter of the Chinese ambassador to the U.S. A Chinese triad wants to silence the ambassador, but I must admit that only a few hours after seeing this movie, I couldn't quite recall why. Instead, my mind's eye called up a small moment from the movie's elegantly staged and superbly photographed (by J. Michael Muro) Eiffel Tower finale, when Lee, jumping for his life, scurries like a spider up a giant French flag, wrapping himself inside it as he goes. It's classic Chan, basic to the Asian film-stunt handbook; but there's an exhilarating joy in Chan's eagerness to execute such moves, as if, after all these years and fight scenes, the basics are plenty satisfying. He's still the Gene Kelly of martial arts.

 
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