“Rush Hour 3,” review by Susan Granger

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In its third incarnation, this once-amusing, East-West, globe-trotting franchise simply fizzles, particularly in comparison with “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

When Chinese Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma) and his now-20-year-old daughter Soo Yung (Zhang Jingchu) are in Los Angeles, he’s shot in an assassination attempt just as he’s about to publicly identify a gangland leader at the World Criminal Court. (These two Asian characters appeared in the original “Rush Hour.”)

In his capacity as Han’s bodyguard, Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) pursues the culprit, only to discover that the hit man is Kenji (Hiroyuki Sanada), a “brother” with whom he grew up in a Chinese orphanage. Kenji works with an international crime syndicate known as the Triads, now based in France. Teaming up, once again, with LAPD detective Carter (Chris Tucker), who has been demoted to traffic duty and witnessed Lee’s chase after Kenji, the ever-bickering duo take off for Paris, where most of the action takes place.

Experienced “Rush Hour” screenwriter Jeff Nathanson and director Brett Ratner maintain the odd-couple, buddy-cop concept if not the momentum. The climactic acrobatic conflict is staged at night on the exposed beams high atop the Eiffel Tower.

Despite their obvious camaraderie, Jackie Chan is aging, stunt-wise, and Chris Tucker’s comedy has gone stale. Newcomers on the scene are Yves Attal as a virulently anti-American taxi driver, Julie Depardieu as his Parisian wife, Noemie Lenoir as the exotic and mysterious Genevieve, and Max von Sydow as enigmatic Reynard, head of the World Criminal Court. Director Roman Polanski appears in an uncredited cameo as a sadistic Gallic police chief. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Rush Hour 3” is a formulaic 5 – which probably will not discourage loyal fans from lining up at the box-office.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.