It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
I like this movie about as much as it's possible to like a movie with a two-star rating. Given its materials, it couldn't have been much better, but it's every bit as good as it is, if you see what I mean. Once you realize it's only going to be so good, you settle back and enjoy that modest degree of goodness, which is at least not badness, and besides, if you're watching "Rush Hour 3," you obviously didn't have anything better to do, anyway.
The filmmakers didn't, either, I guess. It has been six years since "Rush Hour 2," and unless you believe that director Brett Ratner and his stars, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, spent all that time turning down offers for a sequel, it seems fairly likely that this is a case of returning once more with a bucket before the well runs dry. Tucker is again Carter, the motormouth LAPD cop who's always in trouble, and Chan is again Lee, the ace Hong Kong cop called in to partner with him. This is, you realize, a formula. A friend of mine (I think it is me) calls these Wunza Movies. You know, wunza L.A. cop and wunza cop from China, and neither wunza guy you want to mess with.
Curious how Carter is always being hauled in from a punishment gig like traffic detail and being assigned to super-important cases that will require him to investigate backstage at the Folies Bergere in Paris, etc. This time, one of Lee's old pals, Ambassador Han, has been shot in an assassination attempt in L.A., probably by a Chinese Triad gang, who are getting to be as handy as the Mafia for movie plots. Lee, in town as the ambassador's bodyguard, runs after the shooter in one of those impossible Jackie Chan chase scenes; it used to be we were amazed by his stunts, but these days I find myself even more amazed that he can still run that far.
Lee partners with his old friend Carter, and they go to the hospital to question the ambassador's beautiful daughter Soo Yung (Zhang Jingchu). This produces the movie's funniest line, by Carter: "Let's go to the gift shop and get a little teddy bear." Soo Yung had possession of an envelope with key evidence her father was going to use in testimony before the World Court. The envelope is, of course, this movie's MacGuffin, and was stolen from Soo Yung at her karate academy.