If there’s one positive — and there is only one — about “Rush Hour 3,” it’s that it easily surpasses the 2001 sequel. Other than that, director Brett Ratner has thrown the same recipe into the pot and pulled out another dish that looks good, but ends up leaving us with a sour palate.
Jackie Chan (“Shanghai Knights”) and Chris Tucker (“Friday”) are back in the same buddy roles as bumbling cops in an action flick with comedic tendencies. While some of the action sequences are somewhat entertaining, it’s the stale jokes that push “Rush Hour 3” into the abyss of empty-headed cinema.
Chief inspector Lee (Chan) and detective James Carter (Tucker) are reunited when an assassination attempt on Chinese ambassador Han goes awry in Los Angeles. Lee and Carter figure out that an evil underground crime circuit named the Triad is behind the plot to murder Han and his daughter, Soo Yung (Jingchu Zhang), and they must travel to Paris to dissect the good guys from the bad on their way to saving the day in a new land.
“Rush Hour 3” is consistent when comparing it with its two predecessors. Writer Jeff Nathanson, also responsible for “Rush Hour 2,” wears out the same recycled jokes that can be had between Tucker’s African-American character and Chan’s Asian. After a couple rounds, it becomes tiresome. So, take an alternate route and avoid this “Rush Hour.”
• In wide release
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action violence, sexual content, nudity and language