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Rush Hour 3

Year: 2007
Studio: New Line
Cast: Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan, Max von Sydow, Roman Polanski
After showing seriously cool early promise when he helmed the flawed but intriguing X Men, Brett Ratner looked set for huge things in Hollywood, all set to join the hallowed fraternity of comic book fanboy directors (everyone from Del Toro and Rodriguez to Shyamalan and the Wachowskis)

The Rush Hour franchise alone is enough to write him off but don't speak too soon - he's stepping into the shoes many directors will be green with envy about, the mythical and sought-after biopic of the life of Hugh Hefner (2009's Playboy).

So it must be because of a special affection for the idea that he keeps revisiting the high concept fish out of water pairing of Lee (Chan) and Carter (Tucker) as they get in various scrapes with various criminal underworlds. This time it's the Chinese Triads, and how the hell it ends up based in Paris is a mystery the plot might have explained if not for the frenetic action.

That's what Ratner, Chan and Tucker do best and it's the only reason to see Rush Hour 3. Chan's signature fight scenes, Tucker's comic quips and Ratner's pacing and editing are all as snappy as each other, and together they gloss over the ridiculous plot and hokey bad guys (why does Max von Sydow slum it in money jobs like this?). Were it not for the budget Ratner enjoys to stage car chases, fights and falls from the Eiffel Tower and the admittedly genuine chemistry between the two leads, this would be the worst kind of straight to video tosh.

The show is Tucker and Chan's throughout, the former's mouth and the latter's fists never letting you down or delivering any less than you've paid to watch. Any time they're not front and centre - as with Yvan Attal's anti American cab driver - the glaring inadequacies of the film shine through.

But in a cameo hilarious for its existence if not the content, Roman Polanski appears in his first American film since Chinatown as a snivelling French police chief, another reason to lock him up if he ever returns to the US.

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