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(2 Disc Platinum Series)

I personally liked the first two RUSH HOUR movies, but the six-year development time for RUSH HOUR 3 ($35) clearly indicates that this production was stalled in traffic, and when this year’s model finally did arrive, there was plenty of evidence that this movie series is running out of gas. Certainly, RUSH HOUR 3 is no lemon, but it’s also not the sleek, high performance machine that the original model was either. What we have with RUSH HOUR 3 is a somewhat familiar story, good action sequences and a few big laughs and a whole lot of chuckles.

Taking place a few years down the road from the last film, we find the friendship between Chief Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) and Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) strained. In addition, Lee’s now serves as a bodyguard to Chinese Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma), while Carter has been busted down to traffic cop. Of course, Lee and Carter quickly find themselves working together again, that is, after an attempted assassination on the Ambassador by a member of the Triad, whom we quickly learn has a past connection to Lee. Although the action brings our two heroes to a new location, namely Paris, the audience is left with a sense of déjà vu, when the grown up version of the little girl from the first RUSH HOUR movie winds up being kidnapped and needing to be rescued by Lee and Carter all over again. The cast of RUSH HOUR 3 also features Hiroyuki Sanada, Youki Kudoh, Max von Sydow, Yvan Attal, Noémie Lenoir, Jingchu Zhang, Roman Polanski and Henry O.

New Line Home Entertainment has made RUSH HOUR 3 available on DVD in a 2.35:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. This is a New Line DVD, so it should come as no surprise that RUSH HOUR 3 looks fantastic on DVD. The image is wonderfully sharp, and produces a terrific level of detail. And while there are a couple of mildly soft looking shots, these seem to be related to the original photography and not a limitation in the transfer. Colors are vibrant and fully saturated, plus the flesh tones are consistently appealing. Blacks are deep, whites are crisp, plus the picture boasts excellent contrast and terrific shadow detail. The film elements used for the transfer are virtually pristine and there is almost no appreciable grain. Digital compression artifacts are very nicely concealed.

RUSH HOUR 3 features 5.1 channel soundtracks that come in both the Dolby Digital and DTS formats. Since there is plenty of action, the mix tends to be very aggressive and highly active throughout. Sound effects bounce all over the soundstage, with all of the outlying channels being exceedingly well utilized. The bass channel is deep and percussive, which enhances the gunfire and explosions. Dialogue is very clean and easy to understand. Fidelity is great with both the music and sound effects befitting. Both the Dolby Digital and the DTS are more than up to snuff. No other language tracks have been included on the DVD, but English and Spanish subtitles are provided.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplemental materials, which have been spread across both discs of this set. Disc one features a running Audio Commentary with director Brett Ratner and writer Jeff Nathanson, plus a Theatrical Trailer. Moving on to disc two, one will find the remainder of the supplemental programming. The primary features on disc two are Making Rush Hour 3, which features an hour and a half of clips, interviews and a general look behind the scenes, and Le Rush Hour Trois Production Diary, which provides another hour of on the set style production detail. Disc two also includes Outtakes, Alternate/Deleted Scenes and a Visual Effects Reel.

RUSH HOUR 3 is enjoyable enough, but isn’t as memorable as the first two installments in the franchise. New Line’s DVD looks and sounds terrific, plus there are solid extras.



Rush Hour 3 (Two-Disc Platinum Series) (2007)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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