18 August 2007

A CATECHISM

Q: What is Rush Hour 3?
A: It is the third film in a series telling of the unlikely pairing of LAPD detective James Carter and Hong Kong inspector Lee.

Q: Who plays Detective Carter?
A: Chris Tucker.

Q:What is the manner of Chris Tucker's acting style in terms of his recitation of dialogue, his physical movement, and his nonverbal expression of emotion?
A: Loud and spastic.

Q: What does Rush Hour 3 prove about $25 million?
A: It proves that $25 million does not buy a good, or even bearable performance.

Q: And who plays Inspector Lee?
A: Jackie Chan.

Q: What is the manner of Jackie Chan's acting style?
A: A combination of poorly-enunciated English and comic martial arts.

Q: Is the poorly-enunciated English meant to be comic?
A: Yes.

Q: Is it comic?
A: No.

Q: Are Chan's comic martial arts skills as virtuosic as they have been elsewhere in his career?
A: No.

Q: Why?
A: Chan is now over 50 years old, and he is no longer capable of performing such elaborate and dangerous stunts as he once did.

Q: Are there other reasons?
A: The director is awful.

Q: Who is the director?
A: Brett Ratner?

Q: Why is he awful?
A: I don't know. I assume because he is in film only for the money, and not for the love of the art.

Q: No, what about him is awful?
A: He uses a consistent style that tends to make the action sequences less interesting, by reducing them to short takes which almost all use the same medium-length shots that do not give us a good sense of the physical location of the fight, or of the fighters' relationships to each other, and the frequent cutting tends to make the fights seem much choppier and less fluid. The overall effect is of something being made for television, not the cinema.

Q: What are the other awful things that he does?
A: He uses jokey musical cues frequently. He uses jokey reaction shots frequently. He permits Chris Tucker to ad-lib unfunny jokes.

Q: What is the plot of Rush Hour 3?
A: Immaterial.

Q: Is it well-plotted?
A: It is not well-plotted. It brings the two characters together in a contrived way, sets them on a series of arbitrary events that only occur because they are necessary to advance the story, and it ends abruptly, without resolving most of its central tensions.

Q: Is it otherwise well-written?
A: It is not otherwise well-written. It is casually racist and the dialogue is all completely artificial.

Q: Are there any entertaining action setpieces?
A: No, there are very few setpieces and they are not entertaining.

Q: Oh, right, because of Brett Ratner.
A: That's right.

Q: What normally fine actors are in this film whose presence can be explained only by their desire for a paycheck, and who therefore embarrass themselves completely?
A: Philip Baker Hall, Max von Sydow and Roman Polanski.

Q: Is Philip Baker Hall credited?
A: No.

Q: Good for him. Who does he play?
A: The LAPD police captain that he also played in Rush Hour.

Q: Who does Max von Sydow play?
A: The villain.

Q: Is that meant to be a twist?
A: Yes.

Q: Is it a twist?
A: No.

Q: Why?
A: Because he is Max von Sydow.

Q: Is Roman Polanski actually an actor?
A: Well, he is acting here.

Q: Who does he play?
A: A French police detective.

Q: Does he embarrass himself the most of anyone?
A: Yes.

Q: What does he do that is so embarrassing?
A: The first of this two scenes ends with the implication that he is going to stick his finger up Chris Tucker's ass.

Q: Christ.
A: No kidding.

Q: Is it possible that this is the worst major release of the summer?
A: It is surely possible.

Q: Is it easily the worst major release of the summer?
A: Summer ain't over yet.

2/10

4 comments:

Joe Valdez said...

Hilarious review, Tim. Nothing like an awful movie to bring out the best writing in a blogger.

I have yet to hear from anyone who liked Rush Hour 3. I didn't realize Jackie Chan was 50 years old already. Combine that with the fact that Chris Tucker didn't even want to do this and it explains a lot.

Jack said...

you know it's a good summer when four movies get labeled crimes against art. Last summer there were only two!

*cough* get this in development *cough*

Ellen said...

If you want to read something truly egregious, enjoy this long, ass-kissing Ratner profile that ran in LA Weekly.

Truly, it made me want to vomit repeatedly. Not unlike most of Ratner's movies. Friend of mine briefly worked for him and he's every bit as much a douchebag as you'd imagine him to be.

Rebecca said...

My favorite question is "Oh, right, because of Brett Ratner."