I was agreeably surprised by Brett Ratner's action-comedy Rush Hour 3, but given that it was threequel I wasn't expecting much. This time Ratner drops the bickering fish-out-of-water duo Chan and Tucker into Paris and gives Chan more comedy and Tucker more action, with entertaining results. It will do very well, although the competition in the next couple weeks from the likes of Bourne Ultimatum and Superbad is as intense as any period all summer.
Here's the just-posted Variety Rush Hour 3 review. And here's my feature on Ratner, for which I explored his surprisingly tasteful Benedict Canyon house, Hilhaven, including the famous Alan Carr discotheque in his basement (it's a small orange-mirror-lined bar with a small dance floor and banquets), and had lunch with the man, who is fun to talk to, at his fave hangout The Ivy.
I finally saw the Judd Apatow production Superbad last night, which is comparably fresh and energetic. Could anyone have milked the Rush Hour 3 franchise any better than Ratner? No. But Superbad is new and brash and will be this generation's American Grafitti. (The industry exec I saw it with thinks Superbad will outperform Apatow's own Knocked Up.) Like the teens in Superbad, Nora is having the most socially intense summer of her life en route to college this fal; she's dying to see the movie. And she's packing her DVD sets of Apatow's Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared to take with her.
[Originallya appeared on Variety.com]