ChristopherLamb’s review published on Letterboxd:
Thanks to Black Friday I was happy to get this trilogy on sale as I remember always loving the first two. In particular, the sequel was the one I absolutely adored in the early 2000s, but I’ll elaborate further when I watch/review that soon.
As our hippocampus does sometimes, I blended a lot of my memories of the two movies into one and kind of forgot what happened in this. Seeing as how I attribute my love/nostalgia of this franchise to the sequel, I was so surprised how much of what I remembered and many of the jokes I loved actually happened in THIS movie. Not the sequel, specifically the “War” scene and Lee teaching Carter how to steal a gun, “you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?!?l and “you know you dead”.
Probably on an island with this opinion but Chris Tucker’s Carter is one of my favorite comedic characters of all time. Basically all of his humor works for me in this and his bravado just constantly puts a smile on my face. His charisma paired with Chan’s lovability results in a chemistry that makes this movie incessantly entertaining. I love their interplay so much and of all the buddy-cop pairings we’ve gotten, these two are my favorite pair.
I love how each lead brings their own genre and the film-makers let each play to their strengths so well. The opening scene you get Jackie in a full out action set piece. Then the next scene you get Tucker in a comedic scene which culminates in him celebrating with a Michael Jackson dance to “Another Part of Me”.
Just like the two actors fit so well the two genres they excel intermingle perfectly. Im so impressed with the blend of the comedy and action and how one genre doesn’t dominate over another. It’s equal parts comedy and action. They take turns in a constant dance from start to finish. The martial arts and fighting choreography is top notch and there’s very little time between action sequences, but since Carter is the energetic lead, him always being on screen keeps the humor in constant supply.
It also manages to somehow strike a balance that most action comedies fail with where despite the amount of jokes, it doesn’t undercut the seriousness or tension of the action or story. It still feels real and you still feel the urgency to find Su-Yung and still feel the danger she’s in.
Lastly, in between the action and comedy it has great light-hearted scenes strengthening their bond as characters as well like them in the car talking music with The Beach Boys or Carter teaching Lee how to dance to “War” or them talking about their dads both being legendary cops.
Now seeing this for the first time in over a decade after my plunge into the movie world only a few years back and developing a more critical perspective, I’m so pleased that I’ve fallen in love with this movie all over again.
My nostalgia and my appreciation for the art of movie making blended to make this a truly amazing watch and can say with no hesitation this is a favorite of mine. It’s nothing profoundly impactful and the story isn’t anything mind-blowing but it just makes me so happy watching and can’t wait to revisit the sequel.