I’ve been a fan of Jackie Chan’s work since I first saw a multiple generation dupe bootleg of his seminal Armor Of God. And while he’s a star the world over, it has always had trouble finding the right Hollywood-produced film to fully showcase his talents. Although the Rush Hour films have come close, they never struck much of a chord with me. I’m in the minority though, as all three films in the series have been box office successes. And for fans, the two-disc DVD release for Rush Hour 3 gives fans of the series much bang for their buck.
The first disc sports a good transfer of the film, accompanied by a commentary track featuring director Brett Ratner and screenwriter Jeff Nathanson. My feelings about Ratner as a director aside, he comes across as fairly amiable and personable and quick to point out where he’s showing the influence of his favorite films or where a technical error may have crept into the film.
The second disc supplies much meat for those who enjoy looking behind-the-scenes at film production in the form of a “Making Rush Hour 3” feature that runs nearly as long as the film’s 90-minute run time. In both the “Making of…” feature and a separate visual effects demo reel there are montages of the Eiffel Tower sequence dissolving back and forth between the finished film and the raw footage showing exactly where reality ended and computer created visuals began. What’s even more amazing than seeing what parts of the Eiffel Tower were recreated in a computer is seeing what stunts Jackie Chan actually did on the location in Paris. (Also, look out for an Easter Egg where technicians at George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic created a variation of one of the effects shots they produced for the film.)
The “Making of…” portion is fairly comprehensive featuring interviews with everyone from screenwriter Nathanson, a majority of the main cast and crew members from editors to effects technicians. To be sure, at times some of the interview subjects get a little self-congratulatory about their work, but that is to be expected. The overall result is a comprehensive look at the film’s production and makes for fascinating viewing, no matter what you may have felt about the film itself.
The movie is also being released on Blu-Ray, for anyone who scores a player this holiday season and is looking for something to play in it.