[Reihan] Instead of seeing Rush Hour 3 I'd really much rather see a movie about the intense racialized psychodrama that has been the making of Rush Hour 3.  Way back in 2000, I read a Lynn Hirschberg piece, "How Black Comedy Got The Last Laugh,"  which discussed Chris Tucker at considerable length.  Brett Ratner had some strange things to say about Tucker.

During ''Money Talks,'' which was directed by Brett Ratner, the rumors about Tucker began percolating. ''They said he was illiterate,'' Ratner recalled recently. ''That he was crazy, and he couldn't read, and that no one could understand him, but that, in spite of all that, he was going to be the next Eddie Murphy, a huge star.'' Ratner laughed. ''Chris can read, but sometimes the references have to be explained to him. Often these scripts are written by white writers, and they're just too white. In 'Money Talks,' Chris had to say, 'I'm waiting for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.' He didn't know that line came from 'Sunset Boulevard.' He had never heard of 'Sunset Boulevard,' and he didn't know DeMille was a great director. So he changed the line. He made it his own. And frankly, if Chris doesn't get that reference, neither will the audience.''

And Brett Ratner is Tucker's friend?  This isn't exactly flattering.  People get pistol-whipped for saying less.  While reading Entertainment Weekly's Summer Movie Preview of RH3, I came upon the following.

The last time the director brought Tucker and Chan together as bumbling, backflipping buddy cops Lee and Carter was six years ago. Rush Hour 2, like the first, was a rollicking success, hauling in nearly $350 million worldwide. Box office bonanza aside, it started to look like Rush Hour 3 would not happen. Someone was dragging his feet. ''Chris isn't in a rush,'' chuckles Ratner. ''So, Jackie goes off and does his movies. I go off and do X-Men 3. [Chris] hasn't worked in five years.'' Whispers circulated that Tucker, who earned a staggering $20 million for Rush Hour 2, was holding out for more money this time around which he denies.

Tucker has a quite different interpretation.

''It wasn't me,'' insists the comedian. ''It was finding the script. [New Line was] saying, 'We'll get you a script. Just sign on.' I usually don't do that. That was the big holdup. I need to see a script.'' Nevertheless, Tucker eventually relented, and a script was written that involved Lee and Carter trailing a list of Chinese gangsters through Paris.

It seems they finally agreed upon a script with all the gravity and seriousness we've come to expect from the Rush Hour series.  The most interesting leg of the triad, in my view, is of course Jackie Chan.

Speaking of landmarks, Chan, who earned less up front than Tucker for his chopsocky contributions to Rush Hour 2, will be getting a healthy portion of Rush Hour 3's distribution rights in China. ''I like to bet,'' says Chan. ''Maybe, at the end, I'll [make more] than Chris.''

Maybe indeed.