Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jackie Chan has good taste. 

Turns out he's not so hot on the Rush Hour series.

"When we finished filming, I felt very disappointed because it was a movie I didn't appreciate and I did not like the action scenes involved. I felt the style of action was too Americanized and I didn't understand the American humor," Chan said in a blog entry on his Web site seen Sunday.


"Nothing particularly exciting stood out that made this movie special for me ... I spent four months making this film and I still don't fully understand the humor," he said, adding the comedic scenes may be lost on Asian audiences.

There are certainly cultural differences to be considered in the poor translation of Rush Hour's humor, but really, I just see that as an indicator of that series' reliance on tired stereotypes and Chris Tucker shticking rather than real, relatable, human humor. Real humor has a much better chance translating across cultural lines; humor derived from an assumption that the audience understands the same pop culture cues as you is weak sauce.

Chan has been known to be blase about his Hollywood work. He said in a 2005 interview with The Associated Press that he uses the high salary he earns in the U.S. to fund Chinese-language projects that truly interest him.

As anyone who knows anything about the business can tell you, this is not exactly an unusual attitude or practice; Ben Affleck even makes this joke in the Kevin Smith-penned Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. "You're like a child. What've I been telling you?" He says to co-star and friend Matt Damon. "You gotta do the safe picture. Then you can do the art picture. But then sometimes you gotta do the payback picture because your friend says you owe him."

Cue Affleck and Damon giving the camera a long-suffering look.

Okay, I know, director Brett Ratner is the hackiest hack to ever hack his way out of Hack Town, and he has a monstrous ego to boot, so he's a damn safe and easy (and fun!) target. But I find it damn amusing that Chan is so candid about his lukewarm feelings toward the aggressively mediocre RH series. I find it even more amusing that he seems to be much, much smarter than his director. Chan does the big stupid movies to get funding for the real work, while Brett Ratner will attach his star to this series so much so that he'll actually have the third installment sold as "A Brett Ratner film," as if that means fucking anything to fucking anyone.

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