What do Steve Carrel and Jackie Chan have in common? No, it’s not a sparkling wit mixed with a genius sense of timing (sorry Chan). No, it’s not kung-fu flexibility that will drop your jaw in amazement (sorry Carrel). How about: both of their pictures have been refused by Asian nations.

On the heels of Japan’s refusal of Evan Almighty a few weeks ago, now China is saying “no” to Rush Hour 3. Unlike Carell’s disaster, however, China is quickly giving reasons for their refusal to carry the picture, although the rationale seems thin at best.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Chinese government is declining Rush Hour 3 because there have been an “overabundance” of imported films already this year. They claim it has nothing to do with the quality of the film (although their spokesperson did say ”This one would not be that popular, anyway”), just that they’ve already imported so many pictures.

Well, first of all, that’s a load of bologna. It is a statement on the quality of the film. If you have five films to pick from but only have two slots, which films get the slots? The better movies. So by saying they don’t want Rush Hour 3, the government is saying it’s not as good to run in their country as, say Bratz (No, I have no idea whether they are importing Bratz, it’s just being used as a point of reference).

Secondly, it’s hard to believe this has nothing to do with the content of the film, which features Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker’s characters hunting down a Chinese gang in France. When asked directly whether that negative Chinese portrayal had anything to do with the decision, the Chinese spokesperson became evasive: “I'm not too clear about that."

Perhaps the Chinese government should have taken pointers from the Japanese government and not said anything about the choice not to have the movie running in their country. The same speculation is coming about that would have been there had they said nothing, and they aren’t very convincing in their argument. Sometimes less is more. And, while I agree with the Chinese government that less of Chris Tucker is better, I can’t say I believe their rationale for a second for not bringing Rush Hour 3 into their country.

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