Rush Hour 3With over 50 years of experience composing soundtracks and almost 200 film scores to his name, composer and conductor Lalo Schifrin adds a fifth Brett Ratner film to his portfolio with Rush Hour 3. Also responsible for both previous Rush Hour soundtracks, director Ratner has even gone so far as to state that “Lalo Schifrin’s music is as important to the Rush Hour films as Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.”

Elegantly fusing Eastern and Western sensibilities, the Rush Hour 3 score is a bit like what one would imagine the Mission Impossible theme would sound like if it took a trip to Chinatown. Incidentally, the comparison is extremely apt as Schifrin is also the mastermind behind the Mission Impossible theme itself.

Starting off with the familiar, yet slightly updated and embellished Rush Hour theme, which has of course made an appearance in all three films, Schifrin’s score is equally dramatic, mysterious, playful and energetic. Balanced with such thrilling full-force action sequences as “Chasing the Assassin” and “Swordfight” the importance and heaviness of such tracks as “The World Court” and “Su Yung Returns / Dojo Arrival” add a dramatic edge to the otherwise action/thriller score.

Unwilling to allow his soundtrack to be simple and formulaic, Schifrin’s pieces are in a constant flux, moving from high-energy trebles, to slower, hipper bass beats. With over 30 violinists in the Hollywood Studio Symphony, it’s no wonder the strings play such a strong role in moving the action along. The cellos come in strong as well to add a sense of urgency to some pieces. The score finale, “Parachute Down”, truly wraps up an exciting soundtrack by bringing everything to a head and then hitting the cool urban theme a final time, before trailing off into quiet, gentle sounds for a solid ending.

But the soundtrack doesn’t end there, tackng on a “Rush Hour Theme Remix” by Ray Folguera and Lalo’s son Ryan Schifrin to act as a closer. Though it’s decidedly more urban than the rest of the soundtrack, the final track does maintain a healthy and interesting mix of Eastern and Western music. Despite the film’s box office success, the Rush Hour 3 soundtrack is much more thrilling on its own than with the actual movie playing over it. For those who appreciate a good score, filled with action, intrigue, and surprising dynamics, it’s worth a listen.

Zach’s Rating: B
Brett Ratner’s rating: A+
Wu Tang Clan’s rating: B+

To purchase the Rush Hour 3 Soundtrack, visit Amazon
To view Lalo Schifrin’s unbelievable sdafd, visit IMDB

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