Chris Tucker was really freakin' hilarious in the original Friday. I sure think so, anyway. I open this piece with that admission because, well, that flick was the last time I ever actively enjoyed a Chris Tucker performance. His subsequent work (in The Fifth Element, Money Talks and both Rush Hour movies) left me irritated, unamused and suffering from a semi-large migraine. So when the guy turned down a $20 million paycheck for Rush Hour 3 (despite the fact that he hadn't worked since 2001's Rush Hour 2), I pretty much gave up on the Eddie Murphy clone and pointed my attentions elsewhere.

But when New Line ponied up a full $25 million for Tucker to star with Jackie Chan in Brett Ratner's second sequel, I knew I was in trouble. Chris Tucker was coming back, and I'd have no choice but to deal with the shrill-voiced shrieker. Now get this: According to The New York Post, Mr. Tucker has taken to (allegedly) locking himself in his trailer while demanding last-minute script changes. Yes, a man earning $25 million for a half-year's work is (allegedly) pouting in his trailer while screenwriter Jeff Nathanson churns out extra pages. As if something like Rush Hour 3 actually needs a screenplay. No offense to Mr. Nathanson (who also penned Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal and the underrated The Last Shot), but a flick like this doesn't even require a screenwriter -- just a few pre-planned action scenes and a big platform for Tucker to do his patented high-pitch squeal routine. Rush Hour 3 hits screens on August 10, and if it's anything like the first two.....I'll hate it.