When Genevieve played by Noémie Lenoir took off her wig, Detective James Carter played by Chris Tucker straight up called her a "man". It was as if the whole Brittani Spears bald head scandal some how crept it's way into this movie. The gender stereotype exposed in this film, was that in order for a woman to be a real woman, she cannot be bald. After all, if a woman is bald, there is something seriously wrong with her. Everyone knows that if a woman is bald her entire gender is questionable (insert satire).
Noémie Lenoirrole's role in Rush Hour 3 was that of a martyr. From the time she was born until she became an adult her purpose in life was to serve a male dominated secret society. She was brainwashed into believing that her life is less valuable than exposing the names of certain high status men. Like in the movie 300, as in many other movies with fictional historical reenactments, there will typically be a woman (or women) who's sole purpose is to be sacrificed in order to preserve a patriarchal power structure.
Before Genevieve briefly became a man there were a few powerful moments for several female characters. She appeared to be a damsel in distress, but Soo Yung (Jingchu Zhang) quickly proved that she could kick some serious butt (at the end of the movie she went back to a damsel in distress). The female arch nemesis otherwise known as the "Dragon Lady" played by Youki Kudoh was rarely exposed in any disempowering situation. Writers Jeff Nathanson and Ross LaManna portrayed her as a strong independent female character. This did not spare her from being physically objectified. In fact, with the exception of Soo Yung, all of the women in Rush Hour 3 were physically and sexually objectified. It is possible that it would have been too socially unacceptable (taboo) for the writers to have portrayed Soo Yung to as sexually available. Carter and Lee (Jackie Chan) mentioned in the movie that the last time they had seen her was when she was a child. Carter even makes a remark about Soo Yung noting how she had grown up into a full figured woman. The expression on Carter's face read "awkward" since he knew he could not view Yung as sexually available. The relationship between Soo Yung and Carter was paternalistic.
How could this film be feminist friendly and still maintain it’s pop appeal?
1. Do not make camera shots that focus more on a woman's body (i.e., physical objectification) than on the words she speaks in the movie. Writers should write more memorable quotes for female actors.
2. Stop writing so many action / comedy movie like Rush Hour 3 into "Damsel in Distress" movies. The whole "Damsel in Distress" thing gets old real fast, and shows women in a powerless position.
3. Write more independent and powerful characters like the "Dragon Lady" who do not cater to a patriarchal agenda.