Rush Hour Review
By Blake French
I'll be the first to admit that I didn't used to like Jackie Chan or Chris Tucker. I have never seen either of them in a movie I liked -- until now. Rush Hour, the 1998 action comedy directed by Brett Ratner, successfully blends two immensely different personalities. The film also works because it contains the perfect amount of action and comedy. By themselves, Chan and Tucker do not provide anything inspiring or refreshing, but when they are combined, they form a surprisingly entertaining comedic duo.
Chan and Tucker are truly opposites. Jackie is known for his modest demeanor and amazing physical abilities, but not for his amazing grasp of the English language. Chris is boastful and outspoken, a shameless motormouth that just will not shut up. The pairing of these two actors works well. Chan provides us with the action and Tucker provides us with the witty comic relief.
In Rush Hour, Chan stars as Detective Inspector Lee, one of the best police officers in Hong Kong. He has recently confiscated millions of dollars worth of weapons, drugs, and important Chinese artifacts owned by one of the country's most dangerous and powerful crime lords, named Juntao.
Juntao kidnaps the young daughter (Julia Hsu) of the Chinese counsel Han (Tzi Ma) and holds her for a $50 million ransom in America. Lee is very close to this kidnapped victim, having served as her bodyguard in the past. Han summons his old friend Lee to rescue his daughter, but the FBI does not want any foreign intrusion. They assign the fast talking LAPD detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) to the keep Lee from entering the case.
Director Brett Ratner finds the perfect combination of action and comedy here. Whenever Chris Tucker's loudmouth becomes too annoying, he throws in a plot twist to keep things interesting. When the action becomes conventional, he uses his characters to break free of tradition and treads into comic waters. Audiences looking for thrills will be just as satisfied as those looking for laughs.
Followed by Rush Hour 2.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 18th September 1998
Box Office Worldwide: $244.4M
Distributed by: New Line Cinema
Production compaines: New Line Cinema
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 42 Rotten: 28
Cast & Crew
Starring: Jackie Chan as Chief Insp. Lee, Chris Tucker as Detec. James Carter, Ken Leung as Sang, Tom Wilkinson as Thomas Griffin, Tzi Ma as Consul Han, Chris Penn as Clive Cod, Robert Littman as First Caucasien, Michael Chow as Diner Guest, Julia Hsu as Soo Yung, Kai Lennox as Cop, Elizabeth Peña as Tania Johnson, Roger Fan as Soo Yung's Bodyguard, George Cheung as Soo Yung's Driver, Larry Sullivan as Cop at Diner, Rex Linn as Agent Dan Whitney, Lucy Lin as Exposition Official, Mark Rolston as Agent Warren Russ, Philip Baker Hall as Captain Diel, John Hawkes as Stucky, Ai Wan as Foo Chow Hostess