Rush Hour is one of the movies which helped solidify Jackie Chan’s fame in the US and English speaking countries by introducing a Hong Kong action hero into an American environment, playing on the the contrast between both main characters – Lee played by Jackie Chan and Carter, played by Chris Tucker.
It all starts off when Hong Kong is handed back to China by the British, and Lee and his team have shut down a major organized crime group lead by Juntao. With everything that’s happening the Chinese Consul heads over to the US.
After arriving however, Juntao has made his way to the US and has kidnapped the Consul’s daughter. The FBI put together their top team to find the men behind the kidnapping, whilst the Chinese consul insists on having one of his own men assist in the the investigation – Lee.
The FBI team are little annoyed about this ‘extra help’ and choose a troublesome Police Officer, Carter, to watch Lee and keep him out of the way. But this obviously becomes difficult as Lee is extremely capable and slippery.
The two struggle to understand each other’s differences but try to work together in order to friend the kidnappers and rescue the Consul’s daughter themselves.
Chan & Tucker an effective duo?
Well as annoying as Chris Tucker may be, especially with that other-worldy high pitched voice, he creates an excellent balance to Jackie Chan’s on screen persona.
Right form the beginning with Carter telling Lee to ‘do as he does‘, you know things are gong to get funny, as his high level extroverted personality takes off and Lee must keep up, leading to a few awkward situations including Lee politely asking “what’s up ma’nigga?” to a man in an African American Bar.
Of course these cultural misunderstandings seem to make some of the funny situations in this film and continue pretty strongly from there.
Of course even the personal differences are pretty hilarious, with Lee’s proper and structured approach to police work often being discarded for the almost careless and unpredictable style of Carter as he seems to ‘wing it’ is pretty funny.
Comedy is what the film is all about, action definitely takes a backseat but it all mixes quite well, as you can’t overlook Jackie Chan’s top quality stunt work. I’d say the comedic value ofChan and Chris Tucker created a highly entertaining comedy which is topped off with a bit of nice action.
The Action & Martial Arts
Don’t expect an adrenaline charged, edge of your seat, action movie – but some nicely performed physical work by Chan that mixes perfectly with the main comedic themes of the movie.
As usual the precise and dangerous nature of some of Chan’s stuntwork is there with each fight scene being a perfectly choreographed ‘dance’ of movement mixed in with his acrobatic martial arts movements.
There’s a nice handful of fights in the movie, each carrying Chan’s level of quality.
Primarily a comedy, and a relatively good one at that! The usual Jackie Chan action is there and definitely a ‘Hollywood classic’ in my books.
On Blu Ray –
Region Free (Any Country)
Rush Hour [Blu-ray]
On DVD –
Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)