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Rush Hour

movie reviewvideo review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Rush Hour

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker
Director: Brett Ratner
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 94 Minutes
Release Date: September 1998
Genres: Action, Comedy, Martial Arts





Review by Walter Frith
2 stars out of 4

When you ask someone why they liked 'Rush Hour', the standard answer will probably be something like: "Lots of action!" "Lots of comedy!" "Great match-up of stars like Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker!" Unfortunately, the film has everything we've seen before and the picture looks for a new twist and while it comes up somewhat successful, it's predictable formula doesn't quite pull it off. 'Rush Hour' is for the movie goer who sees about five movies a year and a movie critic, whether amateur or professional, always looks for that little extra edge and it isn't found here. The film is entertaining on the surface but eventually you'll be looking at your watch after about the first 45 minutes.

Since Jackie Chan assaulted our senses with his North American breakthrough film 'Rumble in the Bronx' in 1996, he has been on a roll, even though film distributors have released some of his other films since then that have actually been released in his native land years before and the films, when released here in North America, were actually six or seven years old. Nobody does present day martial arts better than Jackie Chan and I have a lot of respect for him and his ability.

Chris Tucker annoyed the heck out of me in 1997's 'The Fifth Element' with that high pitched voice of his used in robotic fashion as a talk show host 250 years in the future. Tucker is very funny and has a lot of potential and I see a great future in the movies for him but a new angle must be found for his success to continue. 'Stakeout', '48 hrs.' etc. etc. Films where the cops get together with their colleagues or other helpful people in order to catch the bad guys. Let's do it again!

Tucker is an L.A. cop with his own brand of ease on the job who dances after blowing up a getaway car and after his boss tells him he destroyed an entire city block, Tucker says: "That area was messed up anyway." The Chinese consulate to Los Angeles has his little daughter kidnapped and he calls upon a good friend of his, a Hong Kong police office played in classic fashion by Jackie Chan. The FBI want Chan kept out of the picture and use Tucker to keep Chan occupied so he won't get in the way of their domestic law enforcement. That's it. That's all. That's the whole story, folks!

The film moves well without becoming repetitive in its humour but it can't escape its formula origins and because of that it fails. Director Brett Ratner makes the classic formula movie mistake by allowing his actors to improvise too much instead of following a strict pattern style of direction. The screenplay by Jim Jim Kouf and Ross Lamanna has some funny moments but it isn't a hard screenplay to write, let alone execute.

Am I asking you to avoid 'Rush Hour'. No. Many of you will find it entertaining but if your taste is a little high brow for 8 dollars then, yes, avoid it at all costs. It's not a bad secondary feature at the drive-in and will become the perfect Saturday night video movie in a few months. It's just that kind of flick.

Copyright 2000 Walter Frith

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