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
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
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