Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Jackie Chan and Chris Rock
Cons: The stars are better than the material
The Bottom Line:
Chris Rock, Jackie Chan combine
Make this movie fun
A Rush of Fun
I was one of the few who watched and enjoyed CBS’s recent TV version of the Rush Hour franchise, but it made me want to rewatch the movie. Fortunately, I found it on TV recently, and it was fun to go back and watch it.
As the movie opens, we meet Detective Lee (Jackie Chan) in the last days of British occupied Hong Kong. He is hard at work trying to shut down a criminal while also saying goodbye to the new diplomat heading to Los Angeles. Consul Han (Tzi Ma), this diplomat is his friend, and Lee is even closer to his young daughter Soo Yung (Julia Hsu).
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, we meet Detective Carter (Chris Rock), a fast talking, risk taking LAPD cop who refuses to work with a partner. His latest attempt to bring down a criminal ended in success or disaster, depending on who you ask, and Carter is about to be suspended.
And then Soo Yung is kidnapped. Lee flies to Los Angeles to try to find her, and Carter is loaned to the FBI and assigned to Lee to keep him out of their investigation. The trouble is, Lee isn’t going to do as he is told and instead works hard on finding Soo Yung. Will the duo be able to work together and be successful?
As far as plot goes, we’ve seen this kind of things before. It’s a buddy cop film with two unlikely partners learning to work together to solve a case. As such, the movie is average. The plot is good, although I saw some twists coming early. Granted, I did see the movie when it came out, so I had some help. Still, it’s been almost 20 years, so my memory was rusty at best.
And how crazy is it that this film is 20 years old? It shows it at times, but that’s easy enough to ignore as the film progresses.
What elevates the film are the leads. Chris Rock and Jackie Chan both bring their unique talents to the parts. Chris Rock adds a great touch to his comedic one-liners. Jackie Chan gets plenty of opportunities to showcase his unique martial arts/comedy combinations, and I just love watching him at work. And while I never would have put these two together on my own, they do have great chemistry as the movie progresses and their characters grow into unlikely allies. The rest of the cast is fine, but they are there mainly to support the leads.
The other star is the action. There are several fun action scenes. While Chris Rock isn’t known as an action star, he does a great job with those scenes. Obviously, these are Jackie Chan’s forte, and he takes full advantage of them.
Rush Hour is exactly what it sets out to be, a comedic buddy cop action film. It’s remarkable because of Jackie Chan and Chris Rock, and they make it a fun ride.