Saturday, August 1, 2015

Mini-Review - "Rush Hour" (1998)


This is exactly what you would expect it to be. Lots of great prop fighting from Jackie Chan, and Chris Tucker being almost as annoying as Jar-Jar Binks.

Jackie Chan is an immensely talented entertainer, who is able to balance comedy and action without really trying, because his style of fighting is often hilarious to behold. Whether his drunk, falling from insane heights or fighting someone with a steering wheel, Jackie Chan is never short of awesome moments.

Chris Tucker, however, could burst ear drums just by being himself. I don't think there was a single moment in "Rush Hour" where Tucker wasn't talking with that unbelievably high tone of his that makes me feel bad for any dogs that happen to be around. Sometimes Tucker's comedy works, but most of the time he is running his mouth to an audience that wants him to shut up and get back to Jackie Chan whacking goons around with pool cues.

Together, Chan and Tucker make a buddy cop film that is not only formulaic, but has very little interesting going between the two of them. In most buddy cop films, the two will have their differences that make them butt heads as we watch the two learn to appreciate others and notice their strengths. But in "Rush Hour," these two have way too many similarities - they're both hot-headed, bold, don't trust others, lost a partner in the line of duty and charge ahead whether their superiors told them to or not.

The only different between the two is their ethnic backgrounds, which gets played out fast. In fact, Chan often knows the American culture that Tucker speaks of, including John Wayne and popular songs. Tucker even admits at the end of the film that he knew Chinese the entire time. Really, these guys are two peas in a pod.

Overall, "Rush Hour" has its moments of glory, especially when Jackie Chan pulls off some amazing stunts and fight choreography. But the plot is predictable, Tucker is hard to watch and listen to, and the buddy cop dynamic is some of the weakest I have ever seen. Watch a good Jackie Chan kung-fu flick instead of this and you'll get the same experience.

Final Grade: C+

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