"Ratner has got to be the only director in Hollywood who can spend 35-45 million dollars on an action film (that's what I read the budget was about) and still make it look low-budget"
Rush Hour (1998)
Director: Brett Ratner
Producer: Roger Birnbaum, Arthur Sarkissian, Jonathan Glickman
Writer: Ross LaManna, Jim Kouf, Jeff Nathanson
Cast: Jackie Chan; Chris Tucker; Tom Wilkinson; Mark Rolston; Julia Hsu; Rex Linn; Tzi Ma; Philip Baker Hall; Ken Low
Running Time: 97 min.
Plot: The daughter of a wealthy Chinese consulate Han is abducted while on her way to school. The kidnappers intentions, to receive a total of $50 million dollars in ransom. The FBI offer to assist consulate Han in cracking the case, but the Han decides to send for his trusted friend, Inspector Lee, to help. The problem is that the FBI see the case as their investigation, and that Lee will only get in the way. With that in mind, they trick James Carter, a young rookie cop, to distract Lee for a few days, or until they crack the case. When Lee arrives in LA, him and Carter immediately get on eachothers cases. That is, until they both start to bond, leading to their teaming up. Knowing about the FBI's trick and betrayal, they decide to go on their own on the investigation, leading to a series of wild and wacky events.
RO'S REVIEW: As an action film, this movie rocked! It was easily the best action/adventure film of 1998, blowing away such competition as the lame Lethal Weapon 4 and the disappointing Mask of Zorro. I loved Jackie's character (hated the hair, though). Inspector Lee is grown up, responsible, and sure of his abilities. Yet he still manages the action, fighting and humor! It has a well developed plot and real dialogue between Jackie and Chris Tucker! My God!!! Real dialogue! OK, Chris Tucker was a little annoying, but I though he just gave Jackie more to work off of.
Many will tell you the fight in the museum at the end when Jackie is fending off several attackers while trying to prevent precious artifacts from being broken is the best in the movie, and they're probably right. I prefer the fight in the pool hall. OK, I saw it coming, and you probably did too. But the music just adds a level that always gets to me. It reminded me of the Tom Cruise pool room scene where he lets loose in The Color Of Money. Like I said, music can make everything better! Wait a minute, both these are in pool halls, and my favorite scene in Rumble In The Bronx started on the pool table. Hmmmm, pool cues, balls, a large table... do you think? Nahhh! As my good friend, Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." But I digress.
As a 'Jackie Chan' film, it was decidedly lacking. There is a reason - insurance. I saw Jackie doing an interview and he said the insurance guy balked at letting him leap from the tree to the consulate window! Can you imagine the reaction if he wanted to do one of his usual stunts!! Jackie: Now, I'm going to ride a snowboard off a mountain, leap off it and grab the legs of a hovering helicopter. Insurance Guy: (no answer, just the sound of his head exploding)
If you can let go of you expectations of what a Chan movie should be, you'll really enjoy this film. If you can't, don't bother to see it - you'll just be disappointed. Or you could introduce your 'non-JC fan' friends to him slowly, starting with this, moving on to Mr. Nice Guy, and slowly working them up to Who Am I? or Drunken Master II.
RO'S RATING: 9/10 as an action film, 7/10 as a Jackie Chan film
JORDAN'S REVIEW: I really didn't believe that Rush Hour would come out here in Australia (as Supercop, Operation Condor 1 & 2 and Mr. Nice Guy never did) but I was delighted to see posters plastered all over the city and even more delighted when it came out here last week (nearly 4 months after you Americans. What's up with that?). What a great movie! I have seen it twice and can't wait to see it again this weekend. I loved every second of it. True, Jackie could have had more fights and stunts, but then his and Chris Tucker's roles wouldn't have been even. I read many bad reviews for this film on this site, so I really didn't expect that much when I first went to see it, but I was pleasantly surprised. The highlights for me were the opening scene, the pool hall brawl, Jackie singing war, Chris getting kicked, Jackie defending the priceless artifacts from the thugs, the outtakes, the superstunt... aww stuff it, the whole damn movie was excellent. I can't wait for the sequel!
JORDAN'S RATING: 10/10
DAN-O'S REVIEW: Cripes man, did I wait too long to write this review or not? What more could I possibly add to this discussion? All points have been discussed; all the lame in-jokes you you can possibly stand have been cracked; lambasting about this movie has been elevated to a martial art. Still, I've been promising Bona-man I'd write this review since last October, and dammit, If it means being repetitive, then in means being repetitive, then it means be... Alright, thats about enough of that crap.
Well, howzabout if I make this less of a "review" and more like one of those bitchin' "editorials" magazines always use to waste our time. I know the opinions are all over the board on this puppy. Some love it to death, others think it to be merely mediocre, Jeff thought it sucked on ice (Numskull too). Well, while I love (in a buddy cop kinda way) and respect Jeff and Nunskull, and generally agree with them on most of Jackie's movies, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to split ways with them on this one.
Cuz I actually liked Rush Hour.
Not a lot, but just enough. I had fun watching it, the audience had fun, and then some of us went home and had more fun, all in our own seperate and unique ways.
This is not Drunken Master 1 or 2 or Police Story. I like to think of this movie as "good crap". This is a Hollywood reformulation of Jackie. Get used to it, because it's been happening since the release of "Rumble in the Bronx", and it's gonna keep right on a-happenin', especially since Jackie's battered fortysomething body is finally catching with him, keeping from filming those 10 minute battle sequences we all love so dear. While we "fans" can keep Jackie's Hong Kong movies in our hearts and memories, the majority of the U.S.A. couldn't give a rat's posterior about the subject. My dad is one of 'em. While he has nothing against Jackie, he'd rather see "Fargo" or "Forrest Gump" or somesuch than sit through a pure Jackie Chan movie, dub or sub.
Once "Rush Hour" hit's Pay Per View, my dad will see this movie, and he'll love it, because it's what he and I and most of the world has been trained to accept from Hollywood... a recycled plot with a nip here and a tuck(er) there, so that it feels like a totally fresh moviegoing experience.
But hey, like I said... it's crap, but it's good crap. Brett Ratner ain't no Spielberg, or even another Richard Donner (you know, the "Lethal Weapon" guy). But he's a competant director. Hey, he's probably better than most of you armchair directors. He's got the basics down. And hey, how often does an audience applaud at the end of a movie? It ain't often, is it? Most of the time people are simply too busy trying their sweaty asses out of their theater chairs to even have the brain activity left over to slap their fins together. But I've seen this movie 4 times in the theaters so far (thank God for dollar theaters), and 2 out of those four times, there was uproarious applause, not once but twice, once after the movie ended and the red RUSH HOUR title pops up, then again after the outtakes wrapped up.
What does that tell me? It tells me, in gramatically correct English, that 1) the movie was entertaining to the masses and 2) Jackie Chan will be offered increasingly higher quality movie parts in the US. Will he get offered the part of Boba Fett in the upcoming Star Wars prequels? Uh, heh heh, no, not a goddamn chance. How many Asian guys can YOU spot in the Star Wars series? Hell, the Star Wars universe is almost entirely made up of pasty looking caucasians and gay robots, with a few token black characters to keep the NAACP off their asses (Sam Jackson just picked up the torch of Billy Dee). But if anyone deserves a role in one of those movies, it's Jackie. Who but him could coreograph a better lightsaber battle sequence? Well, Sammo, but that's it.
So maybe he ain't gonna be in a Star Wars movie. But hey, he IS gonna be in better Hollywood movies than "Rush Hour". Hey, maybe that "Pulp Fiction" guy might have a script for him. He's a Chan fan, ain't he?
Ok, to sum up...
That's all I got. Wassup my niggah?
DAN-O'S RATING: 7/10
SANTANA'S REVIEW: The film is great, I expected less of the film because it is a Hollywood production and Jackie is a co-star together with Chris Tucker, but he have the same importance that Chris and his name appear the first in the main credits. The film have some great fights and stunts; I have read in a magazine a article of Jackie that he says: "I was about to die in a quite stupid way. In a fight scene, in the port of Hong Kong, I was situated between two giant containers. One of them had to slip toward me and I had to jump in the last second to avoid to be flat. In USA they had used two false containers, but in Hong Kong we use the true containers. The case is that, when the container already rushed on my and I was about to jump, I slided... In a desperate effort I jumped from the floor with all my power and I managed to escape by one hair. I was during various minutes trembling, I saw the death from very close!". The film is very entertaining and have very comedy, It liked me. I only don't like how speaks Jackie, he speaks like a chinese very slowly and bad, but it's a little detail. I advise you watch it, you won't be sorry.
SANTANA'S RATING: 7/10
EZWALK'S REVIEW: Finally Jackie has a huge success in the US. Right now it has made about $110 million. But you really can't give most of the credit to Jackie. Most of the people went to go see it for Chris Tucker and the "other guy." Just any action comedy. I know of a lot of people that had little to no interest in any of his other movies, but wanted to see this one. That both was good and bad. Good because now a lot more people have seen him, bad because he might try another US movie without Chris and find out the hard way why people saw that movie. Okay now on to the movie it self - This was a really funny movie. Not because of Jackie though, mostly because of Chris Tucker. The fights weren't anything brillant, but acceptable. The real problem was that Jackie never faced any real opponents. Guys would run up to him and he could easily destroy them. Unlike the end fights in any of his Hong Kong fights. In closing, go see this movie. There isn't tons of fighting, but it sure is funny.
EZWALK'S RATING: Rating as a movie: 7.5/10; Rating as a Jackie Chan movie: 6.5/10
JAMES' REVIEW: Well, what can be said about "Rush Hour"? I can safely say that it is Jackie's finest American film to date. I can also say that Chris Tucker's voice get's annoying after a half hour or so. What was odd to me was that it took three writers to rip off "Beverly Hills Cop." The whole C4 bit at the begining was almost exactly like the opening scene of "Beverly Hills Cop" (with the cigarettes). Tucker did do a pretty good Eddie Murphy imitation though. He had a couple good one-liners ("Alright, which one of y'all kicked me?") and some bad ones ("Wipe yourself off, you're dead.").
Jackie, of course, did an excellent job. It seemed at times that the fights were only getting started, but I don't think the general American public is ready for Jackie straight no chaser. I did enjoy the film quite a bit. The fight at the pool hall was cool and the finale was hilarious.
Now when you combine Jackie and Tucker you get some really funny moments, most notibly when Jackie was singing to "War: What is it Good For?" (HUH! Good God y'all! Absolutely nothin'! Say it again!). What I loved was Jackie's reaction to what Tucker was doing (his facial expressions in the car were priceless).
Now of course there is Brett Ratner. The fights were done adequetely, the shootouts looked "made for TV" and the helicopter footage looked like stock footage. Maybe he should stick to doing music videos. While we're on the topic "Things That Hurt the Film," I feel obligated to mention the score. It was terrible. It was just cliched kung fu music from the 70's with a 90's beat.
This film just might be Jackie's big breakthrough in North America. It is a decent mix of action and comedy, but it doesn't have enough of Jackie's trademark fights and wild stunts. The film does contain some really funny outtakes, like Jackie and Chris flubbing their lines.
JAMES' REVIEW: 5.5/10
HENDRI LIATO'S REVIEW: I have been sorely disappointed by Jackie's latest films. FIRST STRIKE, RUMBLE IN THE BRONX, the slap-dash and quiet awful MR. NICE GUY and most recently WHO AM I? which has a Hollywood polish that is so ...uuh, incongruous...out-of-place, if you will. WHO AM I? is the most coherently written of all but it tries too hard to capture that Western audience. A run-of-the-mill thriller from Hollywood will still beat WHO AM I? When can Jackie Chan's people and Jackie himself understand that having a personality (that JC feeling) in his movies is more important than technical polish, coherent plotting, plausibility etc. etc. Don't put him in a Hollywood genre conventions, it straps him down cold and lethargic. Just let the man dance furGodsake!
I went to see this like I usually do when I do a routine moviewatching weekend. I have never seen Jackie Chan films in theaters before and going in I have a sense of indifference to it. So I was expecting nothing out of RUSH HOUR but I was actually entertained by the whole thing. The film is reel-to-reel full of cliche but then again which Hollywood buddy-buddy cop thriller isn't. It ain't the meat, it's the...how does it go again? Anyway, abt the film...yea, it's full of cliche but the filmmakers throw these predictable elements so fast and hard that you are kinda moved along by it. And the effect does accumulate.
Love the gag where Jackie pretends he doesn't speak the language till he does. I like the way the filmmakers treat Chan's inability to speak fluent English as a major gag. I mean why hide it? We laugh because it's funny and we laugh because it's true. Like Ah-nuld before him, audience is laughing with Jackie, not at him.
This is a mainstream movie so you can't expect wall-to-wall long fights but I was surprised the action is very well done and maintains Chan's intricate choreography (PROTECTOR anybody?). And while Chris Tucker dominates the screen with his loudmouth antic, Chan does get the chance to snap back once in a while. (I can tell you how divided the laughter was among the black and white audience I was with when Chan retorts: "Just to show you how full of shit you are!").
And this film is full of great little moments, though in the end they still remain as "moments". You may find them tired or affectless but I laughed when Chan misuses a certain inner-city slang as he grins mischievously at the bartender. The explosion of violence is so abrupt, it's funny. The audience went nuts as Chan slides underneath the pool table: "Woo-hooo!" And I just realize, there are families all around. This is probably the first time in a long while where a family can enjoy action without seeing sadism, narcissim, and cynicism (If done well, all these questionable elements can be enjoyable too :-) I enjoyed some of RONIN's). When Chan "flows" from a double-decker to a cab --it is so effortless, it's so within the context of the plot (he's trying to escape) that it provides for another momentary delight, a small "wow". And talk abt moments, the child actress, Julia Hsu, is absolutely adorable w/o being obnoxious. When she sings, her ecstatic head-bobing is ours too (Oooh, you cynical Jackie-Chan ass-kicking fans couldn't accept this, could you, could you?).
And the scene where Chan and Tucker sing and dance to "War", and practice pistol-disarming somehow works. It's still predictable in that montage-with-a-song kinda way but for some reason it works. The fight near the end which everybody raves about is great. It's not ass-kicking enough for you die-hard-hardcore fans but it works just nice for me. It still shows Chan and what he does best. But I agree the climax is lame and the nya-nya-nya-nya-nya I-am-better-than-you line delivered by Tucker when he nabs Sang ("Here, wipe yourself clean, you're dead!") shows that this arrogant prick never grows up. And the fall they call a stunt...what stunt?
Also, regarding the so-called racial sterotypes in the movie --again, what do you expect? Hollwyood execs are some of the most insecure jerks in the world. They think that Middle America will not accept an Asian face w/o sweet-and-sour jokes. But compare this to Mel Gibson's mind-bogglingly hideous, infantile, outright racist, homophobic, juvenile, I-am-a-big-man posturing in LETHAL WEAPON 4, I think RUSH HOUR's "jokes" (if you can call it such) is pretty harmless. Every 14 year-old white male wants to be "Big Man On Campus" Melvin Gibson but no one will take Chris Tucker seriously.
Now, Re: Tucker. I don't find this guy as hilarious as Eddie Murphy or the Black Godfather of StandUp Richard Pryor whom Tucker is often grossly compared. I think his (recurring) gig is that nitrogen voice and his stop-me-if-u-can bug-eyed brazen-ness --that's all. Compare him to the genius of Chan's physical comedy? No way.
And then, the outtakes...the last segment where Chan screams to the camera: "Now you know how difficult this for me?" That's it --the crowd went wild and applause, applause, applause. His hard work, derring-do insanity, workaholica, legacy, his attempt to maintain "face" (the real reason why he did RUSH HOUR) are all vindicated. Middle America in all likelihood will not ever accept a 100% pure Jackie Chan flick. But for God's sake, let him enjoy "this" moment, will you?
HENDRI LIATO'S REVIEW: 7/10
STOCKTON22'S REVIEW: The image of Jackie Chan being on screen for all of 20 seconds or so while Burt Reynolds beats up all the bad guys in the brawl at the end of Cannonball Run II is still burned in my memory (It's too bad Jackie didn't actually hit him and knock that toupee right off his head. It seems only fair, Jackie had to be bald for ten years at the China Drama Academy so he could play fighting extra to the future star of Cop and a Half?). So naturally, given the track record, we're all a little skeptical about Hollywood's ability to effectively use a Jackie in a film. That's why the best way to approach this one with qualified optimism. The most important thing to keep in mind is that it's not a "Jackie Chan" film, it's a Hollywood film. Even if it does star Jackie. And, even if it does have a plot which revolves around a bad guy who tries to steal valuable Chinese historical artifacts. Sound familiar to anyone? Based on the similarity of that plot point to Drunken Master II, which in turn was similar to Dragon Lord, if it was really a Jackie movie, there's a couple of different names we could give it.
Being a Jackie movie, the story would go something like this. The footage cut from the American release would reveal that Wong Fei-Hung, who was out on a fishing expedition with his pal Charlie the fishmonger, fell into the water and was lost at sea. Fei-Hung then got caught in a current passage that pulled him down all the way to Anarctica where he was frozen. A century later, he's found, and thawed out. He hasn't aged, but cryogenic action of the ice left him with the same martial arts skills but without the ability to use them for more than a few minutes at a time. Hearing that China's artifacts are still in danger, he joins the ranks of law enforcement, beginning an adventure that eventually leads him to the United States.
That plotline may sound a little ridiculous (unless you're Chu Yeng Ping or Joseph Yana) but that's really the only circumstances under which this would be a true Jackie Chan film. My point being, it's not. If you go in expecting to see an hour and a half of Jackie's trademark action, stunts and fighting, you're going to be disappointed. On the other hand, if you go in expecting to see a Brett Ratner film, you're gonna be overjoyed. Ratner, who directed costar Chris Tucker last year in the poorly received Money Talks, had got to be the only director in Hollywood who can spend 35-45 million dollars on an action film (that's what I read the budget was about) and still make it look low-budget. Crisp production, yes, but except for a few explosions, a very small look, including several missed opportunities (Tucker grabbing a cycle to follow Jackie's bus could have been a chase, instead he just kind of creeps up on him. Hell, I could of done that.) Where the hell'd all the money go? From the looks of Chris Penn, craft service perhaps. Ok, that was a cheap shot. But anyway, RH is basically an action-comedy in which, for the most part, Jackie handles the action and Tucker handles the comedy. And as a comedy, yes, it is more effective. Ratner seems to have given Chris Tucker's mouth more creative freedom than Jackie's kung-fu. Tucker free associates and goes off with the combination of personality, stand-up styled ranting and that knee to the groin voice of his (That's probably where the kung-fu and comedy truly merged. It would explain a lot), and his comic hits far outnumber the misses. This and the fine chemistry between Jackie and Tucker make up for the predicable and hackneyed buddy-movie dynamics of the plot (Elizabeth Pena's bomb defusion attempt scene near the end was no doubt already written in the minds of everyone about halfway through the movie). Jackie's comic highlights include his interpretation of the song "War," his demonstration of a newly learned badge-flashing technique, and his unwise experimentation with an urban ethnic colloquialism.
The fighting is sporadic, and there isn't one that's knock-down drag-out unforgettable (If this really were Drunken Master IV, then the same thing the happened to Fei-Hung happened to Ken Lo's character. Not forgetting his last encounter with Fei-Hung, and suffering the same effects of cryogenics, Lo's character is wary of fighting, which would explain why the producers brought him all the way over from Asia and NOT HAVE HIM FIGHT! ONE KICK?! I COULD OF DONE THAT TOO!) But RH keeps them coming, with many small but impressive moments interspersed throughout. The pool hall fight, the restaurant brawl and Jackie's nifty maneuvering with a steering wheel are particularly noteworthy. His fall to the banner stunt in the finale is also quite impressive.
RH also gets bonus points for both a great outake reel and NOT NAMING CHAN'S CHARACTER JACKIE! And I seem to be alone on this, but I liked Jackie's outfit, it made him like like a phat badass. So with all the points tallied, do we have a great Jackie movie? No. A great action movie? Again, no. Fun entertainment? Hell yeah. Ya know, some of my friends used to smile and nod at me when I went on about Jackie. Now they're asking me what movies of his to watch. I guess love it or hate it, it's certainly done its job.
STOCKTON22'S RATING: 7/10 (6 for action, 8 for comedy)
BS'S REVIEW: Goodness...Jackie Chan's first American film in a long time, huh? I'm quite disappointed...not in the movie, but in the response to it. It seems as if all the "purist" Hong Kong film buffs rip on it a little too much. I guess I can see both points of view, but I realise what this movie is about...
It's nowhere near a in-your-face 80's movie, but something else. The western appeal and flavor is more of the purpose. It's still Jackie, but in a different taste and genre. And the funny thing is, it actually works. It's just a new style, but it's still Jackie, and he has kept his integrity and hasn't sold out on anyone.
I must admit, it was a fun movie, regardless of the lack of action. It was so much more better than the trailer, which is a good thing, in which not too much gets spoiled. It had a fair share of HK-style action, much more than Lethal Weapon 4 (which happened to still have some jaw-dropping scenes). It's East-meets-West theme was executed well, with enough action and enough loud- mouth comedy (courtesy of Chris Rock, er, Tucker). It's either hate or lovefor the guy, and that's the way it should be. Hopefully it's the latter.
The strange thing is...PEOPLE ACTUALLY LIKE THIS MOVIE!!! All my non-HK friends loved it, and I'm glad there is new respect for Jackie Chan in the states. They'll go back and see some of his older movies (remember Rumble in the Bronx? Sure, it wasn't the best, but it opened many doors for most of us!). Like Rumble, Rush Hour has it's place in the Jackie Chan filmography. It was a door, to open for many others. I respect that.
One last thing about it, is that I see the best of both worlds in this movie. The action is much more inspired than typical American films (you gotta admit). Yet, it had the cleanliness of American production and realism. There are so many Hong Kong films in which plot and logic go out the door, like Mr. Nice Guy (definitly not a favorite among my peers). The American humor was much more bearable, along with Jackie's chemistry. Doesn't it seem like he gets along with any partner (Michelle Yeoh, Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung...to name the most off the top of my head)? he certainly worked well with Chris Tucker, in different angles.
Rush Hour has it's place in Chan's repetoire, along with a little respectability, even for the "hardcore" HK movie fans.
BS'S RATING: 8/10
MASTER OF THE STICK'S REVIEW: Not bad at all! I went to Rush Hour not knowing what to expect, and I was happy with what I saw. I couldn't remember Chris Tucker being funny in any of his other movies, but he was hilarious. In fact, he ended up stealing the show, which was my only major gripe with the movie. The pool room fight was great, but I would have liked to see more classic Chan action than just that scene. Overall, though, I view Rush Hour as a big success, because it's a great introduction to Jackie Chan for people who've never seen his movies before. It's definitely the best of Chan's American films, and it was one of the best movie theater experiences I've ever had (The crowd went CRAZY). Personally, I prefer the kung fu kid in historical China movies to Jackie's roles as a policeman, but this movie was good.
MASTER OF THE STICK'S RATING: 7.5/10
CHRIS E'S REVIEW: I was thoroughly disappointed with this movie. It was just an OK cop-buddy movie and it was a terrible Jackie Chan movie. The fight scenes were not only too short but they were done in the more "realistic" Hollywood style, which means BORING. Jackie had to pause and slow down to wait for everyone else in the movie to catch up to him. The other action scenes (shoot-outs, chases, explosions) sucked as well. The final shoot-out was a total bore. Chris Tucker was amusing but not hilarious like everyone is saying. I just don't understand why everyone is going gaga for this piece of garbage. Once again, American audiences' taste in movies (in action movies at least) continues to baffle me. The success of this probably means a sequel is on the way. This doesn't sit well with me if Ratner is going to direct. He has no style to speak of. At this point in his career, Chan should only do a Hollywood movie if he can get Spielberg or Lucas. (Can you imagine Police Story 5 or Project A 3 directed by one of those guys? I know, keep dreaming). Jackie was way ahead of Hollywood in the eighties and is still way ahead of them now. Clyde Gentry had the best suggestion: Keep making the movies in Hong Kong with American resources and writers.
CHRIS E'S RATING: 4.5/10
EXOTHRASH'S REVIEW: To start things off, I'd just like to say that this movie was a lot better than I expected it to be. When I walked into the theatre, I was expecting Jackie trying to be Chris Tucker, and expected almost no fight scenes. It did have some good fight scenes, but there weren't enough of them. Jackie and Chris Tucker worked together well, but I wonder if they got along in real life. The plot line was actually pretty well done, it established the characters, and dipped into their backgrounds a little. I was rather dissapointed when Chris Tucker killed Sang with one shot, as opposed to getting into a big fight. I was also hoping for a big fight scene between Jackie and Ken Lo, but instead, Ken Lo just kicked Chris Tucker in the face. Bottom line - It's worth seeing, but it's definitely not one of his best. On normal movie standards, it was very good, but it didn't stand very well among other Jackie Chan flicks.
EXOTHRASH'S RATING: 6/10
AMANDA'S REVIEW: I saw this movie twice, the second time to get a better perspective on it. I have to say, I enjoyed it both times. This was a fun movie! However, the fight scenes were to short and I did expect more than a cameo once I say Ken Lo, but I've been spoiled by action filled Hong Kong movies. The plot is simple and predictable, but the dialogue was not your run of the mill stuff. I really got a kick out of the bit where Jackie tells tucker "you assumed I didn't speak english". Many people called foul over the trailer, not knowing it was setting up for this. I think they did a poor job on presenting Jackie. I hated the haircut and all the gel or whatever it was holding his hair up. The clothes were off too. He did not look comfortable at all. I sure hope his next movie will showcase his talents better. If this is what impressed the general public, they have no idea what they're missing.
AMANDA'S RATING: 7/10
NUMSKULL'S REVIEW: It's pretty obvious that this isn't a movie that's going to rely on an involving story or top-noth action or stylish directing to rake in the cash. Instead, it relies on its two stars to carry the whole thing. You've got people who like frenzied action and daredevil stunts going to see it for Jackie Chan, and you've got people who like Eddie Murphy with a ridiculous speech pattern going to see it for Chris Tucker. Nobody gives a rat's ass about the movie's actual content, so the whole production and its moneymaking potential rides on the two performers.
For the sake of my argument, we will use the analogy of a limp penis resting upon a pair of testicles.
Our two heroes hang side-by-side for the majority of the film, visibly uncomfortable with the knowledge that it's worthless without their support. Crippled by this burden, they don't get to shine as they might with a larger, livelier outlet for their skills...Chan because of the scant and lackluster action scenes, Tucker because any semblance of acting ability he might have goes straight down the shitter in favor of commercial-friendly lines like "Donchew evah touch a black main's radio, boah!"
Once in a while, however, the two stars are able to muster the energy to give their film the excitement it needs to really heat up. On those occasions, the movie is able to stand on its own and starts pumping until it reaches an explosive climax; afterwards, though, it loses its vigor and reverts to its usual inactive state.
Supposedly, Chan and Tucker didn't elish the experience of working together, but the outtakes mostly dialogue flubs instead of failed stunts) didn't make it look that way. "Do bullocks goad one another on whom the same yoke rests?" -Lord Dunsany, The Gods of Pegana
Seriously, the action was OK but there wasn't enough of it. Plus, this movie is concrete proof that Jackie's Hong Kong movies aren't the only ones with feeble plots. I think the people who were amazed by this film must have been hooked up to a trunkful of SEE-FO', cuz I sure as shit didn't get blown out of MY seat.
One last thing...what the hell does this movie have to do with rush hour anyway? In the beginning, the baddies says "No problem...hust rush hour" before shooting two guys. That's it! Lame movie, lamer title. Fuck it, I say.
NUMSKULL'S RATING: 5/10
DORGON'S REVIEW: Jackie often says he will do anything to entertain his audience. This is among the reassons he tries to do the craziest stunts possible, and why he does them himself. In the case of Rush Hour, which is not so much a Jackie Chan movie as a cop buddy movie with a twist, he finally gets to be himself, fighting one minute and getting a laugh the next. I was as entertained by this movie as I have been by any other movie in a long time. I would have to say that the crowd at the theater (which was a Monday night full house, a rarity in these parts) felt the same way. The crowd was laughing and clapping throughout and when the big red RUSH HOUR came on the screen, signifying the end of the scripted portion of the movie, the theater erupted in applause.
I did not see these reactions in the theater for any other of his American released movies (except I really digged Cannonball Run back in junior high although I had no idea who Jackie Chan was). I think this reaction would please Jackie to no end. He had helped entertain this audience in an entirely new way.
A lot has been said here already about the lack of the big showdown fight which is sorely missed (but did you really think Hollywood would allow a 10 minute Jackie vs. Ken Lo showdown?), the assumed lack of stunts (I thought that big fall onto the ribbon was pretty astounding even though it was "only" from 70 feet - the first 80 feet he was actually attached to a bungie cord - the fall was shot during two falls - he explained it all on Rosie), the dominance of Chris Tucker...anything else I am missing?
Well this went way beyond my expectations - on my way home I already started writing the sequel - this time in Hong Kong with NO GUNS, "fighting like a man." It is inevitable after the money this movie made and will continue to make. It's not like Jackie is opposed to sequels.
Homage alert? When Chris Tucker ran after the bus, grabbed on, and then the bus turned the corner, I had a Police Story flashback. I thought the way he clumsily grabbed onto the bus was intended as a little but of an inside joke to Chan fans. That would have been clever scripting to see Tucker try to do a few things for which Jackie is famous and fail at them. Unfortunately, the whole thing blew up in my face when Tucker showed up at the of the bus.
All in all an entertaining movie, and for that (and this will be my first published review so now is the time to decide how everything else will fit in) I give it . . .
DORGON'S RATING: 8/10
MARCIA FRANKLIN'S REVIEW: Perhaps I was less disappointed with this film than many because I went in expecting a Hollywood-film-starring-Jackie-Chan instead of a Jackie-Chan-film. I knew ahead of time that he hadn't been allowed to do his own stunts, which told me right off that the action wasn't going to be as cool as his other films. Nor was he going to be in charge of the stunts; another key clue. Happily enough though, there was an actual plot. And even some character development (not much, mind you, but I'll take what I can get in Hollywood). My take on this film is, the lower your expectations when you go to see it, the more pleasantly you will be surprised. Obviously anyone reading this page is ready for "real" Jackie flicks to hit the American market, but I don't know that the uninitiated masses are there yet. It's coming, though, and I believe Rush Hour is a step in the right direction; Jackie's on his way here.
MARCIA FRANKLIN'S RATING: 8/10 (as "a Jackie flick" 5/10)
KISHIGAI'S REVIEW: Although it could have been better, Rush Hour was a very good movie. It was hilarious, but it had some racial jokes that not everyone will like. It had some great fight scenes, but nothing that really stands out. But the pair of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker worked nicely, and it would rule if they did a sequel. Of course it would have to take place in Hong Kong though. Overall it was very entertaining and worth the money. And it was also easily his best American made film yet.
KISHIGAI'S REVIEW: 8.5/10
TYLER'S REVIEW: Well I must say I was suprised by this movie, I knew it wouldn't be a fast paced Hong Kong movie with a big long and progressive fight scene during the end. Nor did I believe there would be any big stunts which I was correct in assuming. I was certainly happy though with the dialogue comedy and some physical comedy with Jackie. The fight scenes were not drawn out or choreographed to perfection, instead they were pretty mundane and pedestrian. The scene in the Chinese art gallery thing was great, when Jackie uses some of his well known fast fist while holding up a pot then after successfully protecting it from baddies, it gets shot. You could tell the camera angles were pretty American, when Jackie would do a stunt it would be as if you couldn't see him. Yet I found this film very racially disturbing, the offensive remarks towards Asians got rather monotonous (of course there is a line in which Jackie starts a fight with). I was really disappointed that Jackie didn't get a fight scene with the main bad guy, instead Chris Tucker "busts a cap in him." I thought the theater would be deserted during the movie, instead it was packed. I could tell though they were all Chris Tucker fans, the crowd was at least two thirds black (this isn't a negative racial comment ). I was really impressed with the crowds response to Jackie's fight scenes (which I said before where really not that hot) they were like :wow! Da*****nnnnnn, That's Crazy, Oooo Snap, and many others. Jackie definitely captured many American audiences with this one. I've also heard that it's made the most money in the month of September, more even then the First Wives Club did. Jackie definitely made an impression on an American audience with this one - well done Jackie Chan. Oh and the little Chinese girl, she was so cute.
TYLER'S RATING: 7/10
ALOHO'S REVIEW: I'm tired. It's something around 3:00 am, I just got back from the movie. I knew this guy who has this friend who knew someone that could work the local projector. So I got in for a private screening. Pretty cool huh. Ya, you should be jealous or something "CAUSE I GOT A PRIVATE SCREENING YEAHHH, FOR FREE!" Not like any big deal or anything cause to some of you people out there it might be some sort of normal event to go into an abandon theatre and see a movie for free. Why do I repeat myself you ask? Why do I repeat myself you ask? Cause it feels good, and I'm tired. It's something like 3:05 am, I just started writing this review. On to the reason you're reading this. It was cool.
ALOHO'S RATING: I'm not gonna give it a rating cause then it will have to be comparable to the other movies I've reviewed on the site, and I like this better than Police Story and I gave that an 8 or 9/10 (too lazy to check, do it yourself, i'm tired.) I don't want to give it a 10/10 because the plot is unoriginal and I ave to zzzzzzzzzzzz. I'm tired. It's something like 3:30, I accidentally dozed away. Gimme some time to read the review for me to find out where I was............................................. O.K. Too many movies I gave a 10/10 and that would be I have a bad system of rating even though I really like his movies. I wouldn't want to write all the reviews over and stuff. If you really want my review, here is what you do. Read the other reviews, minus bad stuff said about Chris Tucker (I think he's funny), skip any outrageously good stuff said about the plot or the villian, and take what the person says about fighting and times by pi.
VIC NGUYEN'S REVIEW: ATTENTION, BEFORE THE ACTUAL REVIEW OF THE FILM, HERE IS A SILLY, POINTLESS RANT ABOUT THE THINGS THAT HAVE CRAWLED THROUGH MY MIND BEFORE THE START OF THE PICTURE. (also, there is no comedy in this review. I am trying to stray from the cheap laughs area for a while.)
Review: Rush Hour is without a doubt, the best American production that Jackie Chan ever appeared in (not saying much). I can also admit that Rush Hour rivals some of Chan's Hong Kong work (but it doesn't compare to Miracles, Police Story, and the fan fav Drunken Master 2), now that is saying alot. As said in my above rant, I wasn't expecting much going into the film, but was I ever wrong. The film exceeded my expectations, and went further.
First off, the one thing that kept this film together from beginning to end is the chemistry between Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. They are the definitive Yin and Yang. Chan is the loyal and honorable police officer who does not talk unless asked to, and Tucker is the complete opposite, a loud mouth, arrogant cop who "does not play by the rules". Their interaction on screen is a true joy to watch. This is evident, especially in the scenes where Chan's character is trying to adapt to American customs, and Tucker's character just mocks him in response. Some of these scenes are classic.
The screenplay, by action vet Jim Kouf, and newcomer Ross Lamanna, is surprisingly smart. Filled with some good dialogue, good interaction between characters, and great character development (with the exception of Pena's character), you know that this isn't the typical, "Make my day" one liner laden action film. The characters are written as humans (with the exception of some racial remarks, a topic that is almost guarenteed to be brought up in the alt.asian-movies newsgroup), and not simply as cartoonish caricatures (well, with the exception of Tucker's character). The script also carries off the emotional scenes surprisingly well, an element that was the last thing that I would have thought to see in the film. Basically, the script tightly wounded up drama, hilarious comedy, and good action, all in one neat package. (You might notice that I say "with the exception alot, well, I am trying so hard to think positive right now)
Sure the screenplay was good, but the single element that makes the screenplay work are the performances. Jackie Chan plays the Jackie Chan role in this film, a character confused and lost outside of his native home, one that will resort to fighting only in self defense, and one that is charming in the process. Chan did a good job here. Again, the real surprise is Tucker, who plays his character with a certain charm, a type that works so well that, overall, he does not come off as annoying (then again, that is my opinion, others still might think Tucker is annoying after the film) as one would expect. I admit, I am actually starting to like Chris Tucker. And finally, since this is a Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker outing, Pena's character is lost in the bunch, and is immediately forgettable. I am not discounting Pena though, she is a fine actress (Lone Star), but even she cannot make anything out of her underwritten character.
The action, mostly handled by Chan himself, is great, that is, when there is any at all. The film only contains a handful of action throughout the entire picture, so the phrase, good while it lasted comes to mind. Still, don't let that discourage you into not seeing this film, when the action does turn up, believe me, you won't be disappointed. Some standouts include one with Jackie and a pool hall full of some pissed off men. Another standout is one where Jackie and Tucker fight off a room full of baddies (including Ken Lo Wai-kwong, in a small role). But those are just the layers of the cake, the true icing is the finale, which contains some great stunts (some are obviously the work of blue screen though), a notable gunfight, and fantastic hand to hand bouts. The finale, along with some hilarious outtakes at the end credits, is worth the price of admission altogether (again, my opinion, of course).
Overall, viewing Rush Hour was one of the best times I ever had in a cinema. The crowd was full, energetic, and was totally engaged in the film. Although not cinematic art, Rush Hour is a perfect example of why people go to the movies in the first place, to have fun.
VIC NGUYEN'S RATING: 8.5/10
WILSON WONG'S REVIEW: In this one, Jackie plays a friend of a Chinese consulate Han. The daughter of the consulate gets kidnapped by Chungtao a Hong Kong bad guy. Chris Tucker plays an LAPD cop who is duped by the FBI into leading Chan away from the case. The FBI don't want to turn the case into an international incident so they get Tucker to try to steer Chan away from the case. Eventually, because of Chan persistence, they both manage to get on the case. The storyline is not that bad for a Chan movie. Though, I must say I'm disappointed in the fight scenes. They weren't bad it's just that I was expecting more awesome fight scenes. For instance, in the beginning David Leung (I think that's his name he's the boxer from Who Am I) gets beat up in about 30 seconds. It was such a waste. He could have put up a better than that. Then later when Chris Tucker infiltrates the lair, he gets kicked by Ken Lo. Jackie charges in to save Tucker. I thought that was going to set up a fight between Jackie and Ken. They fought, but it was not even close to their fight in Drunken Master 2. At the end I thought there was going to be a finale between Jackie and Ken Lo, but once again I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong the movie was funny, but the fight sequences had a lot more potential. If you like slapstick kung fu, it's worth the price of the ticket.
WILSON WONG'S RATING: 7/10
DJNIXON'S REVIEW: Let me just say this first, I know alot of people will not think the same as me but I didn't think this movie was very good. I thought the parts with Jackie were good but Chris Turker got very annoying and tiring after a while. The fighting was good but there wasn't much of it. The fighting was well done but it didn't have much hand to hand combat, if you know what I mean. The big bad guy didn't have a big fight with Jackie like I was hoping, instead Chris Tuker took him out with one shot which I didn't like. I only liked this movie because JC was in it, but it was Chris who took the show.
DJNIXON'S REVIEW: 8/10