Jackie finally works out how to gain acceptance in the US without selling his soul, dumb yourself down and throw a few easy jokes in between the fight scenes, and really it works a treat.
Jackie is Inspector Lee from Hong Kong, Chris Tucker is James Carter of the Los Angeles Police Department, although not one of their finer examples.
They are thrown together when the daughter of Lee’s previous employer, Counsel Han, is kidnapped in the United States. Counsel Han demands that the FBI, who are investigating the case allow Lee full access, but the FBI decide that can’t happen and get Carter to babysit Lee and keep him anywhere but near the case.
Of course this can’t happen as then the movie would be boring, so we have 90 minutes of the two of them throwing vaguely racist barbs at each other, funny barbs, but racist. Put another way, if one of the two was white the PC police would be all over this film like a rash.
Rush Hour obviously spawned a couple of sequels, the first sequel almost as good, the third regrettable, and the mix of action and comedy is more than palatable for a wide array of audiences.
Speaking from personal experience Rush Hour 1 & 2 are the only 2 Jackie Chan films that my Mum, Dad and wife all actually enjoy, and not just endure.
Whatever you might think about director Brett Ratner, and aside from these films I have no opinion, he keeps the story focussed and cuts out all unnecessary rubbish, Rush Hour is chock full of jokes and action but everything is carefully structured so that the story keeps moving along at hectic pace.
At the very least you will like something, the action is a tad below Jackie’s best work, the comedy not quite as funny as some of the classics, but combined it is always entertaining.
1/ Are there any “WOW!” fights?
I would go on record here and say that a couple of the fights are vintage Jackie Chan, not quite his best but honourable mentions nonetheless.
2/ Are there any “WOW!” stunts?
Not really, one element of US made Jackie films is that the danger component ever present in his stunts are simply not tolerated.
3/ Which Jackie is it? Serious / Whimsical / Cocky…
Crowd pleasing and determined.
4/ Does he get to use Jackie-exclusive toys?
5/ Do stolen relics come up?
6/ Are there hot chicks (that usually can’t act)?
Strangely no. (Remedied in Part 2).
7/ Is there a blooper reel over the credits?
Yes but it mainly focuses on language issues.
8/ Were there injuries on the shoot? Severity?
9/ Has he still got it?
10/ Is it a “Jackie Chan” film, or just one he is in?
The action scenes are Jackie, the rest is all American, but not bad American.
Final Rating – 8.0 / 10. Is it as good as Police Story? No. Is it groundbreaking stuff? No, aside from having no white leads. Is it funny and entertaining? Always.