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Rush Hour
  |     review    |     awards     |     availability     |    


Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan hang in Rush Hour.
Year: 1998  
Director: Brett Ratner  
  Producer: Arthur Sarkissian, Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman
  Cast: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Tom Wilkinson, Chris Penn, Elizabeth Pena, Philip Baker Hall, Tzi Ma, Julia Hsu, Ken Leung, Ken Lo Wai-Kwong, Christine Ng Wing-Mei (cameo)
  The Skinny: Due to the unlikely pairing of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, the original Rush Hour became the surprise box office sensation of 1998. With its winning formula of outrageous comedy, crackerjack martial arts, and (can you believe it?) an absorbing plotline, Rush Hour remains Jackie Chan's best American film to date. Sorry Cannonball Run fans.
Review by Calvin McMillin:      Though Rumble in the Bronx is credited for Jackie Chan's reemergence in the West, Rush Hour is the true breakthrough crossover vehicle that finally won over American audiences. And, unlike Rumble in the Bronx, this Brett Ratner-directed movie is a polished, well-executed addition to the Jackie Chan film library.
     In the movie, Jackie Chan returns to the familiar role of Hong Kong police officer. As Inspector John Lee, Chan flies to Los Angeles to help an old friend, Consul Han (Tzi Ma), recover his kidnapped daughter Soo Yung (Julia Hsu). Well, the good 'ol boys from the FBI don't take to kindly to foreign interference, but since they don't want to bother with Lee themselves, they call in motormouth LAPD cop James Carter (Chris Tucker) to keep tabs on Inspector Lee. Of course, the two detectives become embroiled in a heated clash of cultures with poor Chan serving once again as the proverbial fish out of water. But with Soo Yung's life in danger, the mismatched heroes must join forces to catch the criminals responsible, trading wisecracks and busting heads all the way to the film's stellar finale.
     After enduring below average fare like Mr. Nice Guy, it's good to see a movie in which Chan is backed up by a solid script and competent actors. As a direct result, Rush Hour is hands down one of the funniest films in the entire Jackie Chan canon. Tucker and Chan have an undeniable chemistry that allows the film to transcend the constraints of the simple "buddy cop movie" formula. And perhaps best of all, the film has an underlying message about cross-cultural understanding just beneath its comic exterior. Jackie Chan himself admitted that he does not grasp much of the humor (or appeal, for that matter) of the Rush Hour series, but since Chan's a fan of physical comedy (Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin are his heroes after all), his opinion is understandable. In truth, Rush Hour relies far more on verbal and situational humor than any movie Chan has ever done. And so, along with other buddy cop flicks like 48 Hours and Lethal Weapon, the first Rush Hour is a certified genre classic. (Calvin McMillin, 2002)
Awards:

1999 MTV Movie Awards
Best Onscreen Duo (Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker)
1999 ALMA Awards
Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film (Elizabeth Pena)
1999 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards
Favorite Duo (Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker)

Availability: DVD (USA)
Region 1 NTSC
New Line Home Video
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
English Language
Dolby Digital 5.1
Behind the Scenes, Deleted Scenes, Trailers, and Music Videos
Audio Commentary and Isolated Score
 

image courtesy of New Line Cinema

   
 
 
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