Anthony's Film Review
Rush Hour (1998)
Two cultures, two personalities, two styles of action, all in a film that works...
Buddy movies are interesting because they attempt to pair all sorts of people together. They often work. However, I think the ones that really work are the ones where the two people cannot stand each other when they first meet. With this conflict comes extra laughs and chemistry, which in turn leads the two to become the buddies they're supposed to be.
Rush Hour puts two guys from two different worlds into the same screen: Jackie Chan as a Hong Kong inspector named Lee with martial arts skills and Chris Tucker as a black LAPD cop named Carter with an unstoppable motor mouth. They end up on the same case when a girl is kidnapped in the streets of Los Angeles. The girl turns out to be the daughter of a Chinese official. When Carter picks up Lee from a private plane, they already start arguing. For instance, Lee likes the Beach Boys while Carter likes his hip-hop.
The action involves both hands and feet as Jackie Chan fans are familiar with and shootouts that Western films have come to embrace. There are cool scenes in a docked ship, an abandoned building, a Chinese restaurant, and a few other places. Jackie Chan has plenty of opportunity to show off his moves and do some crazy stunts. Chris Tucker has plenty of opportunity to be funny and irritating by complaining about everything. And over time, the two get along and become partners, with Tucker learning more about gun tricks and Chinese food.
I don't know for sure if Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker had problems with each other behind the scenes. Even if they did, I'm sure they worked it out. When you watch these two on screen, you can tell that they're having a good time shooting the movie. In fact, let's not forget another really entertaining part of a Jackie Chan movie: the bloopers before the end credits. Rush Hour is no exception.
The movie is simply a fun ride filled with great action and humor. The only reason they're great is because the chemistry is there. You need to have two characters who get along and work together. Otherwise, there's no point in wanting to see them escape the same situations. That's why Rush Hour works. Simple as that.
For more information about Rush Hour, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3.