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Movie Review

Rush Hour

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of action/violence and shootings, and for language.

Reviewed by: Dave Rettig
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Crime Comedy Action Adventure
Year of Release:
1998

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Tom Wilkinson, Elizabeth Peña, Tzi Ma | Director: Brett Ratner

China’s martial arts comedian Jackie Chan and America’s funny man Chris Tucker team up in action packed “Rush Hour”. LAPD (Tucker) and the Royal Hong Kong police force (Chan) join forces to stop Juntao, the leader of a Hong Kong crime family, who has kidnapped the daughter of the Chinese ambassador to America. Punches and punchlines dominate this late summer release.

“Rush Hour” is a fast paced, action filled adventure combining some of the best of Jackie Chan’s physical comedy and Chris Tucker’s raw humor. “Some of the best” is the problem. This is not as good as Jackie Chan’s other movies, and Chris Tucker does not seem at home in this film either. However, this is a step up for Tucker, who has delved into such trash as “The Fifth Element,” “Jackie Brown”, and “House Party 3”. Rumor has it that due to America insurance problems Chan’s comedic stunts, which are the trademark of his other films, were severely limited, and it shows. The title “Rush Hour” has absolutely nothing to do with the film or the plot (except of one lamely inserted script line). All this aside an amusing film, but far from great and nowhere near original.

“Rush Hour” contains excessive profanity, graphic violence, racial stereotyping and numerous drug references. The worst of the language is not limited to adults. The eleven-year-old girl, in imitation of Tucker, spews out profanity that will make you blush, even profaning God’s name. Furthermore, “Rush Hour” humorizes drug use. Tucker is LAPD, but he jokes about sharing a bag of marijuana with another policeman. I also wonder when Hollywood will grow past the age of every Asian being a martial artist and every African American being “from the “hood.” Altogether, a film devoid of moral value.

Although a Jackie Chan fan, I cannot recommend “Rush Hour”. Chris Tucker (even toned down) still adds humor based on racial stereotypes and profanity. The film does have many laugh-out-loud scenes, but the moral price is not worth the entertainment value. Definitely rush past “Rush Hour”.

Viewer Comments
I thought “Rush Hour” was a great movie. Before seeing this movie, I was unfamiliar with Chris Tucker and had never seen a Jackie Chan movie. I had seen a preview for this movie and thought it looked really funny. I was not disappointed. I don’t normally watch action films, but I’m glad I made an exception for this one. I laughed throughout the entire film. This movie is fast paced and fun. There is NO sex (implied or otherwise) in this movie. There is a little bit of sexual innuendo, but it is just teasing, not to be taken too seriously. The swearing in the movie was unnecessary. But I thought it was fairly mild. This is a far cry from movies where the characters use profanity every other word. The violence too wasn’t that bad. It is cartoonish violence and not all that graphic. This movie relies more on suspense than graphic violence. The outtakes at the end were really funny too. All in all, this was a very funny and enjoyable movie. I would recommend this movie to older teens and adults. This is not a movie for young teens or children.
—Lisa, age 23
Terrible Movie
I found it very upsetting that all of us “Christians” can stand by and say what a good movie this is. It’s a disgrace. I agree wholeheartedly with the reviewer. Excellent call on this one. I like the phrasing “rush past Rush Hour.” I would never in my life let my children see such a movie. I found the most upsetting part of the movie was when an eleven year old girl uses vulgar language. What is that teaching our society? I would be extremely appalled if my child used language like that, and the movie is sending out the message that it’s OK. Save your money. Don’t see this movie.
—Vanesa
I really enjoyed this movie and thought it to be very funny. The only thing that I can think of that they could’ve done without is all the foul language. I loved the Chris Tucker/Jackie Chan combo! It was a very humorous movie!
—Min, age 17
Overall, I did enjoy the film. However, let’s remember the perspective of this Web site. Yes, it was a very fun movie and I disagree with the reviewer saying that Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan were not at home in this film. Yes, there was a little less action in this for Jackie, but I felt that the stunts he did do were certainly up to par. With mostly comic violence, and the outtakes at the end which show that doing some of these stunts can actually hurt you, which often discourages trying the stunts at home. But in regards to the profanity and taking the Lord’s name in vain, we could certainly would have still enjoyed the film without it. It doesn’t promote as much trash as so many Hollywood films do, but it does have enough in it to reccomend caution when seeing the film.
—Ron, age 22
What a great movie!! As soon as I heard that Chris Tucker was in another movie, I rushed out to see it! I don’t usually watch action films, but for this one, I made an exception. Although there was some intense action, the movie leaned heavily on the comedy side. As an African-American, I didn’t find any of the racial spins offensive; I thought that they were incredibly hilarious!! What is ironic is that Tucker’s remarks were true. How can you be offended with the truth? Not noted in the review were the strong family ties both Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker made. This movie was the bomb!!!
—The Rogers
I though Rush Hour was a hilarious movie. I laughed more in that movie than in any movie I have ever seen. I was glad to see a new movie that did not any sexual innuendos or nudity. There was some unnecessery language, but other that, I thought it was great.
—Joshua, age 15
I am embarassed to say that I like this movie (though they did use God’s name in vain). I think the movie is funny, but it comes at the expense of using stereotypes, which is unfortunate. I cannot recommend this movies to Christians, because of them using the Lord’s name in vain over 5+ times!!! Once again, this shows that Hollywood doesn’t care about us Christians!!!… When are we going to stop feeding those guys are money!!??? Where are Christian producers out there???
—Ron, age 23
Though I think Chris Tucker has the most annoying voice in the world (if you havn’t heard him, think the equivelant of nails on a blackboard), I gave this flick a chance because of Jackie Chan—and it was worth it. Sure, there was some swearing. But the “violence” was so non-graphic and cartoonish that it was fine! One particular scene, where Jackie tries to save some priceless Ming vases while fighting, well—that was just fantastic. And for you naysayers out there, in how many movies does one of the main characters chide his cousin because he didn’t see him in church on Sunday? (His reply: “I caught the night service….” He he he…). An all around entertaining buddy-cop flick!
—Chris Routly, age 22
I totally disagree with the reviewer. I watched all Jackie Chan’s movies and this is the most funniest. It might be true that the insurance company might have limited his stunt acts but it is still a very exciting and funny movie. If the reviewer is criticizing that the movie contains excessive profanity, graphic violence, racial stereotyping…, well, which movie doesn't? But I find it the opposite way. In the movie, Jackie is a loyal good cop trying to rescue a girl. There are many fighting scenes but I don’t recall I’ve seen much (if any) blood anywhere. Perhaps the reviewer is too racial stereotyping.
—C.J.
Don’t Rush By—you’ll be Missing Out
I disagree with the reviewer’s opinion on “Rush Hour.” Don’t “Rush By” this movie—you’ll be missing out. I thought this movie was great compared to all the other movies I have seen lately. Jackie Chan’s moves were astonishing (as usual) and the humor did not seem to be as sick to me as the reviewer made it sound. It was a relatively clean movie, and funny too. I recommended this movie to my parents first thing when I got home. I definitely say it’s worth seeing!
—Brian Pedigo, age 18
an enjoyable film
I really enjoyed the film. The scenes left me talking about them later and laughing. There was filthy language, but there is so much worse in other movies that I found the film lacking in too much offensive stuff. It made me laugh outloud.
—Christa, age 24
good fun, but offensive at times
I usually agree with Dave Rettig when he reviews a movie, but in the case of Rush Hour, I mainly disagree with him. I will begin by saying though, that the instance of the young girl taking the Lord’s name in vain was quite shocking. Perhaps that alone is enough to warrant a bad review, but I don’t think so. Rush Hour is certainly violent, but what should we expect from a Jackie Chan movie? The guy is not an accomplished thespian, he is an amazing martial arts expert and acrobat. It is a “cops and robbers” movie, so there are guns and shootings. Chris Tucker does play on racial stereotypes, but so what? The reason for most racial and idealogical conflicts is that people take themselves too seriously. I would hope that I am secure enough to poke fun at my own foibles. If we are looking deeper at the values protrayed by the movie, I think the maturing Chris Tucker does over the course of the movie is something Mr. Rettig missed. Chan’s character is extremely loyal to his job and his people, while Tucker begins the movie as totally self-absorbed and self-important. By the end, it is clear that Chan has rubbed off on Tucker, who has gained humility and loyalty. Overall, I would say Rush Hour is good fun. It can be offensive at times, but those times are few and far between. Whether you go and see it is up to your good judgment, but I thought that the movie had good points which Mr. Rettig neglected.
—Thomas Quinlen, age 24
enthusiastically recommended
I disagree quite a bit with the reviewer. I recommend Rush Hour enthusiastically, at least for one view. Yes, there is unfortunately a lot of swearing and moderate violence in Rush Hour. Though it is not at all a children’s film, I don’t think Rush Hour deserves a 1 rating for offensiveness. There is little suggestive sexual material which is a rarity. The swearing is not R rated in nature and the violence is less than graphic—not a compliment but certainly much better than a whole lot out there. Enough of that, Rush Hour is a hilarious action movie. The theatre I was in was rolling with laughter. Take it as a nonserious good guys vs bad guys spoof, and it is a must see. Rush Hour goes beyond staple Jackie Chan stunts, adds a witty script, a comic partner in Chris Tucker and outdoes previous similar hit features such as Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop. Yes, Chris Tucker is wild, but the role works very well with the sincere Jackie Chan character balancing him out. Personally, if the shootings and swearing could have been reduced, I think Rush Hour would be one of the best action/comedy films of the 90s.
—Todd Adams, age 31
a good movie
Rush Hour is a good movie. Except the profanity, there is no graphic violence so it is all together a good movie.
—Venezia Family