Reviewed by: Dave Rettig
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”.