Monday, 23 March 2015

Rush Hour

Lowdown: A martial artist and a loudmouth join hands to save a girl.
To give you an impression how long it’s been since Rush Hour came into our lives, note it sports jokes about Chelsea Clinton. This is a 1998 movie! Yet, when us parents wanted to introduce our son to the martial arts movie genre, it was Rush Hour we went with. Yes, we know it’s rated M, but we also know this is purely the result of hundreds of “shit”s and dozens of “ass”es; we’re not sick with political correctness, we are fine with those as long as they’re uttered in Rush Hour’s humorous and cheerful manner. Yet it has to be said, at the end of Rush Hour our son wanted more of Jackie Chan but could not stand the fast talking, shit uttering machine, that was/is Chris Tucker.
The story of Rush Hour is a simple affair designed to allow its chief actors, Chan and Tucker, to do their thing: the first to demonstrate his martial arts abilities, the second to talk shit. A Hong Kong diplomat moves to work as the head of the Los Angeles consulate after having much success dealing with a criminal gang, mostly thanks to the work of local detective Lee (Chan). In America, that same gang he was so successful with avenges him by kidnapping his daughter. The FBI is immediately called to take care of the crisis, but the diplomat insists on involving Lee in its investigations. The FBI wants Lee as much as it wants to have to go to a judge and get a warrant before listening to all our phone calls, so it asks for a local LAPD cop – James Carter (Tucker) – so that the latter could act as a tour guide for tourist Lee. Little does the FBI know that both Lee and Tucker will not accept their plan; following an introduction that has them not getting along with one another, the two will – eventually – join forces to put the FBI in its place and solve the crisis in the funniest possible way.
There really isn’t much to Rush Hour other than the (action)->(setup break)->(action)->(setup break)->repeat formula pattern. It’s dead simple, but also incredibly effective given the incredibly effective cast. Even Chan's weakness, his English, is explained through the plot.
This is an action comedy that transcends time and still delivers today, from start to blooper featured credits, no matter how many times I have watched it before. I could say Rush Hour feels like a good wine that gets better as it ages, but I won't; you see, I don't like wine. But I do like Rush Hour quite a lot.
Overall: Rush Hour puts the F in fun. 4.5 out of 5 crabs that fully appreciate what Rush Hour did to the action comedy genre.
Sound advice: If you seek more Rush Hour fun, avoid the horrible sequel and go directly to Rush Hour 3.

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