Rush Hour (New Line Cinema) follows a predictable storyline, but manages to entertain audiences because of the efforts of two actors. The movie is the latest version of the commonplace Hollywood script in which two radically different cops unite to fight the bad guys.
James Carter (Chris Tucker, Money Talks) is a Los Angeles police officer assigned by the FBI to investigate the kidnapping of Consul Hun’s daughter. When Consul Hun (Tzi Ma, Red Corner) wants one of his men to work on the case, Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan, Mr. Nice Guy) of the Royal Hong Kong Police teams up with Carter.
As the young girl’s body guard, Lee is motivated by his emotional attachment to find her kidnapper. Carter, on the other hand, selfishly uses the case as an opportunity to impress the FBI. Despite their many differences, the two officers must unite in their pursuit of the villains. The continual clash of their different culture spurs the funny moments in the movie.
The rest of the plot is clich?d and predictable. With this role, Tucker doesn’t bring anything new to the screen. In every film, he seems to play the same character – a talkative, loud, humorous character with a high-pitched voice. Tucker generates most of the film’s comical moments, but Chan steals the show with his amazingly acrobatic fight scenes. Even more impressive is that Chan performs all of his own stunts.
After appearing in big flops such as Rumble in the Bronx and Mr. Nice Guy, Chan makes his best showing in Rush Hour. However, considering Chan’s career, this does not say much for Rush Hour.
The producers’ decision to team up Tucker and Chan succeeds. They have a visible chemistry, but the pairing is not as good as the Mel Gibson-Danny Glover team of the Lethal Weapon films.
The script fails to use the great potential of the two actors and falls flat. There’s nothing new: It’s a classic, Hollywood kidnapping story with the uninteresting villains. Despite Tucker’s comic relief and Chan’s well-crafted fight scenes, the movie falters.