RUSH HOUR (1998)

Rush-Hour

Elizabeth

Rush Hour is a movie that Chris loved when he was younger and when he found out I hadn’t seen it that pretty much decided what our next movie would be. What I expected was a not funny, outdated buddy comedy. But what I got was a lot more than that.

Obviously a lot is going on right now with police violence. Is it too much, is it unfair, are they held accountable, etc etc. Some of the police brutality stories coming out lately are enough to make you sick and never want a cop to ever look at you again. In general, cops in major cities seem to be under more scrutiny right now, for better or for worse. But what if you could go back slightly in time, maybe 15 or so years ago, when the reckless actions of police officers weren’t on everyone’s radar? What if you watched Rush Hour?

Chris Tucker plays Detective James Carter, an LAPD officer. The first time we see him he’s undercover and his operation causes two other police officers to get shot, a suspect to get his pinky shot off, and a car full of C4, which was evidence, to blow up, destroying the evidence and a city block. Carter is brazen, incorrectly thinking he’s the greatest thing to ever happen to law enforcement and not even thinking twice when his boss, who hates him, puts him on an FBI case. The case turns out to be watching over Detective Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan), who is in town from China trying to help solve the kidnapping of his friend and Chinese consulate’s daughter. Carter is put on the case because he’s essentially a liability to the department and everyone wants him out of their hair. And for good reason. You rarely see Carter without a loaded gun in his hand, usually being waved around and pointed at someone’s head or neck. Carter doesn’t want to protect people; he wants the power that comes with being a police officer and with being given a service weapon. His gun is not something to be used only in the most dire of circumstances but is rather the first thing Carter goes for, even if the only situation is that Lee has run away from Carter and hopped on a tour bus – still a cause for pointing his loaded gun, apparently.  When Carter visits the suspect whose pinky he blew off in the earlier case to find out information on the kidnapping, he threatens the suspect with blackmailing him into being caught for the kidnapping, which he had nothing to do with. Carter does not give a shit about anything, except looking good with a gun.

This sums it up quite nicely:

101-Rush-Hour-quotes 102-Rush-Hour-quotes103-Rush-Hour-quotes104-Rush-Hour-quotes

On a lighter note, Rush Hour has genuinely funny moments; my favorite scene is actually the kidnapping scene because it begins with us seeing two guards take the Chinese consulate’s daughter to school, trying not to be too annoyed at her loudly singing along to Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy.” And watching Jackie Chan made me remember how much I do love kung fu movies. I’m sure a lot of people have seen Rush Hour already, but watching in 2015 is a new, weird experience that more people should look into.

Christopher

I watched this movie at least 10 times when I was in middle school. I remember thinking that it was so funny and the fact that it had the occasional fight scene, it hooked me immediately. Being an adult now I went into this movie thinking it was going to be pretty terrible and difficult to watch. But I still wanted to know what I thought of it 15 or so years later. I was kind of surprised how it really isn’t the worst.

There are many, many jokes in this film. A good amount of them are just Chris Tucker yelling, but I was surprised how many lines really got me to laugh out loud. There are still many aspects of the movie that do not work at all. Like the scene where they are on a stakeout and instead of staying in their car, camping out, they are on the sidewalk of LA showing each other how to disarm a person with a gun? Or how when the girl is kidnapped in the beginning there is no one around on this downtown city block to see it happen. It’s still a Brett Ratner movie after all.

Speaking of Brett Ratner, I have one really story I think of when I hear his name. I went to Savannah College of Art and Design in college. Once a year they have a film festival where they show a bunch of movies and do a pretty decent job of getting celebrities to come. (Probably due to the disgusting amount of money the school takes from its student and the terrible owner of the school, Paula Wallace). One of the years I was there I heard that Brett Ratner was there and that he was being a dick and whatnot. I think that’s the character trait I’ve read most people describe him as. And the urban legend that was passed around the school was that he took about twenty SCAD girls to some strip club in South Carolina and had gotten into a giant fight with people at the festival the day before. So unfortunately I’ve never really viewed him in a great light. Especially since he has such a terrible resume when it comes to movies.

This movie is really not great but I’m glad we watched it again. Chris Tucker was actually kind of funny, it was just hard to get past his voice. And I love people with crazy voices!

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One thought on “RUSH HOUR (1998)

  1. Very interesting take on the incompetence of Carter as a cop and as it goes you do hit the nail on the head. I guess, as you say, cops weren’t being viewed as negatively by the press back then in America. They weren’t here in the UK as it goes either.
    Good review and this film holds nostalgic value for me as well. As for Brett Ratner; I’ve heard some negative stories about him as well but I think spending that much time around Mariah Carey would drive anyone crazy.
    Just posted a review of one of this less well known films called After the Sunset which may be worth a look if your interested.

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