After watching what felt like the fixed main event of UFC 210 last Saturday I was too amped to attempt sleep. To further destroy my sleep schedule I used a dirty kitchen knife to break the plastic wrap off from the recently acquired Rush Hour trilogy Blu-ray. Instead of streaming the buddy cop action comedy like a normal forward thinking millennial who claims to be in tuned with modern technology, I inserted the decade old physical medium into my PS4.
I had VHS tapes of Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2 which I watched regularly on my TV/VHS combo in my childhood room growing up. The movies have satisfying action and fight scenes, and are filled with dumb humor that rides the line of being stereotypical and racist by today’s standards. Both movies occupied 4 hour time slots on cruddy cable movie networks in the early ought’s which I always stopped on when I came across them.
More formulaic than the horror genre is the buddy cop genre. All have the same three traits; 1). an unlikely pair with different personalities are forced to work together and grow to like each other as the movie progresses, 2). Lots of action and large set pieces used while solving a crime, and 3). Ending on a massive cliff hanger leaving the opportunity for many sequels. Rush Hour checks all three boxes.
The daughter of Chinese Consul Solon Han was kidnapped (during rush hour traffic in LA) and held for a massive ransom in the city of Los Angeles. The FBI is deemed responsible for resolving the issue but Consul Han insisted that Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) from China be brought in to help with the case. Since Lee had a close relationship with Han and his daughter, the FBI did not want him involved in the investigation due to his conflict of interest and the inherent instinct by the FBI to resist assistance from other organizations. To keep Lee out of their way, the FBI hired loud mouth reckless LAPD Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) to babysit him.
A honorable prideful martial artist from China who hasn’t mastered the English language and a brash arrogant black man make an odd couple. Lee traveled across the world to help rescue a young girl he knows well and Tucker fueled by hatred by his police chief and the FBI for tricking him into accepting a crappy assignment, wanted to prove everyone wrong and solve the case. The unremarkable buddy cop plot of Rush Hour works because of the relationship between Tucker and Chan. Both bring out the best in each other on screen and watching their mandatory partnership that neither wanted a part of transform into a crime fighting friendship is the only reason to watch this movie. The explosions, cop talk, gun fights, and crime solving can be found anywhere. The entertaining and genuine relationship between Tucker and Chan are what made Rush Hour a successful movie and a franchise that turned into a trilogy (rumors of a Rush Hour 4 have been floating around for years).
Jackie Chan famously does his own stunts which were aplenty in Rush Hour. He is seen hanging from a Hollywood sign in LA, climbing up trees, sliding down a massive flag, and kung foo’ing countless dudes. The hand to hand fighting and choreography holds up in this movie and overshadows the dated pyrotechnics and lazy shoot outs.
The supporting cast for Rush Hour is surprisingly loaded featuring Chris Penn (Reservoir Dogs, True Romance), Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton), Ken Leung (Saw, Lost), and Mark Rolston (Shawshank Redemption, The Departed, Saw VI).
While navigating around the Wikipedia page for Rush Hour I uncovered horrifying information that sent my already incredibly low state of mind to a unknown place of terror and dismay. A recent trend in network and cable TV is to create television series out of outdated and forgotten movie franchises. Such movies turned to dreadful TV shows include Lethal Weapon, The Transporter, 12 Monkeys, From Dusk Till Dawn, Shooter, Training Day, Fargo (I heard this one is actually good), and Snatch. There are probably many more as it feels like I am constantly having days ruined when I learn of another announcement of a movie being forced into a shitty TV show that will get cancelled after one short season. Today is one of those ruined days. Rush Hour the TV show was created by CBS and aired one season last year in 2016. I had the courage to click the wiki link of Rush Hour (U.S. TV Series) but only stayed on the page for a few seconds scared of what I might see, an experience I haven’t gone through since stumbling on an ISIS execution video last year.
Rush Hour is a fun movie and I can say with absolute certainty despite knowing nothing about it other than its existence that the Rush Hour TV show fucking sucks.