Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rush Hour (1998)

Where have you been Chris Tucker?

An action comedy film that blends the two genres into an exciting story surprisingly enough I’d say.  The daughter of the Chinese ambassador in L.A. gets kidnapped and detective Lee (Jackie Chan) is assigned to find her.  Flashy detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) gets thrown into the mix and what you have is a wild crime case in desperate need of solving.    

                The story’s villain is, Juntao, who is responsible for kidnapping the daughter, Soo Yung.  Juntao has good cause though hear me out.  He spent his life acquiring the rarest of rare antiques in Chinese history for his personal collection until detective Lee recovered them all from a boat in one fell swoop.  Did he attain these antiques legally?  Probably not but he has motivation to get his money back by kidnapping his good buddies daughter.  That’s right he is friends with the Chinese ambassador under a different alias.  It sets up a decent plot to be able to plug in Lee and Carter though.

                Chris Tucker is quite hilarious in the film with all those quick screaming lines.  Jackie Chan does well as his difficultly in speaking English at times plays to his comedic advantage.  The movie does begin a bit “slow” as I like to describe it but that is part of setting up the story to come.  You have to exercise patience to watch the beginning and allow yourself to embrace the characters.  It could possibly be a result of the actors themselves settling into their roles and growing as the movie went on.

                As you reach the middle you are already taken in.  It’s time to wait for that next funny line or nifty fight scene.  My favorite funny moment, which in truth there are many to choose from, is when Soo Yung is with Carter toward the end daring Juntao to blow up the bomb.  Soo Yung is plain hilarious!  “Push the button!”  “You heard the girl” The fight scene I would pick is when Lee is fending off two men while protecting the Chinese priceless pieces of artwork.  The stuntmen fighting Chan make the most realistic fight scene in the film.  I would pick the bar scene, fight toward the beginning to be a more “you know it’s planned” type of fight.  It’s a bit silly honestly. 

                I’d like to add what Jackie Chan brought to this film.  I’m narrowing it down to the stunts and fight choreography scenes.  He has immense experience in the field with which to lean onto.  You see it in this movie with no doubt and it really helps you understand what he does to transition the story with the action sequences.  I appreciate the work put in by him to make a movie enjoyable to the audience.  The dialogue might be lacking on his part but the comedy shores it up very nicely.  It’s impressive to me to see the success of Jackie Chan through his years of hard work, from the fighting itself, the stunts and the English he had to learn.  I get motivated by it and realize how precious life is. If you enjoy certain things in life then it’s important that you should put the time into it to try to be successful and accomplish yourself.  It seems odd I drew this out of watching a comedy action movie but we all see things in a different light.  Perhaps the light I see can enlighten you as well?  I had to try to be philosophical to see if it would work.  Did it?  Let’s just move on.

                The cast is tolerable overall and the ending wraps up comically as the two detectives are on a plane to Hong Kong, China.  My favorite Chris Tucker line would be, “Wipe yourself man, you’re dead.”  It’s a well executed line for the feeling of the story at that moment.  As for the movie it’s great for a fun light hearted watch with some action sequences.  You need to force reason to take a backseat as you watch.  Don’t get caught saying, “Why doesn’t he just shoot him?” because it’s a movie to get caught in the moments of excitement.  The first of three is my personal favorite.  Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker do make a hilarious match as buddy cops.

                Rating: 8 of 10


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