Ah Rush Hour, how many laughs have you given me over the years? My first memory of Rush Hour is Christmas Eve when I was eight or nine years old. I had started watching it with no idea what it was, because it was the only thing on any of the five channels that we had back then. I didn’t even get to see the whole movie, about 45 minutes into it my family left to go to midnight mass for Christmas so I had to leave it. I remember being gutted because I was loving the movie but having missed the rest of it I was a bit screwed. We didn’t own it, I had no way of getting it. Eventually the movie slipped my mind and it wasn’t until a few years later I saw it again.
We had just got Sky in the house, and eventually Sky’s bevy of movie channels brought me Rush Hour. That was the first time I watched the whole thing in full, and memories of that initial viewing flooded back. I don’t imagine the movie needs much introduction but in case any of you are unaware I’ll explain it. Rush Hour is a story about the young daughter of a Chinese consulate getting kidnapped. The FBI believe they can handle the case and so when the consulate brings in an old friend, played by Jackie Chan, to help with the case they try to keep him distracted. In order to keep him distracted they bring in local cop James Carter, played by Chris Tucker.
The two of them then form an uneasy partnership to try and save the little girl. What follows is a ridiculous movie, where Tucker acts as a very eccentric cop and Jackie Chan does what he does best and gets into fights while wanting no trouble. The movie is brilliantly funny and has some pretty good bits of action in it. It mainly follows Tucker and Chan as they begin to trust and like each other more while doing their best to solve the case. The partnership resulted in two sequels to the movie. Rush Hour 2 is also a brilliant movie that’s almost as good as the first. Rush Hour 3 however wasn’t great, not terrible either, but just a bit mediocre. There have been some talks about a Rush Hour 4 being made eventually, the most concrete thing said though has been from Jackie Chan himself. He said back in June 2015 that Rush Hour 4 is happening, according to TMZ.
Something I would kick myself if I didn’t mention, is the bloopers. While the credits roll you can watch a lot of the bloopers from the movie. Whether it’s Jackie Chan trying to catch a gun and failing 6 times, or Tucker struggling to say three words of Chinese while Jackie laughs. Bloopers during the credits are a staple of the Rush Hour movies and they never fail to make me laugh every time I see them.
That sentence is really the ultimate definition of Rush Hour to me, it’s a movie I know so well despite the fact I haven’t seen it for a good few years. No part of it is ever a surprise, I can remember pretty much all of the movie. Yet every time I watch it, I enjoy myself. I laugh at the jokes, I enjoy the fights I’ve seen many times before. No matter how times I see it the movie has never failed to make me laugh, and most likely never will. The movie really does feel like a perfect blend of the martial arts genre and a buddy cop movie, two genres of movies I very much enjoy.
Just to finish off, if you’ve never seen Rush Hour I obviously highly recommend watching it and its sequels. However if you have seen the movies and want something similar then I point you to the Police Story movies. Police Story is a 1985 movie directed by and starring Jackie Chan which feels like a precursor to the Rush Hour movies. It was so successful that it led to five sequels and a spin off. It is only available in Cantonese/Chinese with English subtitles but it is well worth watching if you like Rush Hour.