Ever since New Line cinema brought Rumble in the Bronx over to foreign shores 2 years back, there has been a non-stop rush of chop-sockey flicks starring Jackie Chan. Chan is a major star outside his hemisphere for a number of reasons.
1) His actions scenes are spectacular and his Martial Arts fighting style even more so.
2) Jackie uses the international language of comedy to defeat the need for a tremendous amount of dialog – action and laughs works best when you can’t understand a word.
In general, the far-fetched stories and stapled together plots that are typical of his movies are more than redeemed by sheer action. If you’ve grown accustomed to what Chan’s movies are supposed to look like, you’ll be sitting in your chair looking at your watch waiting for the next rght scene. On that level, and only that level, you’ll be disappointed.
Rush Hour (check out the Special Edition) is a funny, somewhat action filled flick that falls dead center in the range of flicks for new daters. Chris Tucker is the LAPD cop assigned to keep Hong Kong Police Detective Lee (Chan) out of the way of an FBI kidnaping investigation. Lee is the duck out of water, who has a personal commitment to find the kidnaped little girl, who was once his martial arts student.
Rather than standard chop sockey, director Brett Ratner (who last worked with Tucker in Money Talks) has shifted Jackie into a buddy picture. Think Chinese values coming up against the Street, and you have lots of opportunities for cross cultural clashes; What music they like, how they dance, how they rght, all of this laid over a more substantial and logical story than has been seen in any Hong Kong generated flick.
This leaves little room for Chan, whose rght scenes are shaved down to comparatively few minutes of screentime, but lots for Chris Tucker, who makes the most of it. Tucker does his motormouth spiel and is genuinely funny. It’s his movie. If you’ve got a date, take her (him) to Rush Hour. If you’re solo, buy a classic like Police Story or Drunken Master.