|Original film poster|
|Directed by||Brett Ratner|
|Produced by||Roger Birnbaum|
Arthur M. Sarkissian
|Screenplay by||Jim Kouf|
|Story by||Ross LaManna|
|Music by||Lalo Schifrin|
|Editing by||Mark Helfrich|
Tim Chau (sound)
Doug Jackson (sound effects)
|Production company||Roger Birnbaum Productions|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Release dates||September 18, 1998|
|Running time||98 minutes|
|Box office||$244,386,864 (worldwide)|
|Followed by||Rush Hour 2|
Rush Hour is a 1998 martial arts/buddy cop film starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. The film was generally successful, becoming the 7th top grossing film of 1998, with a gross of over $140 million dollars at the box office.
On the last day of British rulership in Hong Kong late 1997, Detective Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) of the Hong Kong Police Force leads a raid at a shipping bar wharf, hoping to arrest the mysterious crime lord Juntao. He finds only Sang (Ken Leung), Juntao's right hand man, who manages to escape. However, Lee has successfully recovered numerous Chinese cultural treasures stolen by Juntao, which he presents as a farewell victory to his departing superiors: Chinese Consul Solon Han (Tzi Ma) and British Commander Thomas Griffin (Tom Wilkinson).
Shortly after arriving in the United States to take up his new diplomatic post in Los Angeles, Sang, who had escape from Lee in Hong Kong kidnaps Han's daughter, Soo-Yung while she is on her way to her first day of school. Han unwilling to trust the FBI, who informs him about the incident calls in Lee to assist in the case and partly because he and his family are not American citizens.
The FBI, knowing Lee's incompetence, or success, will generate international embarrassment for them, pawn him off on LAPD Captain William Diel, who gives the assignment to Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker), a fast-talking and arrogant police officer with aspirations of joining the FBI. Carter has recently caused severe collateral damage while arresting bomb-maker Clive Cobb (Chris Penn) and Diel gives Carter a choice: keep Lee away from the investigation or face two months suspension without pay. Carter agrees, secretly intending to solve the case himself.
Carter meets Lee at the Los Angeles International Airport and then proceeds to take him on a sightseeing tour of Los Angeles, simultaneously keeping Lee away from the embassy and contacting several of his underworld informants about the kidnapping. Lee finally gets away from Carter and makes his way to the Chinese Consulate, where an anxious Han and a group of FBI agents are awaiting news about his daughter. Later, while being severely reprimanded by Special agent-in-charge Warren Russ (Mark Rolston), Carter manages to accidentally involve himself in a phone conversation with the kidnappers, where he arranges a ransom drop.
After their arrival at the agreed drop point, Lee tries to warn the FBI that something is amiss, but is ignored until a bomb inside the building is detonated, killing several agents. Spotting Sang nearby, Lee gives chase and Carter follows, but Sang escapes after dropping a rare strange type of detonator in the process. After showing it to Carter's colleague, LAPD bomb expert Tania Johnson (Elizabeth Peña), then to Clive Cobb, the bomb-maker whom Carter arrested, learn that Juntao was behind the kidnapping. Following a lead to a restaurant in Chinatown, Carter is captured after going in alone. He sees a surveillance video of Griffin evacuating Soo-Yung from the premises, but does not know who he is. Lee arrives and rescues Carter, and after a fight in the restaurant they are met outside by the FBI, led by Russ, who blames them for ruining the ransom exchange. Sang phones the consul, angrily telling him that the ransom has been increased from $50 million to $70 million, and begins threatening Soo-Yung's life if anything else goes wrong. Disgraced and guilt-ridden, Lee and Carter are ordered off the investigation and Lee is informed that he will be sent back to Hong Kong. Finally realizing Soo-Yung's safety is more important than his career, Carter refuses to drop the case and confronts Lee on his plane to enlist his help. Carter tells Lee about the death of his father, also a police officer, killed at a routine traffic stop because his partner didn't help him. Lee is surprised, as before then, Carter has seemed to care about no one but himself. They decide to save Soo-Yung together.
The final confrontation comes at the opening of a Chinese art exhibition at the Los Angeles Convention Center, which Han and Griffin are overseeing, while the ransom is being delivered. Carter, Lee, and Johnson enter dressed as guests. After Carter recognizes Griffin from Chinatown, he creates a scene by alerting the spectators about a bomb threat in the building and tells them to evacuate. In the confusion, Lee sees Sang handing Griffin a detonator identical to the one he and Carter had previously recovered, figuring out that Griffin is really Juntao the whole time and confronts him. Griffin then threatens to detonate a bomb vest attached to Soo-Yung if the delivery is interrupted. He also reveals that the priceless pieces that are apart of the exhibition were once part of his collection and he intends to get them back. During the stand-off, however, Carter manages to sneak out and locate Soo-Yung. he proceeds to take the vest off her, but Soo-Yung confesses to him that she heard them say that the vest will go off if anyone tries to take it off incorrectly. Carter then drives the van into the building and brings the bomb vest within range to kill Griffin and his men inside the exhibition. After a gunfight breaks out, Lee and Johnson climb into the back of the van and Johnson manages to defuse the bomb and rescue Soo-Yung, but tells Lee that the vest still can be set off with the remote and needs to get rid of it. Lee then takes the vest and pursues Griffin. Meanwhile Griffin goes up to the upstairs control room and shoots the agents up there, including Russ and takes a briefcase that is full of money. A few moments later, Sang also goes into the control room and starts putting money into another briefcase. Then Russ, who was not killed by Griffin, groans, and Sang turns his gun on him. Just as he is about to shoot Russ, he is interrupted by Carter, who tells him that he is alone. Sang then challenges Carter to 'fight like a man'. Carter agrees, but as both men put their guns down, both bring out their alternative guns, and Carter shoots Sang dead in the process. Meanwhile, Griffin attempts to escape with the ransom money, and Lee pursues him up several sets of maintenance ladders. During the pursuit, both men fall over the rail with Lee holding onto a rafter and Griffin holding onto the bomb vest, which Lee is now wearing. The money falls out of the case that Griffin was holding. The bomb vest then rips apart, sending Griffin falling to his death into a fountain below, Lee then loses his grip and falls from the rafters, but Carter is able to rescue Lee by placing a large flag under him to catch him.
Han and Soo-Yung are reunited. Han sends Carter and Lee on vacation together to Hong Kong. Before leaving, Agent Russ and Agent Whitney show up and offer Carter a position on the FBI. Carter refuses, rudely telling them where he thinks they can take the badge, and that he will always be loyal to the LAPD. On the plane, Carter shows off a couple of lines of Chinese to Lee (who is very impressed, as he had no idea Carter spoke Chinese). When Carter asks about the flight, Lee tells him that it may take fifteen hours, causing Carter to become surprised, and then he immediately requests a new seat as soon as Lee starts singing War.
Rush Hour opened at #1 at the North American box-office with a weekend gross of $33 million in September 1998. Rush Hour grossed over $244 million worldwide.
While it gained positive reviews from critics, some people criticized the movie for being a rip-off of Lethal Weapon while some noted that Jackie Chan's performance was nowhere near as lively as his previous roles (in Hong Kong movies, Chan enjoyed total creative freedom and was typically given limited creativity in Hollywood productions) and that his stunts were no longer death-defying or impressive. Chan's moves were rather more based upon sliding through vehicles on the road, blocking an enemy's grab for a gun, snatching a gun away from an enemy or simply knocking out the enemy with punches to the face or stomach. Many critics praised Chris Tucker for his comical acts in the film and how he and Chan formed an effective comic duo.
A sequel Rush Hour 2, was made in 2001. A third movie, Rush Hour 3, was released on August 10, 2007. Tucker will receive $25 million for the third film and Chan will gain the distribution rights to the movie in Asia.
- Chris Tucker as Detective James Carter
- Jackie Chan as Detective Inspector Lee
- Tzi Ma as Consul Han
- Tom Wilkinson as Thomas Griffin/Juntao
- Ken Leung as Sang
- Julia Hsu as Soo-Yung
- Rex Linn as Dan Whitney
- Philip Baker Hall as Captain Willam Diel
- Chris Penn as Clive Cobb
- Mark Rolston as Special Agent Charles Warren Russ
- Elizabeth Peña as Tania Johnson
- Clifton Powell as Luke
- Barry Shabaka as Bobby
- John Hawkes as Stucky
Awards and NominationsEdit
1999 ALMA Awards
- Winner: Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film (Elizabeth Peña)
1999 BMI Film and TV Awards
- Winner: BMI Film Music Award (Lalo Schifrin)
1999 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards
- Nomination: Favourite Supporting Actress- Action/Adventure (Elizabeth Peña)
1999 Bogey Awards (Germany)
- Winner: Bogey Awards in Silver
1999 Golden Screen (Germany}
- Winner: Golden Screen
1999 Grammy Awards
- Nomination: Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television (Lalo Schifrin)
1999 Image Awards
- Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture (Chris Tucker)
1999 Kids' Choice Awards (USA)
- Nomination: Favorite Movie Actor (Blimp Award) (Chris Tucker)
1999 MTV Movie Awards
- Winner: Best On-Screen Duo (Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker)
- Nomination: Best Comedic Performance (Chris Tucker)
- Nomination: Best Fight (Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker) (For the fight against the Chinese gang)
- Nomination: Best Movie Song (Jay-Z) (For Can I get a....)
- Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan became such good friends over the course of the movie that they planned to try out for Amazing Race Celebrity Edition, but the show fell through.
- The gun used by Chris Tucker's character is a modification of a standard Beretta 92 pistol.
- Carter's car is a reference to the LL Cool J song Going Back to Cali. In the song, LL says the line, "The top is down on the black Corvette, and it's fly because it's sitting on Daytons." Carter's car is a black Corvette convertible that always has its top down when seen in the film, and it has chrome Dayton rims. The car also appears in Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3.
- In various scenes, Soo-Yung's age varies from 10 to 11.
- While Consul Han and his daughter Soo Yung do not appear in the subsequent film Rush Hour 2, they will play integral roles in the latest installment of the franchise, Rush Hour 3. Actor Tzi Ma will reprise his role as Consul Han. However, due to the time passing between the first and the third films, the now older Soo Yung will be played by actress Jingchu Zhang.
- Actor Tzi Ma, who plays the Chinese Consul in the film, also plays Cheng Zi, the head of security at the Chinese Consulate in the television series 24.
- While Captain Diel did not appear in the final cut of Rush Hour 2, Philip Baker Hall did in fact film a scene between himself and Chris Tucker's character that was ultimately left out. With this scene out of the final cut, only Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker are returning characters for the immediate sequel.
- Chris Tucker instructs Jackie's character to look at the Grauman's Chinese Theater footprint of John Wayne, Inspector Lee responds by saying "Chon Wang?” In the movie Shanghai Noon, his character is named "Chon Wang", as homage to this scene.
- In every Rush Hour movie, the villain dies after falling from highly escalated areas. Ex. In Rush Hour, Juntao dies after falling from the ceiling, In Rush Hour 2, Ricky Tan dies after being kicked by Lee through a window, In Rush Hour 3, Kenji dies from falling into an Eiffel Tower booth.
- In both films, Rush Hour and Rush Hour 3, Lee and Carter dance and sing to WAR by Edwin Starr at the end.
- This is the only Rush Hour film to present most of Jackie Chan's stuntmen.
- Actors Ken Leung, who plays Sang, and Mark Ralston, who plays Russ, both appeared in the Saw films. Leung played Detective Steven Sing in the first film, while Rolston played Agent Dan Erickson in the fifth and sixth films.
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