Rush Hour (1998 film)

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Rush Hour
Rush hour ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Brett Ratner
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by Ross LaManna
Starring
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Cinematography Adam Greenberg
Edited by Mark Helfrich
Production
company
Roger Birnbaum Productions
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
  • September 18, 1998 (1998-09-18)
Running time
98 minutes
Country

United States

China
Language English
Cantonese
Mandarin
Budget $33 million[1]
Box office $244.4 million[1]

Rush Hour is a 1998 Chinese-American buddy action comedy film directed by Brett Ratner. It stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker as mismatched cops who must rescue the Chinese Consul's kidnapped daughter. Released on September 18, 1998, the film grossed over $200 million worldwide. The film's success spawned two sequels, Rush Hour 2 (2001) and Rush Hour 3 (2007).

Plot[edit]

On the last day of British rule in Hong Kong, Detective Inspector Lee 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, Juntao's right-hand man, who manages to escape. However, Lee successfully recovers numerous Chinese cultural treasures stolen by Juntao, which he presents as a farewell victory to his departing superiors: Chinese Consul Solon Han and British Commander Thomas Griffin.

Shortly after Han arrives in the United States to take up his new diplomatic post in Los Angeles, his daughter, Soo Yung, is kidnapped by Sang while on her way to her first day of school. The FBI informs Consul Han about the incident. Han calls in Lee to assist in the case, reminding the agents that he and his daughter are Chinese citizens. The FBI is afraid that the injury or death of Lee would result in negative attention internationally, decide to pawn him off on the LAPD just to keep him out of their way. Despite being horrified by the actions of the FBI, the captain agrees and has someone in mind to teach a lesson in working with people. The arrogant and reckless detective, James Carter is tricked into doing this but Carter makes a plan to solve the case himself when he finds out that he has been given a mundane task.

Carter meets Lee at Los Angeles International Airport and then proceeds to take him on a sightseeing tour of LA, simultaneously keeping Lee away from the embassy and contacting several of his underworld informants about the kidnapping. Lee finally escapes and makes his way to the Chinese Consulate, where an anxious Han and a group of FBI agents are awaiting news about his daughter. While being reprimanded by Agent-in-charge Warren Russ, Carter accidentally involves himself in a phone conversation with Sang, where he arranges a ransom drop of $50 million in a couple of hours.

The FBI traces the call to a warehouse and sends in a team of agents only to have them killed by a bomb. Spotting Sang nearby, Lee and Carter give chase, but Sang escapes, dropping the detonator in the process. Carter's colleague, LAPD bomb expert Tania Johnson, helps them trace the detonator to Clive, a man previously arrested by Carter. Clive is guilt-tripped by Lee into revealing his business relationship with Juntao whom he met a restaurant in Chinatown and this earns Carter's trust in Lee. Carter goes to the restaurant alone where he sees a surveillance video of Juntao carrying Soo-Yung into a van. Lee arrives and rescues Carter, but the two are taken off the case after the FBI blames them for ruining the ransom drop. Carter tried to reason with the FBI Agents that even if Juntao is paid the ransom money, he would've killed Soo Yung regardless. He is ignored and sent back to the LAPD while being threatened with obstruction of justice, while Lee is being sent back to Hong Kong. Despite this setback, Carter appeals to Johnson for assistance and sneaks onboard Lee's plane, persuading Lee to help finish the case and stop Juntao. Griffin later involves himself in the case, revealing more about the HKPF's past with Juntao's syndicate.

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 disguised as guests, where Carter distracts the guests into leaving for safety. This angers the FBI, but also blows Griffin's cover, as Lee catches him walking over to a bar and accepting a remote for the detonator from Sang. He and Johnson both conclude that Griffin is Juntao because Carter recognizes him from a surveillance tape in Chinatown. With this knowledge, Lee calls out Griffin as the real Juntao, and Griffin threatens to detonate a bomb vest attached to Soo Yung. He demands the money to be paid in full in compensation to the loss of the priceless Chinese artifacts he worked so hard to preserve, making Han feel betrayed by Griffin. However, Carter manages to sneak out, locate her in the van, drives it into the building and brings her within range of Griffin, knowing that setting it off would kill him as well.

Johnson manages to get the vest off Soo Yung while Griffin heads toward the roof with the bag of money. Lee takes the vest and pursues Griffin while Carter shoots Sang dead in a gunfight. Lee and Griffin find themselves dangling from the rafters under the roof. Griffin, holding onto the vest, falls when the vest breaks and is killed by blunt force trauma but before Lee falls, Carter is able to place a large flag underneath and catch him safely.

Han and Soo Yung are reunited, and Han sends Carter and Lee on vacation together to Hong Kong as a reward for their actions. Before Carter leaves, Agents Russ and Whitney offer him a position in the FBI, which he rudely refuses due to their earlier actions in mistreating both him and Lee. Carter gets on the airplane with Lee, who starts singing Edwin Starr's "War", annoying Carter.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Rush Hour opened at No. 1 at the North American box office with a weekend gross of $33 million in September 1998. Rush Hour grossed over $140 million in the US and $103 million elsewhere, for an over $244 million worldwide gross.[1][2] The film holds a 60% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes; the average score is 6/10. The site's consensus reads: "A kick-ass addition to the cop-buddy film genre."[3] Metacritic rated it 60/100 based on 23 reviews.[4] Roger Ebert praised both Jackie Chan, for his entertaining action sequences without the use of stunt doubles, and Chris Tucker, for his comical acts in the film, and how they formed an effective comic duo.[5] Joe Leydon of Variety called it "a frankly formulaic but raucously entertaining action comedy".[6]

The film's distribution rights were transferred to Warner Bros. in 2008.

Sequels[edit]

A sequel Rush Hour 2, was released in 2001, which was primarily set in Hong Kong. A third film, Rush Hour 3, was released on August 10, 2007,[7] which was primarily set in Paris. Tucker earned $25 million for his role in the third film and Chan received the film's distribution rights in Asia.[8] A fourth film in the series is in negotiations, and reportedly may be set in Moscow.[9]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack features the hit single "Can I Get A..." by Jay-Z, Ja Rule and Amil, as well as tracks by Edwin Starr, Flesh-n-Bone, Wu-Tang Clan, Dru Hill, Charli Baltimore and Montell Jordan.

Accolades[edit]

Home media[edit]

VHS[edit]

Release date
Country
Classification
Publisher
Format
Language Subtitles Notes
REF
15 June 1999 United States PG-13 New Line Home Video NTSC English None [11]
18 October 1999 United Kingdom 12 Eiv PAL English None [12]

DVD[edit]

Release date
Country
Classification
Publisher
Format
Region
Language
Sound
Subtitles
Notes
REF
2 March 1999 United States PG-13 New Line Home Video NTSC 1 English Unknown English Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (16:9) [13]
1 October 1999 United Kingdom 12 Eiv PAL 2 English Unknown English Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 (16:9) [14]

UMD[edit]

Release date
Country
Classification
Publisher
Format
Region
Language
Sound
Subtitles
Notes
REF
1 September 2005 United Kingdom 12 Eiv PAL 2 English Unknown English [15]
3 January 2006 United States PG-13 New Line Home Entertainment NTSC 1 English Unknown English [16]

Blu-ray[edit]

Release date
Country
Classification
Publisher
Format
Region
Language
Sound
Subtitles
Notes
REF
11 October 2010 United Kingdom 15 Warner Home Video PAL Free English Unknown English Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 (16:9) [17]
7 December 2010 United States PG-13 New Line Home Video NTSC Free English Unknown English Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 (16:9) [18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Rush Hour". boxofficemojo.com. September 18, 1998. Retrieved 2006-06-25. 
  2. ^ Wolk, Josh (September 28, 1998). "Losers Take All". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  3. ^ "Rush Hour (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-06-22. 
  4. ^ "Rush Hour, Movie Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger (September 18, 1998). "Rush Hour". rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2006-06-25. 
  6. ^ Leydon, Joe (September 21, 1998). "Review: 'Rush Hour'". Variety. Retrieved June 22, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Chan Says Tucker Holding Up Rush Hour 3". The Associated Press. July 10, 2005. Retrieved 2006-06-25. 
  8. ^ Jackie Chan Admits He Is Not a Fan of 'Rush Hour' Films
  9. ^ 'Rush Hour 4' is Set in Faubourg Marigny
  10. ^ "1999 MTV Movie Awards". MTV. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  11. ^ Rush Hour [VHS] (1998). Amazon.com. ISBN 0780623711. 
  12. ^ "Rush Hour [VHS] [1998]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  13. ^ Rush Hour (New Line Platinum Series) (1998). amazon.com. ISBN 0780625145. 
  14. ^ "Rush Hour [DVD] [1998]". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  15. ^ "Rush Hour [UMD Mini for PSP]". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  16. ^ "Rush Hour [UMD for PSP] (1998)". amazon.com. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  17. ^ "Rush Hour [Blu-ray] [1998][Region Free]". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  18. ^ "Rush Hour [Blu-ray] (1998)". amazon.com. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 

External links[edit]