I got to thinking about what movies specifically got me into loving films like Ip Man and Enter The Dragon, and believe it or not it all started with Rush Hour.
It ain't a bad introduction to international fighting movies, very much a product of the 90s but still greatly enjoyable nevertheless. Maybe I'm in a very small minority here nowadays, but I really liked this movie. This was pretty much Jackie Chan's introduction to american cinema, though his popularity here in the states dates back about a decade before this movie in 1998, and I have to once again commend the movie for showing me more of this absolute legend of an actor, stuntman, and brilliant choreographer. So the story picks up right after the very big event of Britain releasing control of Hong Kong back to China after 150 years, and the consulate travels to America but his young daughter gets kidnapped leading the FBI to step in. We quickly meet Detective James Carter of the LAPD, and Detective Lee who has a strong tie to the young girl and aides in the investigation and rescue. That's pretty much it, this is a film told in black and white, you got your good guys, you got your bad guys, it's pretty standard fare. But what keeps the film so enjoyable and entertaining after 20 years, is the chemistry between Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, they are friggin' great! There's no other way to say it, they're hilarious, they work wonderfully as a duo with each bringing their own personality and attitude, it's just a blast to see them work together. I honestly don't have a problem with Chris Tucker in this movie, I thought he was a riot he had me laughing frequently and loudly, now we'll just have to see how that holds up over the course of this trilogy. Do I even need to talk about Jackie Chan? He's one of the most upbeat, incredibly charming, and even more so physically outstanding actors working in film to this very day. In fact, all the cast is pretty damn good! Ken Leung is a good villain, plays the part well and looks awesome while doing it. Julia Hsu stole my heart in a grand total of 2 seconds, I'd die for this kid and have zero regrets about it, she's just that dang precious and even gives the villain his scar, come on now! She's amazing. So it already has an entertaining plot, really good comedy, great actors, and now we get to talk about the action bits. Very well choreographed, nothing too fancy but very visually stimulating. One thing I did notice is you see dust swirl in the air after a hit to simulate real impact which I thought was an interesting choice cause obviously you can't high kick Chris Tucker in the face so it makes the hit a bit believable, I can't recall many movies doing this but I feel it works here. Plus you get your explosions and shootouts, so you got all your bases covered. Now is the movie dated? Yeah, a little bit. Do I really care? Nope. I kinda love how 90s it is. From the blocky wireless home phones, to the fashion, to the musical references, it's really no secret when this was made. But again, it still works. I think it's a really good and highly entertaining movie, well worth a watch and I honestly cannot wait to do the sequel. 3.5 stars, 7.5/10! And we will see you tomorrow in Homg Kong.
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