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Rush Hour (1998)

The fastest hands in the East meets the biggest mouth in the West

Directed by:

Brett Ratner

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 97 minutes

UK Certificate: 12

On DVD

Country: United States

Just when you think you're fed-up to the back teeth of Hollywood's seemingly endless stream of buddy-cop comedies, along comes one like 1998's 'Rush Hour' and all is forgiven.

This deservedly successful martial arts fun-a-thon doesn't exactly go out of its way to tweak with the tried-and-tested formula – like practically every other example in the genre, it pits two complete opposites together to foil a dastardly crim, and inevitably become the best of pals along the way. But the electric performances of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, alongside some pacy direction from Brett Ratner and Chan's trademark kung-fu battles, turn this into a surprisingly enjoyable hour and a half.

Chan plays Lee, the Hong Kong cop who flies to the States to investigate the kidnapping of little Soo Yung (Julia Hsu), the daughter of Chinese consul and close friend Han (Tzi Ma). The trouble is, the Feds want him out of the way so they can get on with solving the crime themselves. So jabber-mouthed LAPD 'tec James Carter (Tucker, giving it his best Axel Foley impersonation) is brought on board to keep Lee out of the way – or, at least, that's the intention.

The plot's got some serious Swiss Cheese syndrome, but when the whole thing comes together it's so entertaining that a little thing like plausibility shouldn't stand in the way. There's a genuinely funny script, some terrific stunts for Chan to try his hand at (including leaping from a bus, fighting in a pool hall and sliding down a giant silk banner) and, as is customary, lots of stuff being blown up.

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It's Got: Choreographed stunts-a-plenty from the legendary Mr Chan

It Needs: More from the fantastic Philip Baker Hall as the deadpan LAPD chief.

DVD Extras Trailer, deleted scenes, cast and crew details, behind the scenes stuff, a 40 minute short film entitled What Happened to Mason Reese, 17(!) featurettes, and a couple of music vids. DVD Extras Rating: 9/10

Alternatives:

Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon, Rush Hour 2, Shanghai Knights, Shanghai Noon

Summary

One of the best and funniest action buddy-flicks around – a rollicking good ride.

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