|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|
|Genre||Action, Comedy, Crime, Thriller|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Release dates||September 18, 1998|
|Running time||97 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 in late 1997, Detective Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) of the Hong Kong Police Force leads a raid at a shipping 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 at a dinner party: Chinese Consul Solon Han (Tzi Ma) and British Commander Thomas Griffin (Tom Wilkinson). Lee excuses himself from the party after Han announces his accomplishment, and is confronted by the daughter of Han, Soo-Yung Han. She confides that she is anxious towards her new life in America given her father is to take up his new diplomatic post in Los Angeles and she was to follow, but Lee gives her a pendant and assures her she will be fine.
James Carter (Chris Tucker), a fast-talking and arrogant man, is introduced in Los Angeles rushing to a deal with bomb-maker Clive Cobb (Chris Penn), who chastise him for being late to which he defends claiming a miscommunication and they should be dealing at somewhere quieter. Clive reveals he has C4, and Carter proven right with two arriving police officers alerted to investigate them, before Clive holds Carter hostage and threaten the cops to leave. Carter knocks Clive out and tells the officers the same, before Clive regains consciousness and shoots at the two officers. Clive attempts to escape in his car, but is shot at by Carter, who in the scuffle detonates the C4 via gunshot and Clive bailing seconds before the car exploded. Carter reveals he is an undercover officer of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and arrests Clive.
Shortly after Han and Soo-Yung arrive in the United States, on Soo-Yung's first day of school, Han receives a call from China but is cut off just after he announces his name. Having confirmed Han's presence in Los Angeles, Sang, who had escaped from Lee in Hong Kong, kidnaps Soo-Yung while she is chauffeured by two bodyguards to school. Sang disguises himself as a cop, and stops the vehicle they are on before promptly shooting the two bodyguards. As he approaches to capture Soo-Yung, she manages to resist and scars his eye with her pendant but drops it in the vehicle. Running away, she is grabbed by a motorcyclist and handed to an arriving van.
The FBI inform Han about the incident and escalate protection for him while informing him they are on the case. Han, distrustful of the FBI partly because he and his family are not American citizens, calls in Lee to assist in the case. The FBI, knowing Lee's potential or lack of, will generate international embarrassment for them and decide to pawn him off on the LAPD. At the LAPD HQ, Carter brags about his last case before his partner Tania Johnson (Elizabeth Peña) scolds him for not calling in backup. Carter claims he didn't need any partnership anyway, before hinted by Johnson he may lose his job. Captain William Diel has just in time received the call on being assigned by the FBI, and although initially disgusted, notices an arriving Carter who wishes to explain himself. Diel exaggerates on the case to play Carter that he was to be working for the FBI and was not going to be laid off, assigning him to handle Lee. Carter, still kept in the dark, proudly announces his new case.
Carter arrives at the embassy and is briefed by special agent-in-charge Warren Russ (Mark Rolston) who reveals the truth on his case. Carter is now to pick up Lee who arrives that afternoon at the Los Angeles International Airport. Calling his superior on the case, Diel reveals he too was in on it and gives Carter a choice: keep Lee away from the investigation or face two months suspension without pay. Angry at his predicament, Carter agrees while secretly intending to solve the case himself. Lee tries to inform Carter about going to the embassy and of Soo-Yung, but Carter proceeds to take him on a sightseeing tour of Los Angeles, simultaneously keeping Lee away and contacting several of his underworld informants about information regarding the kidnapping in the process; Stucky is bribed to reveal an anonymous person who has been secretly buying huge amounts of weapons, confirmed by Carter's cousin Luke while in a bar adds that the person came from Hong Kong but knows nothing more about him since he bought none from Luke who also deals in firearms on the black market.
After several mishaps, Lee finally gets away from Carter knowing he was stalling for time, and makes his way to the Chinese consulate, where an anxious Han and a group of FBI agents are awaiting news about his daughter. Lee had to sneak in given the guards don't know who he is was and was suspected to be involved in the kidnapping after mentioning Soo-Yung's name. Upon meeting, Han has his identity revealed and his actions cleared as a misunderstanding. Given Carter failed to keep Lee away, he is confronted by Russ before introduced to Han by Lee who knows they were both played by the FBI to be kept away despite being assigned. Carter tries to use the moment to question Russ, but Russ attempts to pull Carter away to talk privately which Carter counters by saying he would clarify with his superior about the matter before unknowingly picking up an incoming mysterious phone call when taking the telephone. Carter involves himself in conversation with the kidnappers who are on the line, where he arranges a ransom drop.
The FBI swiftly manage to track the source of the phone call to a location downtown and mobilise special forces to the location. Lee tries to warn the FBI that something is amiss, but is brushed off until a bomb inside the building is detonated, killing the special forces inside. Spotting Sang nearby, Lee gives chase and Carter follows, Sang leading them into an abandoned apartment. He fights Lee briefly before running away and tripping over a bridge in construction, dropping a rare type of detonator in the process. Lee picks it up after tripping on the same bridge and knows the flooring will break but is too late to stop an arriving Carter who causes them to fall. Despite Carter firing on the car Sang enters, Sang manages to escape again. Noticing the detonator Lee picked up, Carter decides their next move having determined Sang had rigged the building to explode via the detonator.
Finding Johnson at LAPD HQ who identifies the detonator able to detonate various explosives including C4, Carter and Lee head to the prison and Carter talks prison warden Bobby in to letting them see Clive. Clive was initially resistant especially given what Carter did to him, but after persuasion from Lee he informs them that Juntao, whom he never saw before, was behind the kidnapping and was the one who sold him the C4 from earlier. Following a lead by Clive to Foo Chow Restaurant in Chinatown, Carter and Lee scope the place out. Sang calls the consul on the drop location being the same restaurant in Chinatown, and Carter notices Sang entering it which confirms their lead. Carter decides to go in first under a guise telling the waitress that he was Juntao's lawyer and called him to meet. The waitress informs Sang of the matter and via surveillance notices, ordering Carter to be brought up to where they were. However Griffin, who was present, tells to evacuate Soo-Yung from the premises, noticing that Lee has now entered the restaurant. Carter upon entering sees the surveillance video of Griffin sending the van which contained Soo-Yung off, but does not know who he is. Tortured and ordered by Sang to be executed, Lee arrives in time and rescues Carter. After a fight in the restaurant with Lee snatching a pendant he recalls giving to Soo-Yung from a waitress wearing it, they are met outside by the FBI, led by Russ, who blames them for ruining the ransom exchange.
Carter tries to explain to Russ but is rebuked instead for taking the case into his hands, now jeopardising the whole ordeal. Carter attempts to insist what he agrees with Lee to not negotiate with kidnappers but Russ takes them off the investigation and Lee is informed that he will be sent back to Hong Kong, with both ordered not to intervene further. Lee too tries to explain to a disappointed Han, and mentions the kidnapping was by Juntao, shocking Han. Carter enters the room in hopes of apologising, but Han says it was too late. Just then 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. Guilt-ridden, Carter apologises to Lee but a disgraced Lee tells him to feel sorry for Soo-Yung instead. Griffin, unbeknown to Han that he is part of the kidnapping, arrives later that day to console Han.
Finally realising Soo-Yung's safety is more important than his career, Carter refuses to drop the case and acknowledges his wrongdoing to Johnson. He requests for her to aid him in the case as his partner to which she agrees. Confronting 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. This was the reason why Carter was distrustful of partners which he learned from his father. Lee is surprised, as before then, Carter has seemed to care about no one but himself. Regaining themselves, they decide to save Soo-Yung together. The consul is phoned again telling him the drop will happen at the Chinese culture exhibition he is hosting that evening, and is made to promise nothing will go wrong. Han gives his word and wishes his daughter not be harmed, but is cut off. Griffin and Han explained to the FBI about Juntao, having been unsuccessfully stopped by the British. Juntao would now kidnap Soo-Yung since Han and Lee had managed to foil Juntao in every aspect. Griffin then suggested Han pay the ransom to ensure Soo-Yung's well-being.
At the Chinese culture exhibition at the Los Angeles Convention Center which Han and Griffin are overseeing, the ransom money is being prepared for delivery. Carter, Lee, and Johnson enter dressed as guests. Midway into Han's speech where he loses his composure, Griffin takes over attempting to wrap up what Han was speaking. Carter however recognises Griffin from Chinatown and deduces he is in on the kidnapping. Carter creates a scene by alerting the spectators about a bomb threat in the building and tells them to evacuate. In the confusion, the FBI are notified of Lee and Carter's presence but 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 part of the exhibition were once in his collection and he intends to get them back. During the stand-off, Carter manages to sneak out and locate Soo-Yung in the van nearby. Disarming a guard by learning how to do so from Lee, he knocks the guard out and finds Soo-Yung. He attempts to proceed in taking the vest off her, but Soo-Yung confesses to him that she heard that the vest will go off if anyone tries to take it off incorrectly. Carter leaves it on her, then drives the van into the building and emerges from the it with Soo-Yung, bringing the bomb vest within range to kill Griffin and his men inside the exhibition if detonated. Han and Soo-Yung are relieved to see each other but are held back, with Carter egging Griffin on to blow everyone up.
A gunfight breaks out, then Lee and Johnson climb into the back of the van with Soo-Yung. Johnson manages to defuse the bomb and rescue Soo-Yung but tells Lee that the vest still can be set off with the remote. She tells Lee to get rid of it with Lee taking the vest and Carter covering him. Lee decide to pursue Griffin, fighting off his men with the bomb vest strapped on him. Meanwhile, Griffin goes upstairs to the control room and shoots the agents up there, including Russ and takes a briefcase containing some of the ransom money. A few moments later, Sang manages to make his way into the control room and starts putting the remaining ransom money into another briefcase. Russ, who was not killed by Griffin earlier groans, and Sang turns his gun on him. Just as he is about to shoot Russ, he is interrupted by Carter who taunts him that he is alone and cannot fall back on anyone. Sang after realising Carter doesn't care about Russ' life then challenges Carter to 'fight like a man' as Carter mentioned before at the restaurant. Carter agrees, but as both men put their guns down, both bring out their alternative guns and fire. Sang misses while Carter shoots him dead in the process.
Griffin attempts to escape via a rooftop extraction with a helicopter he calls in, and Lee pursues him up several sets of maintenance ladders. Reaching the rafter walkway, Griffin locks Lee out of the linkway hatch and fires at him, but misses all his shots. Lee precariously balances on the rafters chasing up to Griffin and they engage in combat. Griffin slams the briefcase onto Lee to break him, but the briefcase opens, spilling out the money and both men fall over the rail with Lee holding onto a rafter and Griffin grabbing onto the bomb vest on Lee. The falling money catches Carter's attention as he reaches the convention floor and mistakes it to be divine intervention but soon notices Lee and Griffin. The bomb vest eventually rips apart, sending Griffin falling to his death into a fountain below. Lee calls to Carter for help, with Carter initially joking but goes for a nearby banner and moves towards Lee, who then loses his grip and falls from the rafters, yet saved by sliding down the banner Carter held while colliding into him at the end.
Han and Soo-Yung are reunited with Lee returning Soo-Yung her pendant and her thanking him. Han sends Carter and Lee on vacation together to Hong Kong for a well deserved break on first class. Before leaving at the airport, Agent Russ and Agent Whitney show up and offer Carter a position on the FBI. Carter refuses, rudely telling them off for his mistreatment at their hands, and states that he will always be loyal to the LAPD. On the plane, Carter hands an attendant his bag and sits next to Lee. A stewardess approaches them and Carter shows off a couple of Chinese lines to Lee who is very impressed, as he had no idea Carter learned to speak Chinese. When asking about the flight duration, Lee tells Carter that it may take fifteen hours, surprising Carter who then immediately requests a new seat as soon as Lee starts singing War much to his annoyance.
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 Henley 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.