The Cinefessions crew loves sharing their opinions on films, but not every movie can get the attention it deserves with a full review. Enter the Cinefessions’ Capsule Reviews. These capsule reviews cover five of the most important aspects of a film, which allow the crew to deliver their opinions on any movie clearly, decisively, and with brevity. These are not our full thoughts on any film, just a highlighting of the major pros and/or cons.

Rush HourTitle: Rush Hour (1998)
Director: Brett Ratner
Runtime: 98 minutes

I’ve not watched many Jackie Chan films, but he’s great in this, as is Chris Tucker. The two make a surprisingly strong comedic duo. I loved watching Chan during the fight scenes, and it makes me want to seek out some of his serious work before he got into American comedies. After seeing this, I now can tell where Kevin Hart gets a lot of his comedic inspiration because watching Chris Tucker reminded me a lot of Hart’s work in Ride Along. Either way, I was laughing hysterically from start to finish. I was shocked to see Ken Leung in this as the villain. I have not seen him in much of anything other than Lost, so this was quite a different role, but he does a solid job.

Story & Script
Consul Hung’s eleven year old daughter is kidnapped, and the FBI is called in to help find her. After pissing off his boss in the LAPD, Detective Carter (Tucker) is sent to babysit the man that Hung calls in for help from Hong Kong, Lee (Chan). The two butt heads as they try to get off the sidelines and make a genuine difference in the case to rescue the little girl. This is really a comedy of cultural differences, but it works extremely well. The script is put together well enough to deliver some great comedic moments, and even more action sequences. I was never really concerned for the girl’s safety, but rather with how they would save her. It’s a ton of fun.

I admire how much Ratner let Chan do his thing. So many of these fight sequences you see nowadays are filled with quick editing, making it a dizzying experience. Here, Ratner lets Chan do what he does best, and the camera simply follow his flow. It is exactly what I want to see out of my action sequences, and I love that Ratner doesn’t try to do too much with it.

There isn’t a whole lot to talk about here as this is really a light buddy cop film. It isn’t going for depth, and it doesn’t have to. It nails the action and the comedy and that is all I expected.

I’d happily watch this again, but I’d rather move ahead with the sequels.

The Verdict
Rush Hour was a big hit with my friends when it came out back in 1998, but I never got around to watching it. I can see why they liked (I would have been 12 at that point) as it is a great mix of action and comedic fluff. There is nothing deep here, and that’s just fine. Rush Hour is a lot of fun to watch, and I’m sure that’s all it was ever trying to be.