Rush Hour

-

Rush Hour

At one point during Rush Hour, Chris Tucker screams, "I ain't got no partner! I don't want no partner! I ain't never gonna work with no partner!" With that brief outburst, Rush Hour aligns itself with that least reputable of genres, the mismatched-buddy-cop movie—a genre that has brought the world such novel pairings as the gruff-cop/paranoid-schizophrenic-cop (Loose Cannons), the gruff-cop/precocious-aspiring-cop child (Cop And A Half), and a slew of films in which gruff cops are partnered with an assortment of slobbering dogs. As with Money Talks, another collaboration between Tucker and music-video director Brett Ratner, Rush Hour doesn't so much subvert the mismatched-buddy genre as follow its conventions so slavishly that it lurches into knowing self-parody early on. You don't need to be familiar with the movie to know that at one point Tucker will be thrown off the case, or that Tucker and his partner will be treated with a mixture of condescension and hostility by their superiors. Rush Hour is far more entertaining than Money Talks, a fact that can be attributed to the fact that while Money Talks teamed Tucker with stiff '80s casualty Charlie Sheen, Rush Hour finds Tucker joining forces with Hong Kong legend Jackie Chan, a performer seemingly incapable of making a less-than-enjoyable film. Rush Hour would be better if it featured more Jackie Chan and less Chris Tucker, but the two develop an entertaining rapport that helps overcome the film's uninspired script and direction. There isn't as much action as in Chan's earlier films, but Rush Hour's action scenes are executed with Chan's unique mixture of breathtaking athleticism and self-deprecating physical comedy.