A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
“Rush Hour” is our reliable friend, the Wunza Movie, pairing two opposites: Wunza legendary detective from Hong Kong, and wunza Los Angeles cop. And wunza Chinese guy, and wunza black guy. And wunza martial arts expert and wunza wisecracking showboat. Neither wunza original casting idea, but together, they make an entertaining team.
The movie teams up Jackie Chan, king of lighthearted action comedy, and Chris Tucker, who crosses Eddie Murphy with Chris Rock and comes up with a guy who, if you saw him a block away, you'd immediately start wondering how he was going to con you. There are comic possibilities even in their personal patterns. Chan is not known for his effortless command of English, and Tucker is a motormouth. Chan's persona is modest and self-effacing, and Tucker plays a shameless self-promoter.
The story: During the last days of Hong Kong's status as a British colony, supercop Chan busts up a smuggling ring, but the masterminds escape to the United States. There they kidnap the daughter of the Chinese consul, who tells the FBI he wants Chan, a family friend, flown in to help with the investigation. The feds want nothing to do with a cop from overseas, and they also don't want the LAPD involved. So they get the idea of pairing up the Chinese guy and the L.A. cop so they can keep each other out of the way.
At L.A. police headquarters, this idea is well-received after the chief (the redoubtable Philip Baker Hall) realizes it's a way to get his most troublesome detective out of his hair. That would be Carter, played by Chris Tucker as the kind of loose cannon who roars around the streets in a vintage Corvette and works undercover in dangerous situations.