The 1998 action comedy Rush Hour and its sequels will be leaving Netflix on September 1. The franchise consists of three movies starring Jackie Chan as Inspector Lee and Chris Tucker as Detective James Carter. Each installment was directed by Brett Ratner, with the first film written by Jim Kouf and Ross LaManna. Jeff Nathanson penned Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3.
Rush Hour begins with the kidnapping of the young daughter of the Chinese Consul Han (Tzi Ma), who recently relocated to Los Angeles. The FBI is called to handle the case, but Han insists on having his friend and Hong Kong Police Inspector Lee join the investigation. Initially skeptical of Lee’s abilities, the FBI assigns Detective James Carter to keep him out of the way.
Rush Hour was generally well-received by critics and audiences who praised the chemistry between Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.
As the story unfolds, it becomes evident that Han’s daughter’s kidnapping is part of a larger conspiracy involving the theft of valuable Chinese artifacts, which are being used to finance a plot to assassinate Han. Frustrated with being sidelined, Lee and Carter work together to find the girl themselves. They eventually track down the crime lord Juntao and reveal a sinister plot of betrayal.
Rush Hour was generally well-received by critics and audiences who praised the chemistry between Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. While the plot was considered somewhat formulaic, the film’s execution and the charisma of the lead actors made it a success. The film performed exceptionally well at the global box office, earning over $244 million against a budget of $33 million.
Before Chris Tucker was cast as Detective James Carter, other actors such as Martin Lawrence, Wesley Snipes, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, and Dave Chappelle were considered for the role. Jackie Chan performed most of his own stunts in the film, which is a trademark of his career. The movie also contains a lot of scenes which the actors improvised.
Chris Tucker mimicking Michael Jackson’s dance moves was improvised and became one of the most memorable moments in Rush Hour. A scene where Carter accidentally hits Lee in the face was not planned, but Jackie Chan’s reaction was so genuine they decided to keep it in the final cut. The film’s successful fusion of Eastern and Western cinematic elements led to two sequels.
Released in 2001, Rush Hour 2 takes Carter (Tucker) and Lee (Chan) to Hong Kong, where they become embroiled in an international counterfeit money operation while on vacation. Lee is assigned to the case, and against orders, Carter decides to join him, seeing an opportunity for excitement. Their investigation leads them to a nightclub owned by Steven Reign, a wealthy suspected criminal.
There, they encounter Isabella Molina (Roselyn Sanchez), a U.S. Secret Service agent who is also investigating the counterfeiting operation. As Lee and Carter follow leads, they discover that the counterfeiting operation is linked to Ricky Tan (John Lone), Lee’s former partner and the main antagonist of Rush Hour 2.
Chris Tucker mimicking Michael Jackson’s dance moves was improvised and became one of the most memorable moments in Rush Hour.
Rush Hour 2 was well-received by audiences and performed even better at the box office than its predecessor. The chemistry between Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, as well as the film’s energetic action sequences and humor, contributed to its success. The movie’s popularity led to discussions about a potential third installment, which was eventually realized with Rush Hour 3 in 2007.
Rush Hour 3 reunites Jackie Chan’s Lee and Chris Tucker’s Carter for another round of action-packed comedy. In this installment, the duo embarks on an international adventure that takes them to Paris. The film opens in Los Angeles, where an assassination attempt on Ambassador Han (played by Tzi Ma) leaves him in critical condition.
Before losing consciousness, Han whispers something to Lee, indicating he has crucial information. Lee is determined to discover what happened and seeks assistance from his old friend Carter. The investigation leads the pair to Paris, where they encounter a cabaret dancer with evidence related to the case and a secret crime organization called the Shy Shen.
Before Chris Tucker was cast as Detective James Carter, other actors such as Martin Lawrence, Wesley Snipes, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, and Dave Chappelle were considered for the role.
Rush Hour 3 received mixed reviews from critics compared to previous films in the franchise. While people still loved the chemistry between Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, others found the humor and plot less engaging than Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2. Despite the mixed reception, the movie still performed well at the box office, earning $258.1 million.
The third installment marked the end of the initial Rush Hour film series, which left a lasting legacy on the industry. The franchise propelled Jackie Chan’s Hollywood career and expanded the buddy cop genre by influencing other action comedies. Its success illuminated the potential of dynamic partnerships and cemented Chris Tucker’s comedic status.
A fourth installment is reportedly in the works, with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker set to reprise their roles. But for now, fans can catch the first three films in the Rush Hour franchise before they leave Netflix on September 1.