8:05 PM, 5th June, 1999
Hong Kong Police detective and martial arts instructor Detective Inspector Lee (Chan) is assigned to go to the United States to track down the kidnapped 11 year old daughter of a Chinese diplomat. The FBI would like to keep Lee out of their hair as they conduct their own investigation, and they assign rogue LAPD Detective James Carter (Tucker) to distract Lee, and keep Lee out of the FBI's way.
Seeing this as an opportunity to impress the FBI, and possibly get a job there, Carter jumps at the FBI's request, only to learn that his assignment is to baby-sit this meddling Hong Kong detective. He decides to just distract Lee so he can solve the case himself, to show the FBI he's more than a babysitter, but he greatly underestimates the cunning Lee's abilities, and quickly finds his hands full as Lee seizes the moment and moves into full "Jackie Chan" mode.
Life, they say, is all about trade-offs, but Rush Hour asks for a trade-off that just doesn't seem fair: in order to watch Jackie Chan in action, you've got to listen to Chris Tucker in action. Chan is one of the most engaging performers in films, a creator of ingenious martial artistry whose personal charm makes his jaw-dropping stunt work even more fun to watch. Tucker, on the other hand, may be the funniest guy on the planet some day, but I'll never know it until he stops reading every line in the mellifluous tones usually associated with a circular saw. Definitely worth seeing for Chan's performance. Oh and stick around to watch the credits.
9:45 PM, 5th June, 1999
Plot, the clich goes, is secondary in a Jackie Chan film. Well Police Story is (perhaps) the exception that proves the rule. Jackie plays a young undercover cop, working to capture a dangerous drug lord. The bust goes wrong when the bad guys spot them, but Jackie saves the day in a great chase sequence. Jackie is turned into a hero by the police, anxious to salvage something out of the near disaster. He is also assigned to protect the drug lord's secretary Selena (Brigitte Lin), and persuade her to produce a confession. Things go downhill from there.
Despite having a stronger plot than usual, the normal elements of a Chan film are here in abundance. The set piece action scenes are fantastic, as usual. The final set piece in particular is great, with a wonderful running fight through a mall. There's also the practically obligatory stunt where Jackie nearly kills himself. As usual, the end credits contain all the out takes from the stunts that went wrong. If you turned up for Rush Hour, you should stick around and see what a real Hong Kong movie looks like.