Sept. 15, 2021

Midweek Mention... Rush Hour

Midweek Mention... Rush Hour
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RUSH HOUR is the 1998 buddy action comedy film brought to us by the visionary auteur Brett Ratner. We can be as horrible as we like about him, because he's a gigantic turd. 

However, this film marked the first non-dubbed Jackie Chan action film, his Hollywood breakthrough if you like. Let's see if it stands up after 20 plus years!


Rush Hour

Reegs: They called this movie rush hour, but it was like an hour and a half.

Sidey: Yeah, maybe.

Howie: it

Sidey: Comes into a little bit.

Reegs: Yeah, rush hour too. It's like two hours long. Maybe,

Dan: who knows where this would take. Is this film I've seen this?

Reegs: before? Yes, me too.

Howie: I hadn't said no, I hadn't been in any rush to see it. So I randomly picked out Netflix and I thought, you know what?

It might make more sense for me to watch this then watch rush hour too. And then I think, does it lead into Shanghai nights? Stop a

Sidey: No, there's a rush hour three.

Reegs: rush out. Mm.

Sidey: I saw this at the multiplex.

Reegs: teach you.

Sidey: Big time. Yeah. Huge Brett Ratner fan. Yeah. Yeah.

Reegs: Well, we've got onto that. How do you feel about Jackie Chan movies? It's something

Howie: Well this is what I was going to say. I hadn't really seen Jackie Chan movie. I haven't actually seen Jackie Chan movies, but just from straight from the off in watching this, they seem to be almost a tribute to.

Kung Fu films. I felt like I was watching a slightly more modern version of enter the dragon, especially with the music and the way that it was shot as well.

Reegs: Oh, well the music is, it starts with the soundtrack and it's Lalo Schifrin who did like bullet and oh, loads of other iconic jazz soundtracks. So the soundtrack is a good place.

Sidey: I mean

Dan: then

Reegs: did enter the dragon actually. Yeah. That's right. Lalo Schifrin. Did do the music to enter the dragon. Yeah, absolutely.

Howie: So if we just to give a quick overview of this, Jackie Chan plays detective inspector Lee, and he is paired with Chris Tucker who plays a thing. It's like the equivalent of inspector Carta.


Reegs: well, before all that, we get him solving well tracking down the elusive crime Lord, June towel. He's he's the doc Sydney

Howie: Yes. In Hong Kong,

Reegs: in Hong Kong, down at the docks in Hong Kong.

So ID this I feel is probably your area of specialty Pinto. At the docks

Sidey: but that's for a later episode

Dan: Yeah.

Reegs: And he's hoping to arrest the anonymous crime Lord gin towel, but he doesn't know who he is. He gets sang there. Who's can learn. He's the guy with blonde hair. Now he started in ed, in other Brett Ratner vehicles, including X-Men the last stand.

He was the porcupine guy.

Howie: Ah, cause I was trying to, I knew he was in star wars,

Reegs: He was in star

Howie: but I was trying to think I've seen him before somewhere else.

Reegs: Yeah, he's got a pretty good look and he escapes from the crime scene down at the docks in a boat.

Dan: Did, did you also, I mean, it's one of those films, obviously what's this

Sidey: 19 88,

Howie: 98. Yeah. 98, 98.

Dan: not

Howie: No. Yeah.

Dan: 10 years off.

Howie: Yeah. It took that long to

Dan: Well, it was it looks a little bit dated now. you know, Jackie Chan, I think it was one of his big breakout ones.

Wasn't it

Howie: I think it was

Dan: But obviously he was huge in Hong Kong, but

Sidey: the first west, not Western, but us feature where he wasn't dubbed.

Dan: Right. Okay.

Howie: that's what I was querying. Was it his first film where he spoke English primarily,

Sidey: and that they did that because he didn't want to do that.

He wanted, he was still would prefer it to be Dutch, but because of the nature of the fish out of water thing, guide, you know, the language barrier, they wanted that

Reegs: Okay. Yeah. Well, this is a key part of the plot. Really you're telling me, Jackie Chan was dubbed in those movies.

Sidey: Right. So.

Reegs: Lies. So after he is escaped in a boat Jintao inspector Lee has got loads of stuff like cultural treasures that he rounds up and he presents it to His departing superiors, because this is set against the last day of British rule in Hong Kong in 1997.

And he's departing, the superiors are so long Han and the British commander, Thomas Griffin, who is played by Tom will concern. Yeah. If you don't know him, it's he sort of got one of these faces. It looks like it's been gently pressed with the rolling pin out to the outside.

Howie: He

Dan: in

Sidey: the four months he wasn't here. He was,

Reegs: Yeah. Mission impossible ghost protocol.

Sidey: of his is the one with George Clooney. the name

Reegs: the best hotel? No,

Sidey: no. It's a name. Michael Leighton. Yeah, he plays the lawyer. That's lost his marbles.

Dan: Well, I mean, anybody that knows anything about films has identified him as the bad guy.

Sidey: straight away,

Howie: away, without doubt,

Dan: Just off this, you think, oh, when it's him, he did it straight away.

Sidey: This is not a subtle movie. No, no,

Reegs: no, but I mean, it's not cycled to the point of looking ridiculous really, because the offended party, and this is the obviously completely righteous Chinese government and, and the terrible democratic, loving Hong Kong people. You know, it's, it's it hasn't aged. Well, let's, let's say,

Howie: well, one, one thing that has aged well is the stunts, the sheer physicality, the

Reegs: Oh, wow.

Howie: wow.

Reegs: Yeah, the stents are good. The stunts, a number of them are taken or repeats of fight scenes that he did in his earlier movies. There's a few scenes from like rumble in the rumble in the Bronx in there. And please story, just like a few movements that are copied because he'd not done that stuff in a Western

Sidey: So that was interesting. How, when you said earlier, was it like a homage or a thing? Because there were literal like copy control C control of his moves from,

Reegs: and again too, we went and watched Shang Chi and the scaffolding fight in Chiang. Kai is strongly reminiscent of the scaffolding fight in this actually.

Dan: w th the, one of the things in my extensive research for this film that I found out is that a Jackie Chan actually, he wasn't. As you said, keen on his accent and everything. And his language is English language ability, but also he was a little bit per out. The fact that the fight scenes were so short because in his Hong Kong films, it was like 10 minutes

Sidey: you know,

Dan: of pure action fighting and things. while they. They had fight in and had plenty of it in this film, it was always condensed down to sort of like two, three minute scenes.

Which for me were the best bits of the film. You know, there was some absolutely fantastic

Howie: the stunts at the end with the high walking. Whereas in that building, he's actually walking through, across that beam.

Dan: does all his own stunts. Doesn't he? I mean, I think

Reegs: no, that was CGI.

The shot from above is CGI, but the bit where he goes down, the, it was a composition, not CGI, but a bit where he slides down the. Thing is this

Dan: the big,

Howie: Oh, is it? Oh, sorry. I thought I thought him walking across the beam was real, but the sliding down was,

Reegs: no. I mean, he's got a wire on him and stuff, but so his boss takes up a new position in Los Angeles.

Sidey: doing

Reegs: Diplomatic shit,

Dan: Yeah. He's he's, he's the new diplomat, Chinese different market Tasha you for LA

Reegs: Yeah. Which makes sense. Complete sense. Yeah. And his daughter goes to school. She sings Mariah Carey's fantasy which was a nice sort of placement in time.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah. That's right in the, in the back of the car with the, with the body guards, as he's just been pulled away and said, oh, look, we need you to you can't drop her off to school today.

We need you to come away for some important phone call, so you can trust the body guards. And her singing in the back makes them want to pull over and get her kidnapped at some stage

Reegs: Well the poor keeping pine guy shoots them in the face.

Sidey: It's pretty brutal. You'd think she'd have some pretty full on PTSD,

Reegs: for life.


Sidey: the Mariah Carey number.

Do you know the sample in that it's genius of love by the Tom Tom club? Yeah.

Reegs: I don't feel like I know anything more really after that, apart from some words mean, well, Carter is introduced to us that what's his jobs, Chris Tucker,

Dan: I must say

Reegs: Carter, he's introduced to us, but I'm buying C4 with Chris Penn,

Howie: Yes. Which is the weird, bizarre I read about obviously Chris Tucker and this'll be a story.

Most of us probably know it. He was not the first choice to play detective Carter.

Sidey: He was the last black man on the, on the audition.

Howie: will, it appears to be of all of the actors that are supposed to have been in that Eddie Murphy was the first choice. He turned it down. Will Smith turned it down. Martin Lawrence turned it down and then Chris Tucker was approached to do it.

Sidey: David Chappelle as well, and also Tupac Shakur, not even an actor

Dan: not even an actor or comedian,

Sidey: or even alive

Dan: Even a lot.

Howie: was this about the same time Chris Tucker was in the fifth element because that's the only two films I can picture him in at the minute.

Sidey: but I liked it.

Howie: But, yeah, but I was going to say, I can't, as he done anything since I'm going to be really shot down there

Reegs: I did, but no, his life took an interesting path actually.

Cause he went off and did a load of humanitarian work. Actually. It was quite interesting. Yeah. So she's been abducted

Dan: kicking and screaming. This is what I liked about her. Actually. She showed, she showed character. She didn't just she.

Reegs: he'd already had already Great. Great. Well, yeah, groomed though, and then taught her how to, he'd been like gouge the eyes and all

Sidey: that,

Reegs: stuff.

Dan: yeah. Given a few fighting skills and tips Sydney, but she used them. I thought that showed her a nice bit of character for the girl. We know that she's not going to be scared and she's got this. But eventually they overpower, they put her in a car and, and fire off and start holding a family to ransom

Reegs: Yeah. And the FBI are called in to prevent an international incident, which they would be.

It's big stuff.

Dan: this is, this is huge. It's bigger than that.

Sidey: Yeah. Massive.

Reegs: And he he

Sidey: needs his own man on the caveman in

Reegs: case. Exactly.

Sidey: So hence the arrival of Jackie Chan,

Dan: and they don't want him do they, they, they the FBI a pretty arrogant

Reegs: don't

Dan: believe they need any help to solve this case.

So they get Chris Tucker somehow involved

Howie: They

Dan: he's getting promoted, but basically just being asked to keep Chan away Lee for babysit him. So he doesn't get involved in

Howie: this.

Reegs: did you notice the captain or Chris Tucker's captain in this

Sidey: wasn't it the one of the sisters of mercy from.

Reegs: that was the other guy that was the FBI guy. No, it was the captain.

We recently saw him in boogie nights as Fred gondola, the porn theater magnet. His name is Philip Baker hall

Sidey: It was his 90th birthday last week. That was it.

Dan: happy day.

Reegs: Yeah, that's a good

Howie: And this is where the film becomes basically a slight rewrite of Beverly Hills.

Sidey: called basically.

Howie: Yeah, basically. And to be fair, I actually watched the ad. Yes. All right. And watch now I know exactly what was going to happen. It's not going to it's not exactly film noir, detective series. It's the classic bungling interference thrown off the case.

Work undercover. Get back in edge of the seat stuff for stumps and then redeem yourself and, and end up to. Two detectives who have different sides of the track, become friends at the end, you know, and it's formulaic, it's clearly box office, it's popcorn film,

Reegs: but one thing that's not formulaic about it is having an Asian guy and a black man as the two leads. It would normally be a buddy cop dynamic has always got one white guy for the audience to relate to, which is awful to say, but true. So this was, I think the first time, or at least the one of the first times I can remember where that dynamic didn't include a white guy.

So these but on the other hand,

Dan: like China.

Howie: Yeah.

Reegs: Well, yeah, exactly.

Dan: he, he was the big draw wasn't he? Because.

Howie: he's

Dan: Huge. I mean, Jackie Chan in in anything, but we will life in all his films.

He's quite small guy, otherwise. And, and Chris Taka, as you say, he was maybe like third, fourth choice. But I think during that time he had quite a big name and everything.

Reegs: yeah.

But they have all the tropes and characteristics of basically sidekicks and stereotypes really.

I mean, yeah. I, it all resolves itself, Tom Wilkinson that you say correctly is the bad guy. There's some really neat stuff where Chan's trying to protect the stuff in the museum while other guys are shooting it and breaking it and stuff.

Dan: still awake.

Sidey: at this stage.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah, no, I didn't fall asleep, but I was losing concentration. Partly because of what you said there, I just knew what was going to happen. I mean, I'd seen it once before, probably in a year, 2000 doors in around that kind of

Sidey: time. I find the fights just a little bit to choreograph. Get out fucking, no, it's true.

There's stuff where he's. He's dancing around trying to stop a virus and fall over and he props it up and whack put it in and you just

Dan: mean, that, that same was very, very, I

Sidey: all right to a point. But when it goes on and on, I just find it a little bit too, like,

Reegs: it said in a long tradition of that kind of

Howie: thing. It's very

Reegs: arts

Dan: I did think they were the stronger parts of the film, to be honest in that vaccine scene. I thought it was probably one of the, I mean, they, they even rip off a Indiana Jones to some certain extent where he saved the vases, he kicked ass and then somebody shoots the VARs.

Howie: What'd you make your Jackie singing, you know, there's, there's an untapped talent there. I'm sure.

Reegs: and how he's going to give us an impression.

Howie: Well, I would, but I reckon that would hit the cutting room floor for exaggerating a, an accent that would be deemed quite possibly slightly racist and a phobic and

Sidey: Funny,

Dan: tangibly

Reegs: The racism and the xenophobia, isn't the worst thing associated with this

Howie: The sexism is pretty horrific as well. So once the

Reegs: Yeah. Well that will have come from director Brett Ratner. So he directed red dragon, which I really liked. And X man, the last stand, which is probably a generous mare

Howie: tower.

Reegs: and the awful tower heist. He's been me to, to oblivion by Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge amongst others earlier.

Sidey: page. Okay.

Reegs: Anna Paquin. He's a predatory piece of shit. He used his power and influence with very little in the way of artistic flair throughout his career.

Dan: interview next week. Yeah. No sir, sounds a, a son of a bitch. And

Sidey: I got a bit of trivia though.

Reegs: about that.

Sidey: sorry, Elizabeth. Well, let me get back to that.

Howie: I can give you one piece of trivia then Russia was the inspiration behind the movie website, rotten tomatoes.

Reegs: this today. It's amazing.

Howie: Yeah. I didn't believe that. So the movie review site, rotten tomatoes is one of the most reliable ways of figuring out allegedly, unless you're listening to our podcast solely to see if any movie is any good.

And Russia was the inspiration for its creation USA.

Sidey: student,

Howie: Apologies to this gentleman. If I get his name wrong, Sen Dawn was a big fan of Jackie Chan's Hong Kong movies and created the site collect reviews of his work. When it was announced that he was going to be starring in rush hour.

Sidey: Have you ever looked at rotten tomorrow's website?

Howie: All right. Do you know what

Sidey: fucking awful.

Howie: I've never do.

You know, the only times you ever look at it, when you see it, it's in the results of a Google search and you see the stars and you'll read three lines and go, that's all I need to say. Really? I don't actually go on the site itself. Is it just really poorly done as

Sidey: It's really hard to figure out what's going on.

But to do with Brett Ratner, Elizabeth Pena, I don't believe this by the way, played a

Reegs: in the movie. Wasn't

Howie: was, the detective

Sidey: played a prank on director Brett Ratner in which she appeared on set, wearing nothing but her characters, bomb squad vest, right? According to Pena, she thought Ratana would laugh. Instead. He was extremely nervous and embarrassed.

I don't think that would be his reaction. He'd be like, I'll meet you in my trailer.

Reegs: But

Sidey: You

Dan: know, he might have just four. Ooh, it's actually happening now. I was I tweeted no I didn't tweet. I put on my Instagram a little video of, of that ball scene and somebody called my private collection underscore nine 90.

It's a huge Jackie Chan fan is collected loads of his movies, music merchandise since 1998 and said, please look at my page. So I did, and surely they do have loads of stuff and it's you could, you could check that out. He's got hats, jackets, posters,

Reegs: Are we getting a kickback or anything?

Dan: And well maybe you never know

Howie: when you say he's got cancer, these are Jackie Chan's stuff,

Dan: but he's.

Just tons of Jackie Chan memorabilia that he's collected since not, you're not yet. So Jackie Chan we know is a huge star and has some you know, fans that will watch everything that he does.

Reegs: He owns a segway dealership as well,

Dan: any owns a segway dealership. I mean, is there nothing, this man can't do. This act, oh boy, he was good. He was decent.

He wasn't the reason why I didn't enjoy this movie massively. In fact, he was the reason that I kept watching. And Chris Tucker, I didn't mind him. He I'd add some lines, but it was just the, the formulaic. I know what's going to happen from the very first moment when you sat around that big board table and there.

Hugging and saying, oh, you're going to go off now to LA I knew who the bad guy was. I knew that they were going to. Not, you know, things weren't going to go their way, then things were going to go their way and then things weren't going to go their way and sure enough, they were going to come up, smelling the

Reegs: I bet you're kind of describing every story that's ever been told.


Dan: Yeah. But they, they kind of just,

Reegs: you go to this movie for the action scenes in the laughs and I didn't even like the laughs particularly, but I did quite enjoy the action scenes.

Dan: was better than the laughs. There was a few, but not

Reegs: One thing that bothered me was the, you know, at the end of a Jackie Chan movie, always the outtakes and nearly, always him like having it well, getting his legs broken and stuff.

And it's not that I really enjoy him, like waving bravely from a stretcher as they wheel him into an ambulance. But there's, you know, I do like seeing where it's gone wrong, but in this one, it was just them like fucking up their lines, really stuff.

Sidey: A near fatal injury to Jackie Chan on this one. Yeah, the metal shipping containers.

Reegs: Oh, that was really cool. That

Sidey: he nearly got hit very, very, nearly the time he was out. He nearly got squashed

Reegs: looked tight. It's running up the middle of them as they're moving together.

Dan: the best scenes though. He's made it. And it was, it was kind of real. Yeah,

Sidey: Should we talk money? Should we talk money?

Dan: it might, I know this would have made because there are two other sequels basically based on the fact that this was a huge surprise

Sidey: Yeah. So money making machine, but it, the budget was 33 million.

Who wants to guess closest gets the prize.

Reegs: 300 million.

Sidey: Yeah,

Dan: 10 times I'll go 303,

Howie: 450.

Reegs: 300. I said, are you win?

Sidey: cause it was 244.

Reegs: Okay. It's still huge.

Sidey: It's bigger than that. Yeah.

Dan: Is that dollars or pounds?

Sidey: dollar pounds

Reegs: dollar pounds and euros.

Sidey: Yeah. So I enjoyed this a lot more when I was young. Now that I'm old and cynical, it's just a bit like, man.

It's okay.

Reegs: If you get to watch Jackie Chan movies, watch some of the earlier stuff that you did because it's

Dan: Hong Kong stuff, or is it earlier than this?

What would you recommend more than

Reegs: please story rumble in the Bronx operation condo. Yeah. Some of that stuff. Drunken master. Yeah.

Howie: Yeah. I just needed to see it because it's been there. I haven't seen it. It's so old. It's his foray into Hollywood. So I just needed a base level to work

Dan: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, and if you want to dabble into a Jackie Chan, really easy to watch hour and a half long if you go out and take a shit, come back, you can still pick it up.


Howie: exactly what it says on the movie poster. Have a shit, come back,

Dan: You can't go wrong with this one then.