This file was generated 2002-09-03 03:17 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2001-08-23.
Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> April 1999 >> Rush Hour
Director Brett Ratner approached Jackie Chan with what he hoped would be the movie that would bring Jackie Chan the fame that has supposedly eluded him in the States. The classic buddy movie formula seemed appropriate. That translates to "not your typical Jackie Chan movie."
I admire Ratner's decision to surround Jackie with actors first and fighters second. Chan can act, but that's not necessarily what his fans want to see him doing. The pairing here with Chris Tucker could have been a dazzling show of show-stopping one-upmanship, each in their own way. Instead, both characters are a little flat, and don't get to show how really crazy they can be. Tucker, whose appearance in Fifth Element is permanently etched into my brain, is fairly relaxed here, and does much less clowning. Perhaps casting him as a cop was a mistake. Chan gets a few good stunt and fight sequences in, but nothing on the level of Rumble in the Bronx or even Operation Condor.
I have to say that I'm impressed. This is the first time that I've seen a disc with special attention paid to the score. There is an audio track that consists only of the score and the composer's comments. Lalo Schifrin's accent is a little thick, but his work and its explanation are very interesting. I'd like to see more movies do this, if for no other reason than to call attention to an aspect of film production that is too-often taken for granted. In contrast, the director's commentary is a little grating, from the excessive repetition of "one of my favorite actors" to the quality of Ratner's voice. He just doesn't sound convincing saying "ghetto-fabulous". He's definitely in love with the movie, and a little more humility might've been appreciated.
In terms of extra content, this disc is a marvel. Extras include a featurette about the movie, deleted scenes, cast and crew details, and a sampling of the director's other works. That sampling, two music videos and a student film, can be watched with or without director commentary. The featurette is also top-notch because it includes cast interviews that aren't entirely the actors recapping the movie for those who haven't seen it. Hearing Jackie Chan talk about his film idols is exactly the kind of thing that I want to hear.
The interface design is reasonably good. The text is almost always very easy to read, and navigation options abound on most screens. Interestingly, although the selected option is always obvious, its text is usually white on yellow, which isn't so good. The transitions from the main menu to the submenus are very stylish, and even highlight the available options by morphing them to their new location. They move slowly, however, and take unnecessarily long. I would've liked the same movement sped up so I didn't feel that the interface was slowing me down. The scene selector is hierarchical, which is nice, but the scenes are grouped unevenly, making some of the screens look strange.