Rush Hour (1998 film)

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Rush Hour

Original film poster

Directed by Brett Ratner
Produced by Roger Birnbaum

Jonathan Glickman Arthur M. Sarkissian Leon Dudevoir Jay Stern Wayne Morris

Written by Jim Kouf

Ross LaManna

Story by Ross LaManna
Starring Jackie Chan

Chris Tucker Tom Wilkinson Chris Penn Elizabeth Peña

Music by Lalo Schifrin
Cinematography Adam Greenberg
Editing by Mark Helfrich

Tim Chau (sound) Doug Jackson (sound effects)

Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) *September 18, 1998
Running time 98 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Cantonese Mandarin

Budget $33 million
Box office $244,386,864(worldwide)

Rush Hour is a 1998 American action comedy film and the first installment in the Rush Hour Film Series. Directed by Brett Ratner and starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. It was followed by two sequels, Rush Hour 2, (2001) and Rush Hour 3 (2007).



On the Last Day of British Rule in Hong Kong, Detective Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) of the Hong Kong police leads a raid at a shipping bar wharf, hoping to arrest the mysterious crime lord Juntao. He finds only Sang (Ken Lueng), Juntao's right-hand man, who manages to escape. However, Lee successfully recovers numerous Chinese cultural treasures stolen by Juntao, which he presents as a farewell victory to his departing superiors: Chinese Consul Solon Han (Tzi Ma) and British Commander Thomas Griffin (Tom Wilkinson).

Shortly after Han arrives in the United States to take up his new diplomatic post in Los Angeles, his daughter, Soo Yung, is kidnapped by Sang while on her way to her first day of school. The FBI inform Consul Han about the incident, who calls in Lee to assist in the case.

The FBI, afraid that the injury or death of Lee would result in negative attention, pawn him off on the Los Angeles Police Department. Captain Diel gives the assignment to the arrogant and annoying Detective James Carter, who he is angry at over a botched undercover operation that injured two other officers and destroyed evidence, by tricking him into thinking the FBI truly wants him. When Carter discovers the real assignment, Captain Diel threatens to suspend him for two months without pay if he fails. Carter reluctantly agrees, secretly intending to solve the case himself.

Carter meets Lee at the Los Angeles International Airport and then proceeds to take him on a sightseeing tour of Los Angeles, simultaneously keeping Lee away from the embassy and contacting several of his underworld informants about the kidnapping. Lee finally escapes and makes his way to the Chinese Consulate, where an anxious Han and a group of FBI agents are awaiting news about his daughter. While being reprimanded by Agent-in-charge Warren Russ (Mark Rolston), Carter accidentally involves himself in a phone conversation with Sang, where he poorly arranges a ransom drop of $50 million.

After their arrival at the agreed drop point, Lee tries to warn the FBI that something is amiss, but is ignored until a bomb inside the building is detonated, killing numerous agents. Spotting Sang nearby, Lee and Carter give chase, but Sang escapes, dropping the detonator in the process. After showing it to Carter's colleague, LAPD bomb expert Tania Johnson (Elizabeth Peña), they learn that the detonator could blow up C4, which leads to Clive (Chris Penn), the man who Carter arrested in his botched sting. Clive is guilt-tripped by Lee into revealing his business relationship with Juntao and that they can find him at a restaurant in Chinatown.

At the restaurant, Carter is captured after going in alone, though he sees a surveillance video of Juntao carrying Soo-Yung into a van. Lee arrives and rescues Carter, and they are met outside by the FBI, led by Russ, who blames them for ruining the ransom exchange. Sang phones the consul, angrily telling him that the ransom has been increased from $50 million to $70 million, and threatens to kill Soo Yung if anything else goes wrong. Disgraced and guilt-ridden, Lee and Carter are ordered off the investigation, and Lee is informed that he will be sent back to Hong Kong. Carter refuses to drop the case and confronts Lee on his plane to enlist his help, and the two men decide to save Soo-Yung together.

The final confrontation comes at the opening of a Chinese art exhibition at the Los Angeles Convention Center, which Han and Griffin are overseeing, while the ransom is being delivered. Carter, Lee, and Johnson enter disguised as guests. After Carter recognizes Griffin from Chinatown, he creates a scene by alerting the spectators about a bomb threat in the building and tells them to evacuate. In the confusion, Lee sees Sang handing Griffin a detonator identical to the one he and Carter had previously recovered, deducing that Griffin is really Juntao. With this knowledge, Lee points to Griffin as the real Juntao, and Griffin, seeing that his cover is blown, threatens to detonate a bomb vest attached to Soo Yung if the delivery is interrupted. During the stand-off, however, Carter manages to sneak out and locate Soo Yung. He then drives the van into the building and brings the bomb vest within range so that Juntao cannot set it off, knowing it would kill himself too.

After a gunfight breaks out, Carter gives Soo Yung to Lee, and Johnson manages to get the vest off Soo Yung. Lee then takes the vest and pursues Griffin (who is carrying a baggage of the ransom with him while getting up to the top of the building to await for a helicopter escape) while Carter shoots Sang dead in a gunfight as Sang attempts to collect more of the ransom and kill one of the FBI agents. During the pursuit, both Lee and Griffin men fall over the rail with Lee holding onto a rafter and Griffin holding onto the bomb vest. The vest then rips apart, sending Griffin falling to his death into a fountain below, Lee then loses his grip and falls, but Carter is able to rescue him by placing a large flag under him to catch him.

Han and Soo Yung are reunited, and Han sends Carter and Lee on vacation together to Hong Kong as a reward for their actions. Before Carter leaves, Agents Russ and Whitney offer him a position in the FBI, which he rudely refuses. The film ends with Lee and Carter enjoying their flight to Hong Kong.


Juntao's Men

  • Chan Man-ching (as Man Ching Chan)
  • Andy Cheng (as Andy Kai Chung Cheng)
  • Stuart W. Yee (as Stuart Yee)
  • Nicky Li (as Nicky Chung Chi Li)
  • Ken Lo (as Kenneth Houi Kang Low)
  • Mars (uncredited)
  • Kwan Yung (uncredited)
  • William Tuan (uncredited)
  • Bowen Sheng (uncredited)
  • James Lew (uncredited)
  • Johnny Cheung (uncredited)
  • Will Leong (uncredited)


Rush Hour opened at #1 at the North American box-office with a weekend gross of $33 million in September 1998.[1] Rush Hour grossed over $244 million worldwide, making the film a box office success.[2][3] The film received mixed to positive reviews.[4] Roger Ebert praised both Jackie Chan, for his entertaining action sequences without the use of stunt doubles, and Chris Tucker, for his comical acts in the film, and how they formed an effective comic duo.[5] The film currently holds a 62% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, just enough for a "Fresh" rating. The film was viewed on a total of 2,638 screens. It made $54,123,698 in movie rentals (USA).[6][7]


A sequel Rush Hour 2, was made in 2001, which was primarily set in Hong Kong. A third movie, Rush Hour 3, was released on August 10, 2007,[8] which was primarily set in Paris, France. Tucker earned $25 million for his role in the third film and Chan received the distribution rights to the movie in Asia.[9] A fourth film in the series is in negotiations, and reportedly may be set in Moscow.[10]


Main article: Rush Hour (soundtrack)The soundtrack features the hit single "Can I Get A..." by Jay-Z, Ja Rule and Amil, as well as tracks by Edwin Starr, Flesh-n-Bone, Wu-Tang Clan, Dru Hill, Charli Baltimore and Montell Jordan.


Home Media


Release date Country Classifaction Publisher Format Language Subtitles Notes REF
15 June 1999 United States PG-13 New Line Home Video NTSC English None [12]
18 October 1999 United Kingdom 12 Eiv PAL English None [13]


Release date Country Classifaction Publisher Format Region Language Sound Subtitles Notes REF
2 March 1999 United States PG-13 New Line Home Video NTSC 1 English Unknown English Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (16:9) [14]
1 October 1999 United Kingdom 15 Eiv PAL 2 English Unknown English Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 (16:9) [15]


Release date Country Classifaction Publisher Format Region Language Sound Subtitles Notes REF
1 September 2005 United Kingdom 12 Eiv PAL 2 English Unknown English [16]
3 January 2006 United States PG-13 New Line Home Video NTSC 1 English Unknown English [17]


Release date Country Classifaction Publisher Format Region Language Sound Subtitles Notes REF
11 October 2010 United Kingdom 15 Warner Home Video PAL Free English Unknown English Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 (16:9) [18]
7 December 2010 United States PG-13 New Line Home Video NTSC Free English Unknown English Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 (16:9) [19
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