Rush Hour Blu-ray Review

Consul Han (Tzi Ma) has just moved to his new position in Los Angeles, but as soon he sets in his daughter, Soo Yung (Julia Hsu), is kidnap and held for ransom by known crime lord Juntao (Tom Wilkinson). The consul feels the need to add one of his own men, but the FBI agents Dan Whitney (Rex Linn) and Warren Russ (Mark Rolston) have a different opinion on this. Agent Russ calls local police depart LAPD and manages to get detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) to come and join their operation. Unknowingly, Carter shows up and gets appointed to take care of detective inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) and keep him away from the consul and the investigation. But Carter and Lee have different plans and get involved on the investigation without the approval of the FBI. Now they are on the race to rescue the consul’s daughter and bring down Juntao’s operation.

It’s been approximately 12 years (almost 13) since this movie was released in theaters and to this day it still remains on the memory of many. It wasn’t an Oscar winner by any means, the story wasn’t the best, but it leaves an undeniable sense of enjoyment by the time the credits begin rolling. Anyone going in to watching the movie and having high expectations is certainly going to be left wanting more, but those that understand what the movie is really about will simply sit back and enjoy it for what it is. It’s not a serious movie trying to do something different, it’s a comedy that has a witty and exaggerated dialogue (at times) and some sticky situations found only within these types of movies.

What was unexpected to me was the surprising duo and chemistry found within the tow lead actors, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. They seemed like two individuals of similar comedic backgrounds, yet different acting experience. The martial arts background of Jackie Chan really blended in well into the movie. The mixture of Western and Eastern cultures worked excellently. This has been done before, but honestly this feels like something that can be remembered far longer. As his previous feature films, Jackie Chan choreographed the majority of his fighting in the movie and part of the stunts and as usual everything is well done. Chris Tucker is a bit obnoxious, but his past work really shows you what he is all about, and is simply expected. The dialogue is writing around both leads and trying to get the most out of their charisma and personalities on camera. Their full personalities are out in the open and we get to see how well the actors work with each other. The story is not something to brag about, but it makes for a perfect popcorn movie. There are a bit more silly moments within the story than I had hoped and it takes a toll on the story and how it develops.

Rush Hour arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 encode framed at 2.40:1. Colors are natural and well resolved throughout. Skin tones are natural and lifelike, but there are few scenes where they look a tad bit overdone. Black levels are deep and inky, but some crushing is detected during nighttime scenes. Detailing is good and it features a great deal of textures on actor’s close up shots, clothing, streets, etc. There are a few soft shots, but nothing dramatic. Issues like artifacting, aliasing, crushing, DNR, etc. are all kept at a minimum. Rush Hour looks great on Blu-ray.

Rush Hour arrives on Blu-ray with a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless track. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout even during the loudest action scenes. The incredible space that this track features thanks to the 7.1 mix allows the music to adequately flow through the speakers will great fidelity. The LFE output provides incredible support to every gunshot, fistfights, bone crunching falls, tire screeching, etc. it just simply adds a great engrossing experience. The surrounds are used constantly providing a great sense of reality with pinpoint accuracy and directionality, although, the ambience and atmostpheric effects do not play a big part in this sound mix. Overall, Rush Hour sounds great on Blu-ray.

Audio Commentary – This commentary track features director Bret Ratner in a very entertaining track. Brett Ratner covers everything about the movie from the script to the stunt work. The track is entertaining and very informative.

A Piece of the Action – This is a documentary that takes the viewer behind the scenes with the filmmakers as they make Rush Hour.

Composer’s Audio Commentary – Score composer Lalo Schifrin tackles everything surround the score of the film.

Whatever Happened to Mason Reese – This is a short film created by filmmaker Brett Ratner.

Music Videos – “How Deep is Your Love” by Dru Hill and “Nuttin but Love” by Heavy D & The Boyz. Both include optional director’s commentary.

Deleted Scenes

Theatrical Trailer

Rush Hour is a typical east meets west action comedy that manges to stand on its own. Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are perfect fit for their roles and their chemistry makes the movie surprisingly entertaining. While the script wasn’t the best, the film’s true aim didn’t require it to be anything serious. After all, this film spurred two sequels. The Blu-ray features a decent video transfer and very satisfying audio mix. The supplements feature a few surprises that should leave fans happy. I recommend at least a rental.