Rush Hour

(i)

 

Buddy cop fun amidst explosions, bad guys, and language.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Review Date: May 4, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Appearances can be deceiving: a police officer who seems to be inept and out-of-control turns out to be heroic and responsible under extreme conditions. People of disparate cultures can learn to respect one another and work together to reach a positive outcome.

Positive role models

Both police and FBI agents are portrayed as ineffective, bumbling, and quick to jump to erroneous conclusions. The two heroes are loyal and compassionate, though they make a lot of mistakes and often are successful because they’re lucky rather than good.

Violence

Extensive martial arts fighting throughout. Though it’s definitely cartoon-like action in most instances, there are bodies strewn on the floor after a fight; there's a point-blank shooting of two bodyguards; and some minor bloody injuries are shown. A little girl is kidnapped and held captive; she’s seen struggling with her assailants. There are lots of gun fights, car chases, accidents, and explosions.

Sex

A girl briefly dances provocatively in a T-shirt; there’s one reference to "sleeping together."

Language

Frequent swearing with repeated use of "s--t," "ass," "Goddamn," "hell." Sprinkled throughout is other coarse language: "kiss my fat ass," "punk bitch," "balls," etc. A few racial slurs are used: "Chun King Cop," "Mr. Rice-A-Roni," and the "n" word is uttered for humor by an African-American police officer, then copied by his Asian counterpart.

Consumerism

Brief visual or spoken references to Epson, Pacific Bell, Nikon, Fed Ex, Miller Lite, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. United Airlines is featured in several scenes.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There’s some discussion of marijuana which is intended as comedy. Several characters are seen smoking it or are stoned, with one ironic comment "That’s bad for you." There’s a champagne toast, beer consumed at a card game, and one villain smokes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is a lot of action and fighting in this film. While in scene after scene, the violence is meant to be funny, exaggerated and admired for Jackie Chan’s martial artistry, the destruction is still considerable. A child is kidnapped and held captive. There are gunfights; buildings are blown up; two men are shot point-blank while trying to protect the little girl; there are car chases and crashes; and participants are threatened with multiple weapons, including rifles, guns, and axes. Swearing and harsh language ("s--t," "ass," other vulgar expressions, and some racial slurs) are heard throughout the film, and, like the action, it's meant to be mostly comedic and to define the characters. Marijuana use is featured in a bar scene, referred to upon occasion, again with humor as a goal.

What's the story?

In RUSH HOUR, Jackie Chan plays Hong Kong police detective Lee, who comes to Los Angeles to find the kidnapped 11-year-old daughter of his close friend, a Chinese diplomat. The FBI doesn't want Lee getting involved in the case, so they team him up with James Carter (Chris Tucker), a "cop who doesn't work well with others but is so good they have to put up with him." Carter's job is really to keep Lee out of the investigation, but Carter also decides this is his chance to shine and digs into the case himself while trying to distract Lee.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan is always a delight to watch. His charm, wit, and impeccable timing make his kung fu moves closer to Charlie Chaplin or Jacques Tati than to Stephen Segal. He has had a hard time finding an American script to showcase his talent, but comes a little bit closer with this action comedy. Comedian Tucker brings energy and some freshness to the tired role of the difficult new partner. Chan and Tucker seem to genuinely enjoy one another, and both share gifts for physical comedy that provide some very funny moments amidst the usual round of explosions and bad guys. And the little girl (Julia Hsu) is adorable, with a Mariah Carey imitation that is utterly delicious.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the violence in the movie. Do you think seeing so much action has an effect on how you act later? How does the comedy change the way you experience the violence?

  • Talk about how race is portrayed in the movie. Do you think this movie challenges or reinforces stereotypes?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 31, 1999
DVD release date:June 5, 2001
Cast:Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan, Tom Wilkinson
Director:Brett Ratner
Studio:New Line
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:97 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language and violence

This review of Rush Hour was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Mostly bloodless Chan/Li martial arts adventure.
  • Less compelling than the first, but fun for fans.
  • Remake has new stars, new country, but same winning spirit.
  • One of Jackie Chan's best, but also one of his most violent.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 16 years old Written bysemen13 April 9, 2008

It's more than a movie

Rush hour is about cultures that clash and tempers that flare as these two cops from different worlds and countries find out they have one thing in common: they can't stand each other. With time running out they quickly join forces to catch the criminals and if they don't they're in trouble.I think this movie is a good movie to make you laugh and to get you excited. If you wan't to laugh, I suggest you should watch this movie.
Kid, 7 years old December 25, 2010

Awesome, but scary and explicit

GREAT! SUPER! SEE IT NOW!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008

Gets your attention

Jackie Chan makes another great movie and Chris Tucker makes this more for adults. I would say 15+ because some of the comments by CT. But overall great action movie

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide