Brett Ratner’s Rush Hour was released in 1998, and today it’s considered to be among the best buddy cop movies of all time! It’s hardly surprising, considering Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker’s on-screen chemistry, as they make for a memorable dynamic duo. In turn, it’s easy to see why people love this movie, and the franchice, as much as they do. While I’m not necessarily a fan, I admire the work and effort that goes into old-school action movies, and this case is no different. With a great cast of actors, and colorful characters, it’s an action film worth watching, time and time again! Therefore, I think it’s time we make a list, isn’t it? After rewatching it, I present to you, the 5 best Rush Hour (1998) characters!
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5. Griffin / Juntao
Tom Wilkinson plays a convincing bad guy, who’s sadly squandered by the lack of screen time, and poor writing. It’s quite surprising, isn’t it? We’re talking about Tom Wilkinson, who’s capable of putting on a performance. It’s quite easy for him, considering her background. Instead, we’re treated to a half-baked villain, who genuinelly isn’t memorable and who comes too late to be of interest. Therefore, he doesn’t rank any higher, as Tom Wilkinson doesn’t get the spotlight he deserves, portraying the main villain. In turn, he lands at the fifth spot of the best Rush Hour characters list!
Elizabeth Peña’s Johnson is a good side character, isn’t she? With a fun attitude and a fitting personality, she holds her own acting opposite Chris Tucker. I mean, that’s no small feat. While the two obviously had some on-screen chemistry, considering that even their phone calls were entertaining, there’s more to it. Elizabeth Peña portrays a simplistic character very well, and it’s all about her body language and line delivery. It goes without saying, but she nails it!
3. Soo Yung
Yes, “that little girl from Rush Hour”, is the third best character of the movie! But, that shouldn’t be surprising, right? Considering that at the time of the film, she’s merely 11 years old, Julia Hsu does a fantastic job. She delivers a somewhat memorable performance, and does it with a ton of attitude. Whether it’s an emotional delivery or singing like Mariah Carey, Soo Yung is magical! While it’s easy to say that Tzi Ma and Tom Wilkinson are better actors, they didn’t have nearly enough charm and charisma as Julia Hsu. Therefore, I feel comfortable labeling Soo Yung as the third best Rush Hour character!
When it comes to action movies, I consider Jackie Chan “the old reliable”, as he always delivers a great performance! It doesn’t matter if the script or the character is well-written, Jackie Chan can do a lot with very little, which is the case with Lee from Rush Hour. While portraying a generic character, he shines through with thanks to his ageless humor and likeable personality. It’s his natural charisma and charm that make each of his characters entertaining, and Lee is a prime example of that! Together with Chris Tucker, they’re combined forces make for an unforgettable dynamic duo, where both characters are enhanced.
In all honesty, it’s a toss up between Chan’s Lee and Tucker’s Carter. They work so well together that seperating them actually hurts, yet after rewatching the movie, I’m leaning towards Carter! It’s simply the way Chris Tucker shines and overwhelms the screen with his presence. It’s about his contagious laughter, his over-the-top behavior, and overall dedication to the role that gives him the nodd over Jackie in my book.
Let’s be Honest, this is a Chris Tucker movie. Whether it’s his sense of humor, body language or his dedication to the role, Carter shines brightly! That’s nothing to sneeze at, when you consider that he’s acting opposite Jackie Chan, and doesn’t play second fiddle. I mean, it’s not everyday someone steals the spotlight from Jackie Chan, is it? However, I should explain that it’s a great performance in large part due to their on-screen chemistry. Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker are a dymanic duo, and they work well together!
Chris Tucker is most known for playing Smokey in Friday (1995). But, Carter is easily Tucker’s second best movie character of all time! Thus, it makes perfect sense that both he and Jackie Chan returned for 2 sequels, with Rush Hour 4 rumored to be in the works!