After an assassination attempt on the Chinese ambassador by the superbly dressed Chinese mafia, our ever-so-zany odd couple of crime fighters chase the culprits through the L.A. streets during...wait for it...rush hour! Eventually, the case leads them to France. And once our heroes hit the City of Light, the tired East vs. West culture-clash humor shifts to a French vs. American rivalry. This is done with all the jingoism and subtlety you would expect from a Brett Ratner movie. Nevertheless, the gimmick works. The duo has to contend with a snooty police chief (Polanski), an ever-present brooding cab driver who initially condemns Americans as insatiable killers but eventually begs to join the team (proving his worthiness by wearing a Lakers cap) and, of course, the ancient Chinese crime ring who enjoy throwing knives at people while dressing like they’re on Miami Vice.
After 10 years on the scene, it appears that director Brett Ratner likes to play God. With one hand he smites and destroys the beloved X-Men franchise and with the other he resurrects and elevates the dying Rush Hour. Sure, the jokes are crude and the plot is goofy, but Chan and Tucker have such a delightful rapport that they come close to perfecting the buddy-cop genre. Their genial banter and obvious affection for each other radiates so brightly that the film’s missteps and absurdities are obscured.