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Rush Hour (1998) is a Jackie Chan vehicle but also a lighweight
melody that represents a welcome change from the stereotypical kung-fu film.
In Hong Kong a gangster escapes chased by acrobatic detective Lee, but thanks
to Lee's work a load of 5000-year old antiquities are recovered and his British
boss publicly praises him at his farewell reception (Hong Kong is being handed
over to the Chinese).
Lee's chief and his daughter (a fanatic admirer of Lee) move to America to take
over the Chinese consulate but the girl is brutally kidnapped. The consul
calls Lee, but the FBI wants control of the operations and asks the local LA
police chief for an officer to distract Lee when he arrives. The chief has
one problem that doesn't go away, a reckless African-American detective named
Carter, and is happy to assign him to this case (pretending it is a delicate
FBI case). Carter soon realizes the truth, that he has to babysit this
undesired Chinese guest. Lee pretends he does not speak English and quickly
eludes Carter's guard (he handcuffs him to the steering wheel). Lee reaches
the consulate and enters the compound eluding dozens of FBI agents and
meets the consul. Carter shows up tied to the steering wheel (and learns
that Lee speaks perfect english).
Despite Lee's warnings, the FBI falls in a trap and dozens
of officers are killed when a building blows up.
But the FBI is still determined to keep him away. Carter, though, helps him
track down the gangster, Juntao, in a restaurant. Unfortunately the shoot out
prevents the FBI from delivering the ransom and the girl is again taken away
by the gangsters. Carter, though, has caught a glimpse of a British man in
cahoots with the gangster: he is the same man who represented the British
government in Hong Kong.
Carter employs his semi-legal methods to investigate, while the FBI seems
only interested in paying the ransom and getting the girl back safe and sound.
His only comfort is a female colleague, an expert in explosives, whom he
flirts with although she shows no interest in him.
Again, Carter and Lee reach Juntao just when the FBI is about to deliver the
ransom: at a busy reception in a luxurious hotel to welcome the Chinese
antiquities. At the end of an acrobatic fight, the evil British agent crashes
down from the ceiling while trying to reach a helicopter. The girl is
booby-trapped but the female expert saves her.
Carter is awarded a vacation in Hong Kong.