Rush Hour is one of the best action comedies of the 21st century. The way Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker played their characters was fresh and new, and their partnership entertained people worldwide. There were a lot of buddy comedies at the turn of the century, but Rush Hour immediately stood out from the rest. The movie series was a commercial success and, to this day, is still one of the best comedy series that came out in the last 25 years.
The original movie, Rush Hour, follows two very different police officers who need to join their forces to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Chinese diplomat. Their cultural differences stand in the way of their goal, but in the end, they find a way to put aside their differences and become the best police duo from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. We will include the movies that made this series successful and explain each movie’s main premise without much spoiling.
How many Rush Hour movies are out there?
At the moment of writing this article, there are three Rush Hour movies released today. The first Rush Hour movie was released in 1998, closely followed by the sequel called Rush Hour 2 in 2001, and after six years, we got Rush Hour 3 in 2007.
There were rumors of this comedy trilogy procuring another Rush Hour project in the future, but we will discuss this in more detail in the article.
What is the best way to watch Rush Hour movies?
The best way to watch the Rush Hour movie franchise is by release date since every sequel follows everything chronologically. In other words, you can watch the Rush Hour series of movies by release date.
Rush Hour movies in order (at glance)
There are three Rush Hour movies released today. The first Rush Hour was released in 1998. It gained instant commercial success and quickly propelled itself as one of the best action comedies of that year. The movie showcased the unusual and seemingly different police officers who ultimately have the same goal – to serve and protect.
This next list of the watch order of the Rush Hour movie series at a glance:
- Rush Hour (1998)
- Rush Hour 2 (2001)
- Rush Hour 3 (2007)
We will mention more details about each movie, without spoilers, and the success and press they garnered when released. Moreover, we will mention where you can watch the movies, potential future projects, and if the movies are connected. If you are interested in this article, stay with us until the end. Let’s start!
Rush Hour movies in order (by release date)
Rush Hour (1998)
The movie that started it all, the original Rush Hour, was a breath of fresh air when it came out. It wasn’t revolutionary in comedy aspects, but the chemistry between Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker is something that carries this movie. Of course, the action parts of Rush Hour and the genius of Jackie Chan and his kung fu are delightful to watch in American movies.
The movie was directed by Brett Ratner and written by Jim Kouf and Ross LaManna, with cast members including Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan, Tzi Ma, Tom Wilkinson, Ken Leung, and more.
Synopsis: The story follows a loyal and dedicated Hong Kong Inspector, Lee, who teams up with LAPD street-smart officer Carter, whose recklessness and loud mouth get him in a lot of trouble. The duo joins forces to rescue the Chinese Consul’s kidnapped daughter while trying to deal with a dangerous crime lord ruling the Los Angeles underworld.
The movie was a commercial success and was one of the best action comedies released at the end of the 1990s. The critics praised the chemistry between Chan and Tucker and the former’s ability to perform action sequences without a stunning double. Jackie Chan brought the flavor of classic Hong Kong movies to Hollywood, which was absolutely glorious. After the movie’s success, the announcement of the sequel came pretty fast, and Rush Hour 2 was quickly developing.
Rush Hour 2 (2001)
The sequel of the original Rush Hour came in the form of Rush Hour 2, only three years later, specifically in 2001. The dynamic duo Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker returned to reprise their role as Inspector Lee and Detective Carter – the director Brett Ratner and Jeff Nathanson returned as director and writer, respectively.
Synopsis: Once again, the movie follows the dynamic duo of Lee and Carter as they go to Hong Kong on vacation but stumble upon another murder case, this time involving the murderous Triads, who are behind the bombing of the U.S. Embassy.
Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are, once again, an amazing duo with great chemistry and comedy, this time set in the vastly different cultures of Hong Kong. Rush Hour 2 was a commercial success, but this time the critics were a bit harsher on the movie, giving it mixed reviews. It mostly criticizes the movie as not being fresh and funny as the first one, which is expected with the sequels, and some critics thought Jackie Chan had more concrete action scenes in the original movie.
All in all, Rush Hour 2 was still entertaining and worth watching.
Řush Hour 3 (2007)
The third and final (for now) movie of the Rush Hour franchise is simply called Rush Hour 3. Almost all the crew returned to film the third movie, with Brett Ratner being the director and Jeff Nathanson reprising his role in the Rush Hour franchise as a writer.
Synopsis: Of course, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are again starring in the movie, and this time Carter and Lee are going to Europe. Carter and Lee are investigating the Triads. After the assassination attempt on Ambassador Han, the duo track down the assassin in Paris, where they need to stop him and find out what is going on in the criminal underworld.
The movie received mixed to negative reviews – the critics thought that the movie was a rip off of the previous ones and the content seemed repetitive, lacking any creativity. On the other hand, the movie gained commercial success and earned a lot of money at the box office, which sparked the rumors of new Rush Hour projects – we will talk about it shortly.
Where to watch Rush Hour movies?
The Rush Hour movies are quite available for the audience to watch, and it currently “sits” in the Netflix library and HBO Max. You can also order it on Amazon Prime Video.
Do you need to watch the Rush Hour movies in order?
Each movie is good at something, but for the continuation of the story, we recommend the franchise be watched in our order which is both chronological and in release date order.
Are Rush Hour movies connected?
The Rush Hour movies are definitely connected, and it clearly continues the story of the previous films. Yes, one could watch each movie separately, but in the end, if you start with the first one, you won’t be able to skip any sequel.
Will there be more Rush Hour movies/projects?
Based on the years of continuous reports by the media and actors Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, there have been many rumors about the new Rush Hour movie, the fourth installment of the franchise.
We will sum up the rumors in a few sentences – the rumors started right after the commercial success of Rush Hour 3, and director Ratner, with stars Chan and Tucker, said multiple times on the record that they would gladly reprise their roles of Lee and Tucker and revive the Rush Hour franchise.
After years of speculating, talking, and saying the movie is in the works, Rush Hour 4 finally started developing in 2018; however, the allegations of sexual misconduct by the Rush Hour director Brett Ratner came out by a few actresses, and the development of the movie stopped.
Rush Hour’s dreams of a new movie started veining, but the news of STX Studios picked up the project in 2019, with the plans of making a female lead Rush Hour, starring Li Bingbing, a Chinese actress, and singer. All in all, we can expect new projects in the Rush Hour franchise.