Debuting on March 31 in the spot formerly occupied by Elementary, Rush Hour is the second big-screen adaptation that CBS has attempted this season. However, unlike Limitless the TV series, the small-screen version of Rush Hour based on the trio of films starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker goes nowhere fast. Stuck in a traffic jam of banality and tired tricks, Rush Hour the TV series takes everything from the movies and, as I say in my video review above, ends up with nothing more than a lukewarm buddy effort. Honestly, from what I’ve seen, if you like a mix of marital arts, comedy and opposites-attract storytelling, then swerve out of the way of this show and go straight to the far more fun 1998 movie and its 2001 and 2007 sequels.
Now, CBS only released the pilot of the Bill Lawrence- and Blake McCormick-developed series for review, so there is a chance things get better. But man, a lot would have to change. Like the films, the setup has a straight, by-the-book martial arts master Hong Kong detective and a fast-talking rule-breaking LAPD detective partnered up, and high jinks ensue – except they don’t. With 21 Jump Street actor Justin Hires in the Tucker role of James Carter and Bangkok Revenge alum Jon Foo as a three-piece-suited Yan Lee, the character portrayed by Chan, Rush Hour the series goes round in circles looking for plots and has nothing you haven’t seen before, even if you never saw the movies.
At TCA in January, Lawrence promised the series would evolve over its first season. With racial, sexual and cultural stereotypes galore that felt outdated back when Bill Clinton was President and the first Rush Hour movie came out, this series executive produced by Lawrence, McCormick, Brett Ratner, Steve Franks, Jeff Ingold and Arthur Sarkissian has some serious gaps to fill in.
Click on my review above and tell us what you think. Will you be taking a ride on Thursday?