‘Rush Hour’ pilot review
By Lauren Paulsen, Senior Columnist
Rush Hour is a new action-comedy television show based on the movies of the same name. A straight-laced detective from Hong Kong unwillingly teams up with a detective from L.A. who doesn’t follow the rules.
Unfortunately, Rush Hour doesn’t really show much originality. There aren’t any new spins on the genre tropes to make it feel fresh, and the characters are very stereotypical. Lee (Jon Foo) is the by-the-book cop who’s, always in a stylish suit, where Carter (Justin Hires) is the funny black partner that does everything unconventionally, but somehow still manages to keep his job. Neither wants to work together in the beginning, both preferring to be lone wolves, but by the end they both like each other and team up.
The show’s humour is entertaining enough, but it’s all been done to death. There is a running gag throughout the pilot episode where Carter keeps trying to prove he is braver than Lee. Lee never disputes this, but still manages to act in a way that makes Carter feel bad about himself. For example, Carter goes on about being shot in the leg and how he was a big hero, but then he finds out Lee was actually shot twice, and feels put out because Lee had been placating him and hadn’t even mentioned that he’d been shot. It wouldn’t be a surprise if this running gag continues throughout the season.
That also brings up a point that Carter himself asks: is Lee really human, or is he some advanced Chinese robot from the future? He tells Carter he doesn’t feel fear, and even when he was shot, he acted like it barely hurt. In fact, Lee pretty much appears emotionless throughout the whole episode, though Carter’s running commentary—seriously, the guy never shuts up—offers some insight into Lee’s emotional side. And though he never actually shows much emotion, his actions demonstrate that he cares deeply for his sister, enough so that he goes along with some of Carter’s rule breaking. But we don’t really need Carter’s commentary to tell us what Lee is feeling. It would be nice if it were shown more, instead of told.
Maybe the most interesting aspect of Rush Hour is the action. Not really the shootout scenes, but the martial arts that the Chinese characters seem to have perfected. Lee is like a martial arts fighting machine, and it shows in his choreography. Unfortunately, Carter doesn’t seem to know anything about hand-to-hand combat, so he sticks to his gun.
Although Rush Hour may not be really even remotely original, it is still entertaining enough to watch as some mindless television.