Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Pilot Review: Rush Hour

Rush Hour (CBS)
Premiered March 31 at 10pm

It’s very possible I might have been excited about this show fifteen years ago. I enjoyed “Rush Hour” and liked “Rush Hour 2” even better, films I found to be very funny at age thirteen. By the time I was in college and went to a screening of “Rush Hour 3” with director Brett Ratner and was far less impressed, giving the film a D. It’s completely perplexing to me that the film series would be rebooted now, in 2016, almost ten years after the last movie came out, as a TV series. The biggest problem, aside from the fact that no one is clamoring for it, is that the main appeal of the movies was the pairing of action star Jackie Chan with comedian Chris Tucker, who didn’t appear in a single film between the third installment of the series and “Silver Linings Playbook” five years later. This show doesn’t have that at all, with the equally loud but less funny Justin Hires in the role of the American cop who doesn’t play by the rules and the personality-free Jon Foo, who may possess the same martial arts talents as Chan but none of the charm, as the by-the-book Chinese cop sent to America to solve a case. In the supporting cast, there’s Wendie Malick from “Just Shoot Me” and “Hot in Cleveland,” Aimee Garcia from “Dexter” and “Vegas,” and Page Kennedy from “Weeds” and “Desperate Housewives,” all of whom, unsurprisingly, have had better parts. The name of the show isn’t even explained as it was in the first film when it was part of a crucial line. Since I’m still playing catchup from taking a few weeks off TV in February, I’m not looking to add new shows to my repertoire, but if I was, this lackluster action-comedy wouldn’t be anywhere near the top of my list.

How will it work as a series? Shows about odd couples can be immensely popular because there is so much opportunity for characters to clash and work together in surprising ways, and this is no exception. I still question what audience is into this show at this point, but I suppose those who enjoyed the movies might find this concept appealing and check back in week after week while it lasts.
How long will it last? The pilot ratings weren’t great, and CBS is always unforgiving. It’s also not a typical show for the network, which has plenty of sitcoms and procedurals but rarely shows that fall somewhere in between. The reviews aren’t all bad, but I still don’t see this one surviving into season two.

Pilot grade: C

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