Rush Hour’ gets lost in translation from film to TV

CBS’ Rush Hour

Two stars

Rush Hour Thursdays, 10 p.m., CBS.

The Rush Hour movies were hugely successful thanks to the talents of stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker—audiences showed up to see a martial-arts master and a charismatic comedian, not for the forgettable mystery storylines. So a weekly police-procedural version of the franchise, starring largely unknown actors, sort of misses the point. CBS’ Rush Hour TV series, which comes nearly a decade after Rush Hour 3, follows the same basic setup as the original movie, with taciturn Hong Kong detective Yan Lee (Jon Foo) dispatched to LA to investigate an international crime. There he teams up with motor-mouthed LAPD detective James Carter (Justin Hires), and the two form an unlikely partnership.

Foo has a background as a stuntman (he even worked with Jackie Chan), and Hires is a stand-up comedian, but neither one has the screen presence of his film predecessor. From a plot standpoint, Rush Hour is unremarkable, with Lee conveniently placed on indefinite assignment to the LAPD so he and Carter can take on new cases each week. Although developed by comedy veterans Bill Lawrence and Blake McCormick (Cougar Town), Rush Hour isn’t particularly funny, and there’s nothing exciting about its familiar crime-drama structure. Without unique star power to carry it, it’s just another dull procedural on a network already filled with them.

Tags: Television
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