Here’s the thing about Jackie Chan: he’s almost literally unbelievable as a physical comedian. I can’t think of a living actor who’s better with props than him; there’s a reason people compare him to Chaplin or Keaton. He’s also got an open, rubbery face that always makes me think of Richard Mulligan (that’s a good thing.) The problem with Jackie is that when he’s not interacting with a chair or a motorcycle or whatever, and instead has to act against a human being, he’s not really all that funny. As a rule, you can judge the quality of one of his movies by measuring the ratio of fantastic action sequences to slow, poorly-plotted talky bits. By this metric, Drunken Master II is a classic, Supercop is decent, and Rumble in the Bronx is mediocre at best. This pretty well matches my knee-jerk reactions to his films; your mileage may vary, of course.

So by this rule, Rush Hour is not that great a movie: Jackie actually has very little to do in this film but feed Chris Tucker lines. In theory, this should be an improvement over some of Jackie’s lesser vehicles, where everyone else is just feeding him lines. But if you’re going to have someone talk non-stop for an entire hour and a half, it shouldn’t be someone who makes you scream at the screen the entire time: “Shut up, Chris Tucker! Just shut up! Why aren’t you shutting up?!” Seriously, he’s that annoying. My schadenfreude at seeing that his IMDB resumé ends with Rush Hour 2 knows no bounds.