‘Rush Hour,’ directed by Brett Ratner and written by Jim Kouf and Ross LaManna, follows Detective Inspector Yang Naing Lee and Detective James Carter, two mismatched officers who must put aside their differences in order to rescue the kidnapped daughter of the Chinese consul in New York City.
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The two detectives are played by Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in the film. Ratner’s vision is brought to life with ease and hilarity thanks to the actors’ comedic sensibilities. Tucker uses body language to make quick jokes while Chan uses his flamboyant martial arts talent to create entertaining action sequences. ‘Rush Hour,’ which opened to generally positive reviews, went on to do very well at the box office. Two hugely successful sequels were born from the commercial success, and a fourth is about to be released.
In researching for this piece, I focused on buddy cop comedies that are tonally similar to this Jackie Chan film. So without further ado, here is our picks for the best films that are similar to “Rush Hour.” There are a slew of movies like ‘Rush Hour’ available on Netflix, Hulu, and/or Amazon Prime Video.
1. Starsky & Hutch (2004)
‘Starsky & Hutch,’ based on the 1970s ABC television series of the same name, stars Ben Stiller as David Starsky and Owen Wilson as Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson, two astute undercover cops in the fictional city of Bay City, California, who bust drug criminals with the assistance of underworld boss Huggy Bear. While an adaptation, the film serves as a prequel to the television series, tracing the evolution of the two men’s friendship and giving rise to the nickname “Starsky and Hutch” in the process. The chemistry between Stiller and Wilson is what drives the movie. By changing character traits and adding their own spin, the authors not only improve on the original but create something entirely new.
2. Bad Boys (1995)
With Michael Bay in charge of directing, audiences can expect nonstop action and plenty of crude humor. “Bad Boys” is an action comedy about two detectives—Marcus Burnett and Michael “Mike” Lowrey—who team up to protect a murder witness while also looking into a case of stolen heroin from their police precinct’s evidence storage room.
‘Bad Boys’ is racially insensitive, vulgar, childish, and sexist all at the same time. Despite this, the film is a lot of fun to watch despite its social issues. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are a standout in the buddy cop comedy genre, and they successfully carry out director Michael Bay’s vision. Despite the mixed reviews (as is typical for Michael Bay films), ‘Bad Boys’ was a huge box office success, grossing $141.4 million against a $19 million budget. Both Bad Boys II (2003) and Bad Boys for Life 2020 are direct sequels to the original film.
3. Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Guy Ritchie directs and co-writes ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ which stars Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as detective Sherlock Holmes and his Dr. John Watson, who are hired by a secret society to investigate and uncover a mysticist’s plot to expand the British Empire through supernatural means. With visual stylistics and action sequences, the film reimagines classic ‘Sherlock Holmes’ detective stories. The humor is off-kilter, but Downey and Law’s chemistry makes it hilarious. As a result of favorable reviews and a strong opening weekend performance, the film made $524 million against a $90 million budget. ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ (2011), a sequel, and a third film are all due out in the near future as a result of the commercial success of the first film.
4. The Other Guys (2010)
Adam McKay’s ‘The Other Guys,’ about two New York City detectives who don’t get along, is directed and co-written by Chris Henchy and McKay. They seize the chance to become the city’s top cops, which they revere. Things, however, do not go as planned, and chaos and hilarity ensue. Detectives Allen “Gator” Gamble and Terry Hoitz are played by Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, respectively. The chemistry between the two actors perfectly captures the archetype of the mismatched cops. Many critics hailed ‘The Other Guys’ as the year’s best comedy when it was released.
5. 22 Jump Street (2014)
’22 Jump Street,’ the follow-up to 2012’s ’21 Jump Street,’ sees Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko tasked with infiltrating a college to track down the source of a new drug. The film’s premise is the same as its predecessor’s, and the filmmakers never miss an opportunity to acknowledge and mock it. The buddy cop comedy, directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and co-written by Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, and Rodney Rothman, stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in their Schmidt and Jenko roles from the previous film. Much of the film’s plot is based on ’21 Jump Street’s’ characters and story arc to reinvent itself. With a budget of $50 million, the film became a critical and financial success, grossing $331.3 million.
6. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
With Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, and Michelle Monaghan starring as a thief named Harold “Harry” Lockhart, an actress named Harmony Faith Lane, and a private eye named “Gay” Perry van Shrike, their lives become intertwined when someone is killed off in Los Angeles. Director Shane Black’s debut feature is filled with hilarious dialogue and tongue-in-cheek humour, both of which are executed with comedic brilliance by the cast. The film is inspired by the black comedy genre’s postmodernist comedic sensibility. After its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ was a huge hit. While reviews were favorable, it still failed to do well at the box office despite the positive reception. Despite this, it’s a must-see.
7. Lethal Weapon (1987)
It follows Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, two newly paired cops with diametrically opposed ideologies and personalities who are put to the test when given the task of apprehending a gang of drug traffickers in Richard Donner’s directorial debut. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover play the two detectives in the film. The film is filled with archetypal buddy cop comedy sensibilities thanks to the sharply written screenplay and the shrewdly executed direction. ‘Lethal Weapon,’ which cost $15 million to make, ended up making a profit of $120.2 million. There were three sequels to this film’s commercial success, as well as an entire television series that debuted in 2016 on Fox.
8. 48 Hrs. (1982)
A cop and a convict join forces to catch two cop-killers, portrayed by James Remar and Sonny Landham, in Walter Hill’s “48 Hours,” which stars Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy. The film is directed by Walter Hill and co-written by Roger Spottiswoode, Larry Gross, Steven E. de Souza and Hill. The genre of “buddy cop” was pioneered by ’48 Hours’. The buddy cop comedy aspect of the movie is combined with the dramatic tension of the story. ’48 Hrs.’ became a critical and commercial success thanks to the strong chemistry between stars Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy and a clever screenplay. The film was nominated for several awards, including the “Grand Prix” at the Cognac Film Policier Festival. The film’s commercial success prompted the production of ‘Another 48 Hrs,’ a sequel to the original (1990).
9. The Nice Guys (2016)
With the exception of Shane Black’s films, I don’t usually include films directed by the same director. As private investigator Holland March and enforcer Jackson Healy, Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe star in ‘The Nice Guys’, a neo-noir black comedy about a pair of law enforcement officers who team up when their cases about the disappearance of teenage girl Amelia Kuttner intersect. When the two begin their investigation, they discover details that point to much larger conspiracies and issues at play. In addition to Black’s sharp screenplay and witty on-screen banter, the movie has a strong cast performance as well. ‘The Nice Guys,’ which had its world premiere in Hollywood and then at Cannes, was well received. In light of the film’s critical and commercial success (Rotten Tomatoes: 93%), Shane Black has stated his desire to work on a sequel.
10. The Guard (2011)
Director and writer John Michael McDonagh has created a film about Sergeant Gerry Boyle, an Irish policeman who is unconventional and confrontational, working with an uptight FBI agent, Wendell Everett, to investigate a drug trafficking ring on the other side of the world. Excellently funny and clever Irish buddy comedy. At the Sundance Film Festival, the film had its world premiere and was a huge hit. For “Best Film,” ‘The Guard’ was nominated and won at the Berlin International Film Festival, British Independent Film Awards, Irish Film and Televisions Awards and Sundance. ‘The Guard,’ which has a critical approval rating of 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a box office take of $19.6 million, is unquestionably worth seeing.