Outside of Bruce Lee, there is likely no other martial artist more known in the world of film than Jackie Chan. He’s starred in over one hundred eighty movies since he first premiered in Big and Little Won Tin Bar back in 1962 which is more than most actors ever could imagine. He was so popular back in the 90s that it lead to his own animated series coming out right as the aughts began.
Now, one of his classic but controversial movies is making a huge comeback thanks to Netflix. According to stats from FlixPatrol, Rush Hour has surged in popularity today, gaining 22 points to become the 31st most popular movie on the entire platform worldwide.
The movie centers around Hong Kong Detective Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) as he’s sent to try and save a Chinese diplomat’s kidnapped daughter before being paired up with Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) in the LAPD. Although the pair can’t seem to stand each other, they work together to figure out why the FBI and police don’t seem to want to touch the case.
While the movie has since become a beloved classic to many – just check out its 78% Audience Rating on Rotten Tomatoes – the film was actually mired in quite a bit of controversy upon its initial release. Juju Lien, the executive director of Chicago’s Asian American Institute, claimed that the film contained a lot of “cheap racial humor” that was offensive.
“It’s just one more time a major movie with an appeal to young people presents these stereotypes very subtly disguised in humor. Most Asians might not even know it, but the damage is there just underneath the surface.”
While there are plenty of things in the Rush Hour that haven’t aged well, including Chris Tucker asking to meet Asian girls for “a massage” and Jackie Chan saying a form of the N-word, it still seems like many viewers around the world still deeply love the film.
While it’s only available on Netflix in certain countries, those who want to relive some 90s martial arts fueled nostalgia can find it streaming now on Hulu and HBO Max in the United States.