Rush Hour: Did CBS Reboot Make an Arresting First Impression?

Rush Hour isn’t a total cop out.

Though the pilot for CBS’ adaptation of the Chris Tucker/Jackie Chan comedy is little more than a regurgitation of the film that spawned two sequels, there are indications that The Powers That Be (which include Cougar Town vets Bill Lawrence and Blake McCormick) are well aware of what does and does not work about the film 18 years later.

For one, the culture clash that ensues between destined partners Carter (Justin Hires, Key & Peele) and Lee (Jon FooBatman Begins) is no longer fueled by xenophobic humor. What’s more, two newfangled female characters seem positioned to help humanize the central duo in ways the original film did not.

The case of the week (this is a procedural, after all) is largely borrowed from the movie, as Lee makes his way to Los Angeles to track down an unnamed blond baddie who’s not only in town to illegally procure invaluable artifacts, but who has also allegedly kidnapped Lee’s sister, Kim (played by Awkward grad Jessika Van).

As it turns out, Kim is working for the bad guys, but before the pilot can acknowledge that, it introduces its lead detectives: Lee, in nearly a shot-for-shot remake of the film’s opening act aboard a loading dock in China, and Carter, whose sting op to incriminate arms dealers is reworked to culminate in an outlandish helicopter chase soundtracked to “Uptown Funk.” When they’re ultimately ordered to stay far away from the case (by Wendie Malick’s Captain Cole), they partake in an investigation of their own that nearly kills them repeatedly.

Carter, who like Tucker’s version of the character is willing to do anything to solve a crime, is effectively more grounded here by his friendship with former partner Didi (Dexter vet Aimee Garcia). In a rare heartfelt moment, Didi tells Lee that Carter was responsible for her demotion to desk duty, which was all part of a ruse to keep her out of harm’s way as a newly single mother.

Though Carter and Lee manage to save the day, Kim remains at-large even after Unnamed Blond Baddie is killed and his cohorts are apprehended, thus setting up a season— or series-long — arc that pits brother against sister. The hour conveniently closes with Lee announcing that he’s staying put in L.A., where he’ll ultimately end up working with Carter on at least one new case every Thursday night at 10/9c.

Now that we’ve made sense of Episode 1, it’s your turn: What did you think of CBS’ Rush Hour adaptation? Grade the series premiere in our poll below, then sound off in the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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23 Comments
  1. they did change some things but it was ultimately a rehash of the first movie which i was it wouldn’t be but not surprised at all i’m gonna give it a couple episodes to see how they handle their own stories but it has potential

  2. AngelWasHere says:

    That was awful. The short Chris Tucker wannabe was trying too hard. Lee was ok, but the show is not really funny. Cringe worthy mostly. I see a cancellation in its future.

  3. George H. says:

    First time I seen Fail lead the polls, lol.

  4. Jerri says:

    Eh. No thanks. Are the networks running out of ideas? Calling it in these days. Let’s just rewrite a movie and call it a tv series. That’s not how it works.

  5. James D says:

    I don’t usually judge a show on it’s pilot because you’re forced to push so much plot exposition in one episode in order to set the show up i generally find most pilots chaotic. with that said I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would. Liked Jon Foo not sold on Justin Hires yet. there was enough there for me to give it a few more episodes

  6. Daisy says:

    I didn’t hate it. I’ll keep watching until its inevitable cancellation.

  7. Mandy says:

    I was not too happy when I first saw the promo for this show but decided to give it a chance. It wasn’t as bad as I expected, I like Jon but Justin tried way too hard to be like Chris.

  8. Kristen says:

    I actually thought this was pretty good. I was pleasantly surprised. John did a great job and I liked the action sequences. He gave a different performance than Jackie Chan and I thought it worked. I also liked the addition of the sister. Justin was trying a bit too hard, but Chris Tucker is a tough act to follow. I will give it more episodes.

  9. PatriciaLee says:

    The two leads and the plotting work for family viewing, so I gave it an A. The visuals are first class, and the dialogue is ok. I kept watching and look forward to the next episode. I’m sure the dialogue will have its ups and downs, but I’m into it for the long haul. It was fun, if not memorable, yet.

  10. Cobra says:

    86 this and give “Elementary” back its Thursday night timeslot.

  11. Christian says:

    Jon Foo wasn’t given enough space to display his actual skills. Jackie Chan is funny even when he fights because of his agility, and Jon Foo can do so much more.

    Give Jon Foo a bit more, and a bit less Justin Hires and sprinkle some humor then it might survive.

  12. Murica! says:

    I’d rather watch the movie again. Jon Foo is alright, but he’s no Jackie Chan. Justin Hired tries to be Chris Tucker, but fails miserably.

  13. akkuv says:

    if they are setting the scene in hong kong, at least have the decency of having the people speak cantonese without some terrible accent. dub it if they have to.

  14. Mr. Smith says:

    Thought it was funny and entertaining. Not every show has to be Emmy worthy.

  15. Jess says:

    I liked it and am willing to watch it. I just hope this does better than Minority Report

  16. Velocisexual says:

    Damn Ryan Schwartz… how much did you get paid to write that? Cause you’re being way too nice about this show. Almost everything was bad to terrible, bad acting (his sister was SO bad), bad plot, bad dialogue, terrible chemistry between the leads, bad camerawork (way too many jumpcuts in the fight scenes, come on). The only ok things were Lee himself and the female ex-partner played by Aimee Garcia.
    I seriously hope this show ends up in TV Hell where it belongs.

  17. Osiris says:

    Terrible show. The movie had Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. All this has is a stereotypical Asian and a Stepin Fetchit black man. Obviously the powers that be DON’T know what works and does not work.

  18. C. Penn says:

    I really enjoyed the premiere of Rush Hour. The show was action packed and funny with characters that were very likeable. So different from most of the cookie cutter shows on TV right now. People shouldn’t try to compare the lead actors to those in the Rush Hour movies from 18 years ago! These characters are current for today’s sensibilities. Supporting cast too was great with some familiar faces. Looking forward to the next episode. Oh and good job to CBS for adding this truly DIVERSE show to their lineup. Thumbs up!

  19. Max says:

    I like Justin Hires only slightly more than Chris Tucker, but that’s not saying much, considering I hated Tucker. As another commenter noted, he was trying too hard. John Foo is not trying to emulate Jackie Chan, which is good, as he has a chance to develop his own character. Too early to tell if he’ll be more than just an Asian Orlando Bloom.

  20. Zoe says:

    I really liked Jon Foo in this, but Justin Hines annoyed me a bit. It was also nice seeing Wendy Mallick as the captain. I gave it a B, but if it gets axed, I won’t be surprised.

  21. Momo says:

    This won’t make it on CBS. They should have tried another network. It’s just OK. It’s not good, but it’s not bad either. I’ve added it to my DVR and will see how it goes until it’s cancelled.

  22. It’s an average show without much oomph to it to challenge for a Top 25 spot in the ratings. The best it can hope for is to be in the middle of the road, which probably means cancellation these days.
    It’s sorta OK, but if you’re a fan of the films, you probably will find reasons to compare the TV version with the films, and it won’t be all that good.

  23. Yoko says:

    Enjoyed the show and will continue to watch. Again, not looking for the exact movie being replicated on tv.