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  • The Incredible Hulk [Blu-ray] [2008] The Incredible Hulk | Blu Ray | (13/10/2008) from £7.99  |  Saving you £17.00 (68.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A more accessible and less heavy-handed movie than Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk, Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk is a purely popcorn love affair with Marvel's raging, green superhero, as well as the old television series starring Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as the beast within him. Edward Norton takes up where Eric Bana left off in Lee's version, playing Bruce (that's the character's original name) Banner, a haunted scientist always on the move. Trying to eliminate the effects of a military experiment that turns him into the Hulk whenever his emotions get the better of him, Banner is hiding out in Brazil at the film's beginning. Working in a bottling plant and communicating via email with an unidentified professor who thinks he can help, Banner goes postal when General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross and a small army turn up to grab him. Intent on developing whatever causes Banner's metamorphoses into a weapon, Ross brings along a quietly deranged soldier named Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), who wants Ross to turn him into a supersoldier who can take on the Hulk. The adventure spreads to the U.S., where Banner hooks up with his old lover (and Ross' daughter), Betty (Liv Tyler), and where the Hulk takes on several armed assaults, including one in a pretty unusual location: a college campus. The film's action is impressive, though the computer-generated creature is disappointingly cartoonish, and a second monster turning up late in the movie looks even cheesier. Norton is largely wasted in the film--he's essentially a bridge between sequences where he disappears and the Hulk rampages around. As good an actor as he is, Norton doesn't have the charisma here to carry those scenes in which one waits impatiently for the real show to begin. --Tom Keogh

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition) [2004] The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition) | DVD | (10/12/2004) from £6.09  |  Saving you £29.90 (83.10%)  |  RRP £35.99

    The greatest trilogy in film history, presented in the most ambitious sets in DVD history, comes to a grand conclusion with the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Not only is the third and final installment of Peter Jackson's adaptation of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien the longest of the three, but a full 50 minutes of new material pushes the running time to a whopping 4 hours and 10 minutes. The new scenes are welcome, and the bonus features maintain the high bar set by the first two films, The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. What's New? One of the scenes cut from the theatrical release but included here, the resolution of the Saruman storyline, generated a lot of publicity when the movie opened, as actor Christopher Lee complained in the press about losing his only appearance. It's an excellent scene, one Jackson calls "pure Tolkien," and provides better context for Pippin to find the wizard's palantir in the water, but it's not critical to the film. In fact, "valuable but not critical" might sum up the ROTK extended edition. It's evident that Jackson made the right cuts for the theatrical run, but the extra material provides depth and ties up a number of loose ends, and for those sorry to see the trilogy end (and who isn't?) it's a welcome chance to spend another hour in Middle-earth. Some choice moments are Gandalf's (Ian McKellen) confrontation with the Witch King (we find out what happened to the wizard's staff), the chilling Mouth of Sauron at the gates of Mordor, and Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) being mistaken for Orc soldiers. We get to see more of Éowyn (Miranda Otto), both with Aragorn and on the battlefield, even fighting the hideously deformed Orc lieutenant, Gothmog. We also see her in one of the most anticipated new scenes, the Houses of Healing after the battle of the Pelennor Fields. It doesn't present Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) as a savior as the book did, but it shows the initial meeting between Éowyn and Faramir (David Wenham), a relationship that received only a meaningful glance in the theatrical cut. If you want to completely immerse yourself in Peter Jackson's marvelous and massive achievement, only the extended edition will do. And for those who complained, no, there are no new endings, not even the scouring of the Shire, which many fans were hoping to see. Nor is there a scene of Denethor (John Noble) with the palantir, which would have better explained both his foresight and his madness. As Jackson notes, when cuts are made, the secondary characters are the first to go, so there is a new scene of Aragorn finding the palantir in Denethor's robes. Another big difference is Aragorn's confrontation with the King of the Dead. In the theatrical version, we didn't know whether the King had accepted Aragorn's offer when the pirate ships pulled into the harbor; here Jackson assumes that viewers have already experienced that tension, and instead has the army of the dead join the battle in an earlier scene (an extended cameo for Jackson). One can debate which is more effective, but that's why the film is available in both versions. If you feel like watching the relatively shorter version you saw in the theaters, you can. If you want to completely immerse yourself in Peter Jackson's marvelous and massive achievement, only the extended edition will do. How Are the Bonus Features? To complete the experience, The Return of the King provides the same sprawling set of features as the previous extended editions: four commentary tracks, sharp picture and thrilling sound, and two discs of excellent documentary material far superior to the recycled material in the theatrical edition. Those who have listened to the seven hours of commentary for the first two extended editions may wonder if they need to hear more, but there was no commentary for the earlier ROTK DVD, so it's still entertaining to hear him break down the film (he says the beacon scene is one of his favorites), discuss differences from the book, point out cameos, and poke fun at himself and the extended-edition concept ("So this is the complete full strangulation, never seen before, here exclusively on DVD!"). The documentaries (some lasting 30 minutes or longer) are of their usual outstanding quality, and there's a riveting storyboard/animatic sequence of the climactic scene, which includes a one-on-one battle between Aragorn and Sauron. One DVD Set to Rule Them All Peter Jackson's trilogy has set the standard for fantasy films by adapting the Holy Grail of fantasy stories with a combination of fidelity to the original source and his own vision, supplemented by outstanding writing, near-perfect casting, glorious special effects, and evocative New Zealand locales. The extended editions without exception have set the standard for the DVD medium by providing a richer film experience that pulls the three films together and further embraces Tolkien's world, a reference-quality home theater experience, and generous, intelligent, and engrossing bonus features. --David Horiuchi

  • Unknown [DVD] Unknown | DVD | (18/07/2011) from £4.99  |  Saving you £14.76 (73.80%)  |  RRP £19.99

    A man awakens from a coma only to discover that someone has taken on his identity and that no one (not even his wife) believes him. With the help of a young woman he sets out to prove who he is.

  • The Hulk [2003] The Hulk | DVD | (17/11/2003) from £3.86  |  Saving you £14.72 (73.60%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Amazingly, Ang Lee's Hulk makes a fair fist of pleasing everybody. The latest in a run of Marvel Comic-to-film transfers, it acknowledges the history of a character who dates back to 1962 while recreating him in contemporary terms. Though this, Hulk's origin still draws on the 1960s iconography of bomb tests and desert bases, this new take mixes gene-tampering with gamma radiation and never forgets that poor Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) has been psychologically primed by a mad father (Nick Nolte) and a disappointed girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly) to transform from repressed wimp to big green powerhouse even before the mad science kicks in. The long first act is enlivened by comic book-style split-screen effects and multiple foreshadowings--Lee keeps finding excuses to light Bana's face green--but is also absorbing personal drama from the man who gave you The Ice Storm before flexing his action muscles on Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. When Banner begins his Jekyll-and-Hyde seizures, the ILM CGI boys step in and use Bana as a template for the most fully-realised digital characterisation yet seen in the movies. Comics fans will thrill as a credibly bulky, superswift, super-green behemoth tangles with mutated killer dogs (including a very vicious poodle) in a night time forest, bursts out of confinement in an underground secret base, takes on America's military might while bouncing around a Road Runner and Coyote-like South Western desert and then invades San Francisco for some major "Hulk... smash" action. Artful and entertaining, engaging and explosive, this is among the most satisfying superhero movies. On the DVD: Hulk two-disc set doesn't quite hulk-out as well comparative Marvel movie releases for the X-Men films, Spider-Man and Daredevil. Disc 2 assembles a pile of those infotainment documentaries prepared to drum up pre-publicity but which feel a bit redundant once the movie is out, especially since there's so much repetition between the featurettes. It's all very well, and some of the technical stuff is fascinating, but this particular film could do with a more in-depth thematic approach: there's a lot about how the CGI Hulk was realised but little on the development of the story, the performances or the general tone, though Ang Lee's slightly sparse commentary makes interesting stabs in that direction. The biggest revelation in the background material is that Lee, known for his delicacy of touch, himself wore the motion capture suit and smashed up plywood tanks as a guide for the CGI animators. --Kim Newman

  • The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec [DVD] The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec | DVD | (15/08/2011) from £8.48  |  Saving you £9.51 (52.90%)  |  RRP £17.99

    An adventure set in the early party of the 20th century and focused on a popular novelist and her dealings with would-be suitors the cops monsters and other distractions.

  • Batman Begins (2 discs) [2005] Batman Begins (2 discs) | DVD | (21/10/2005) from £4.20  |  Saving you £11.74 (69.10%)  |  RRP £16.99

    In the wake of his parents' murder, disillusioned industrial heir Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on the fearful.

  • Beowulf [Blu-ray] [2007] Beowulf | Blu Ray | (17/03/2008) from £5.66  |  Saving you £17.33 (75.40%)  |  RRP £22.99

    Spectacular animated action scenes turn the ancient epic poem Beowulf into a modern fantasy movie, while motion-capture technology transforms plump actor Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) into a burly Nordic warrior. When a Danish kingdom is threatened by the monster Grendel (voiced and physicalised by Crispin Glover, River's Edge), Beowulf--lured by the promise of heroic glory--comes to rescue them. He succeeds, but falls prey to the seductive power of Grendel's mother, played by Angelina Jolie... and as Jolie's pneumatically animated form rises from an underground lagoon with demon-claw high heels, it becomes clear that we're leaving the original epic far, far behind. Regrettably, the motion-capture process has made only modest improvements since The Polar Express; while the characters' eyes no longer look so flat and zombie-like, their faces remain inexpressive and movements are still wooden. As a result, the most effective sequences feature wildly animated battles and the most vivid character is Grendel, whose grotesqueness ends up making him far more sympathetic than any of the mannequin-like human beings. The meant-to-be-titillating images of a naked Jolie resemble an inflatable doll more than a living, breathing woman (or succubus, as the case may be). But the fights--particularly Grendel's initial assault on the celebration hut--pop with lushly animated gore and violence. Also featuring the CGI-muffled talents of Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs), Robin Wright Penn (The Princess Bride), and John Malkovich (Dangerous Liaisons). --Bret Fetzer

  • Galaxy Quest [Blu-ray] [1999] Galaxy Quest | Blu Ray | (22/03/2010) from £7.99  |  Saving you £12.00 (60.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    You don't have to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy Galaxy Quest, but it certainly helps. A knowingly affectionate tribute to Trek and any other science fiction TV series of the 1960s and beyond, this crowd-pleasing comedy offers in-jokes at warp speed, hitting the bull's-eye for anyone who knows that: (1) the starship captain always removes his shirt to display his manly physique; (2) any crew member not in the regular cast is dead meat; and (3) the heroes always stop the doomsday clock with one second to spare. So it is with Commander Taggart (Tim Allen) and the stalwart crew of the NSEA Protector, whose intergalactic exploits on TV have now been reduced to a dreary cycle of fan conventions and promotional appearances. That's when the Thermians arrive, begging to be saved from Sarris, the reptilian villain who threatens to destroy their home planet.Can actors rise to the challenge and play their roles for real? The Thermians are counting on it, having studied the "historical documents" of the Galaxy Quest TV show, and their hero worship (not to mention their taste for Monte Cristo sandwiches) is ultimately proven worthy, with the help of some Galaxy geeks on planet Earth. And while Galaxy Quest serves up great special effects and impressive Stan Winston creatures, director Dean Parisot (Home Fries) is never condescending, lending warm acceptance to this gentle send-up of sci-fi TV and the phenomenon of fandom. Best of all is the splendid cast, including Sigourney Weaver as buxom blonde Gwen DeMarco; Alan Rickman as frustrated thespian Alexander Dane; Tony Shalhoub as dimwit Fred Kwan; Daryl Mitchell as former child-star Tommy Webber; and Enrico Colantoni as Thermian leader Mathesar, whose sing-song voice is a comedic coup de grâce. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

  • Batman Begins [Blu-ray] [2005] Batman Begins | Blu Ray | (14/07/2008) from £8.36  |  Saving you £14.50 (63.10%)  |  RRP £22.99

    In the wake of his parents' murder disillusioned industrial heir Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on the fearful. He returns to Gotham and with the help of trusted butler Alfred (a scene-stealing Michael Caine) unveils his alter-ego: Batman is a masked crusader who will use strength intellect and an array of high tech deceptions to fight the sinister forces that threaten the city... Director Christopher Nolan deliberately exorcises the camp and grand guignol of the previous movies and TV series. This is truly a gritty and brooding exploration of the beginnings of the Dark Knight a faithful vision of Bob Kane's anti-hero from DC Comics.

  • Divergent [Blu-ray] [2014] Divergent | Blu Ray | (11/08/2014) from £5.39  |  Saving you £17.60 (76.60%)  |  RRP £22.99

    This year's hottest new action-adventure is set in a futuristic Chicago where society has been divided into five distinct factions created to bring everlasting peace. In this existence where everyone must conform Tris is Divergent - falling into no faction and a danger to this seemingly perfect world. As a dangerous conflict develops amongst the factions Tris must rely on her strength and her enigmatic instructor Four not only to survive but to save the people she loves.

  • Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2 Disc Special Edition) Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2 Disc Special Edition) | DVD | (20/11/2006) from £4.99  |  Saving you £17.85 (77.60%)  |  RRP £22.99

    Jack owes an unpaid debt to Davy Jones and his army of sea-phantoms...his soul. Now, he must find a way to save himself from becoming one of them, and suffering forever.

  • Hulk [Blu-ray] [2003] Hulk | Blu Ray | (17/11/2008) from £7.99  |  Saving you £12.00 (60.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Scientist Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) has to put it mildly anger management issues. His quiet life as a brilliant researcher working with cutting edge genetic technology conceals a nearly forgotten and painful past. His ex-girlfriend and equally brilliant fellow researcher Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly) has tired of Bruce's cordoned off emotional terrain and resigns herself to remaining an interested onlooker to his quiet life. Which is exactly where Betty finds herself during one of the early trials in Banner's groundbreaking research. A simple oversight leads to an explosive situation and Bruce makes a split-second decision; his heroic impulse saves a life and leaves him apparently unscathed-his body absorbing a normally deadly dose of gamma radiation. Acclaimed Oscar-winning filmmaker Ang Lee turns his masterful eye to adapting the classic Marvel Comics character for the big screen. Setting out to faithfully transfer the Hulk comic book character from four-color paneled page to motion picture screen Lee combines all the elements of a blockbuster visual effects-intensive superhero movie with the brooding romance and tragedy of Universal's classic horror films. Staying true to the early subversive spirit of the Hulk as envisioned by its creators (Stan Lee and Jack Kirby) while also tuning the tale to current dangerous times Lee presents a portrait of a man at war with himself and the world both a superhero and a monster a means of wish fulfillment and a nightmare...

  • Get Smart [2008] Get Smart | DVD | (23/02/2009) from £5.15  |  Saving you £14.84 (74.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Get Smart features Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway in a new adaptation of the classic television series! When the headquarters of U.S. spy agency Control is attacked by the evil syndicater known as KAOS the Chief (Alan Arkin) has no choice but to promote his ever-eager analyst Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell). Given little field experience and even less time Smart armed with nothing but a few spy-tech gadgets and his unbridled enthusiasm must defeat KAOS if he is to save the day.

  • Red 2 [Blu-ray] Red 2 | Blu Ray | (25/11/2013) from £5.39  |  Saving you £17.60 (76.60%)  |  RRP £22.99

    Retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reunites his team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a nuclear device. However to succeed they need to survive an army of relentless assassins ruthless terrorists and power crazed government officials all eager to get their hands on the next-generation weapons. The mission takes Frank and his motley crew to Paris London and Moscow. Outgunned and outmanned they have only their cunning wits their old-school skills and each other to rely on as they try to save the world.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl [2003] Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl | DVD | (01/12/2003) from £4.00  |  Saving you £15.55 (74.10%)  |  RRP £20.99

    You won't need a bottle of rum to enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, even if you haven't experienced the Disneyland theme-park ride that inspired it. There's a galleon's worth of fun in watching Johnny Depp's androgynous performance as Captain Jack Sparrow, a roguish pirate who could pass for the illegitimate spawn of rockers Keith Richards and Chrissie Hynde. Depp gets all the good lines and steals the show, recruiting Orlando Bloom (a blacksmith and expert swordsman) and Keira Knightley (a lovely governor's daughter). They set out on an adventurous quest to recapture the notorious Black Pearl, a ghost ship commandeered by Jack's nemesis Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), a mutineer desperate to reverse the curse that left him and his (literally) skeleton crew in a state of eternal, undead damnation. Director Gore Verbinski (The Ring) repeats the redundant mayhem that marred his debut film Mouse Hunt, but with the writers of Shrek he's made Pirates of the Caribbean into a special-effects thrill-ride that plays like a Halloween party on the open seas. --Jeff Shannon

  • Independence Day [Blu-ray] [1996] Independence Day | Blu Ray | (24/12/2007) from £5.59  |  Saving you £14.40 (72.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Directed by Roland Emmerich Independence Day delivers the ultimate encounter when mysterious and powerful aliens launch an all-out invasion against the human race. The spectacle begins when massive spaceships appear in Earth's skies. But wonder turns to terror as the ships blast destructive beams of fire down on cities all over the planet. Now the world's only hope lies with a determined band of survivors uniting for one last strike against the invaders - before it's the end of mankind.

  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time [DVD] Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time | DVD | (13/09/2010) from £2.96  |  Saving you £12.12 (67.40%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Jake Gyllenhaal's doe eyes and bulging biceps will make some hearts flutter in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Dastan (Gyllenhaal), adopted prince of the Persian empire, must flee into the desert when accused of murdering his royal father--but a glass-handled dagger he found as loot from a captured city turns out to hold powerful time-manipulating magic. Not only is he pursued by his vengeful brothers, his scheming uncle (Ben Kingsley, Sexy Beast), and a strange cabal of assassins, but a princess/priestess named Tamina (Gemma Arterton, Quantum of Solace) wants the dagger back and will kill Dastan if she has to. Prince of Persia wants to be a rollicking adventure along the lines of Pirates of the Caribbean. Unfortunately, it's hampered by clumsy dialogue and hard-to-follow action sequences, with choppy editing that wrecks the flow of the parkour-inspired stunts. But the production design is extravagant and every time Alfred Molina (Spiderman 2) appears as a greedy sheik the movie gets a delightful jolt of energy. Gyllenhaal doesn't have much to work with--Dastan is a fairly generic hero--and whoever designed his hair should have been fired on the first day, but his lazy charm comes through and carries him through the movie. --Bret Fetzer

  • The World Is Not Enough [1999] The World Is Not Enough | DVD | (03/11/2003) from £1.98  |  Saving you £13.80 (69.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    In his 19th screen outing The World is Not Enough, Ian Fleming's super-spy is once again caught in the crosshairs of a self-created dilemma: as the longest-running feature-film franchise, James Bond is an annuity his producers want to protect, yet the series' consciously formulaic approach frustrates any real element of surprise beyond the rote application of plot twists or jump cuts to shake up the audience. This time out, credit 007's caretakers for making some visible attempts to invest their principal characters with darker motives--and blame them for squandering The World is Not Enough's initial promise by the final reel. By now, Bond pictures are as elegantly formal as a Bach chorale, and this one opens on an unusually powerful note. A stunning pre-title sequence reaches beyond mere pyrotechnics to introduce key plot elements as the action leaps from Bilbao to London. Pierce Brosnan undercuts his usually suave persona with a darker, more brutal edge largely absent since Sean Connery departed. Equally tantalising are our initial glimpses of Bond's nemesis du jour, Renard (Robert Carlyle), and imminent love interest, Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), both atypically complex characters cast with seemingly shrewd choices and directed by the capable Michael Apted. The story's focus on post-Soviet geopolitics likewise starts off on a savvy note, before being overtaken by increasingly Byzantine plot twists, hidden motives and reversals of loyalty superheated by relentless (if intermittently perfunctory) action sequences. Bond's grimmer demeanour, while preferable to the smirk that eventually swallowed Roger Moore whole, proves wearying, unrelieved by any true wit. The underlying psychoses that propel Renard and Elektra eventually unravel into unconvincing melodrama, while Bond is supplied with a secondary love object, Denise Richards, who is even more improbable as a nuclear physicist. Ultimately, this world is not enough despite its better intentions. --Sam Sutherland, Amazon.com On the DVD: There are three different documentaries on this disc, as well as a "Secrets of 007" featurette that cuts between specific stunt sequences, behind-the-scenes footage and storyboards to reveal how it was all done, and a short video tribute to Desmond Llewelyn ("Q"), who died not long after this movie was released. The first "making of" piece is presented by an annoyingly chirpy American woman and is aimed squarely at the MTV market (most fascinating is watching her interview with Denise Richards in which the two orthodontically enhanced ladies attempt to out-smile each other). "Bond Cocktail" gamely distils all the essential ingredients that make up the classic Bond movie formula--gadgets, girls, exotic locations and lots of action. Most interesting of all is "Bond Down River", a lengthy dissection of the opening boat chase sequence. Director Michael Apted provides the first commentary, and talks about the challenges of delivering all the requisite ingredients. The second commentary is less satisfactory, since second unit director Vic Armstrong, production designer Peter Lamont and composer David Arnold have little in common. There's also the Garbage song video, and the booklet has yet more behind-the-scenes info. The anamorphic CinemaScope picture and Dolby digital sound are as spectacular as ever. --Mark Walker

  • Shaolin Soccer [2001] Shaolin Soccer | DVD | (14/03/2005) from £6.59  |  Saving you £13.40 (67.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Computer generated special effects have seldom been so giddy as in Shaolin Soccer, a gleeful fusion of kung fu and a classic Bad News Bears sports story. A former soccer star--whose "golden leg" was broken by a hired mob--assembles a team of former students of Shaolin martial arts, whose assorted skills (indicated by their nicknames, like Mighty Steel Leg and Iron Head) lend themselves to the swift interplay of the world's most popular game. Along the way, the team's leader (Hong Kong comic superstar Stephen Chow) meets a sticky bun baker (Vicki Zhao) whose kung fu is the equal of any of his teammates. Shaolin Soccer is supremely silly--in the final match, their opponents are called Team Evil--but that's part of the fun. American movies rarely achieve this perfect balance of the absurd and the sincere. A delight. --Bret Fetzer

  • Rush Hour [1998] Rush Hour | DVD | (01/10/1999) from £3.95  |  Saving you £4.34 (36.20%)  |  RRP £11.99

    The plot line may sound familiar: two mismatched cops are assigned as reluctant partners to solve a crime. Culturally they are complete opposites, and they quickly realise they can't stand each other. One (Jackie Chan) believes in doing things by the book. He is a man with integrity and nerves of steel. The other (Chris Tucker) is an amiable rebel who can't stand authority figures. He's a man who has to do everything on his own, much to the displeasure of his superior officer, who in turn thinks this cop is a loose cannon but tolerates him because he gets the job done. Directed by Brett Ratner, Rush Hour doesn't break any new ground in terms of story, stunts, or direction. It rehashes just about every "buddy" movie ever made--in fact, it makes films such as Tango and Cash seem utterly original and clever by comparison. So, why did this uninspired movie make over $120 million at the box office? Was the whole world suffering from temporary insanity? Hardly. The explanation for the success of Rush Hour is quite simple: chemistry. The casting of veteran action maestro Jackie Chan with the charming and often hilarious Chris Tucker was a serendipitous stroke of genius. Fans of Jackie Chan may be slightly disappointed by the lack of action set-pieces that emphasise his kung-fu craft. On the other hand, those who know the history of this seasoned Hong Kong actor will be able to appreciate that Rush Hour was the mainstream breakthrough that Chan had deserved for years. Coupled with the charismatic scene-stealer Tucker, Chan gets to flex his comic muscles to great effect. From their first scenes together to the trademark Chan outtakes during the end credits, their ability to play off of one another is a joy to behold, and this mischievous interaction is what saves the film from slipping into the depths of pitiful mediocrity. --Jeremy Storey

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