Jackie Chan, the undisputed king of risky stunts and martial arts, established himself as a household name worldwide. His charismatic stage presence and risk-taking performances have wowed fans for decades. But even a legend like Chan has moments of self-doubt every once in a while.
Unexpectedly, Chan came to regret a film that had failed to connect with his home city’s audience and had left him feeling empty inside. Because of this setback, he began to doubt his ability to continue his career in Hollywood.
Jackie Chan Was Unhappy With Rush Hour Bombing
In 1998, the action comedy Rush Hour became a huge hit in theaters across North America, earning an astounding $244 million. In Jackie Chan’s native Asia, however, the film was met with lukewarm enthusiasm at best.
Despite Chan’s popularity, the movie was unsuccessful at the Asian box office, earning only $12 million. Since his Hong Kong movies routinely grossed over $50 million, Chan was surprised and confused by the lack of success of his first American film.
Jackie Chan’s dissatisfaction with Rush Hour only grew after its debut. After realizing the project had fallen short of his expectations, he questioned his decision to pursue opportunities in the American market. A dissatisfied Chan explained his feelings to his manager:
“I make the movie and I tell my manager, ‘See? I should never make this kind of movie!’ Then I go to Asia to make [an] Asian film.”
He planned to return to Asia and make films that would appeal to his loyal following. Chan appeared so disheartened by the whole thing that he was ready to cut all ties with Hollywood. Unfortunately for him, destiny had other ideas.
Rush Hour was a huge success in America, much to Jackie Chan’s surprise and dismay. It attracted devoted fans and grossed much money at the box office. The film’s unexpected success caught Chan by surprise.
Jackie Chan’s Change of Mindset
Jackie Chan had an epiphany when he realized his upbringing and cultural background could have influenced his negative first impression of Rush Hour in China. He understood that he would have to adopt some of their cultural norms and sense of humor to win over his American audience.
After some nudging from Owen Wilson and Chris Tucker, Chan began to consider that the jokes he had previously dismissed as unfunny might actually be quite amusing. Chan’s outlook on his career in Hollywood shifted significantly after this realization.
He opened himself up to new information and experiences, eventually realizing that laughter can help people from different backgrounds communicate with one another. From then on, he was more curious about comedy and willing to try new things in his American film projects.
The possibility of a fourth Rush Hour film was met with great excitement by the series’ fan base. Jackie Chan mentioned the existence of a script and his willingness to bring back the series in 2017. Later, however, his team denied the rumors, saying that Chan was not involved in developing a fourth Rush Hour film.
Earlier this year, Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker subtly announced a fourth installment of the movie after Jackie Chan discussed the same last year during the Red Seas Film Festival. Although not much is known about the movie, Rush Hour 4 will be directed by Brett Ratner.
Rush Hour was an important part of Jackie Chan’s Hollywood success and demonstrated his versatility as an actor, despite his initial regrets and disappointment in the response from his hometown. It significantly impacted his career, and is still remembered fondly by fans.
Source: Slash Films