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'Rush Hour': How Justin Hires and Jon Foo stack up to the original stars

CBS’s Rush Hour, the television adaptation of the popular Brett Ratner film series starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, has premiered, and there are a lot of opinions out there. But for me, a very important question remains: Are the new leads, Justin Hires and Jon Foo, the right guys to carry on the tag-team legacy of Det. Li and Det. Carter? In order to get to the bottom of this, we’ve got to analyze the leads themselves (with a little help from CBS) and take a look at the pilot, which is the true barometer for this show’s success.

Jon Foo: Foo comes to us from jolly ol’ England. Foo, who hails from London, started out as a part of the London Chinese Acrobats. Foo’s talents in martial arts were developed during his childhood when he began training in kung fu. At age 15 he began training in wushu with the Yi Dao Martial Arts School. (Kung fu and wushu are both general terms that encompass a wide spectrum of Chinese fighting styles.) Foo takes a very Bruce Lee approach by incorporating other styles of fighting, like boxing and Muay Thai, into his personal style. His film career took off when he sent a demo tape to Chan, who invited him to become part of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team.

Foo’s resume includes both stage and film, having shown off his acrobatic skills at London’s Royal Opera House and Royal Albert Hall, and acting in The Protector, Batman Begins, Extraction, Bangkok Revenge, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, House of Fury, Shi cha qi xiao di, and others. Fans of Tekken probably know him best as Jin Kazama. Foo’s acting career has taken him all across Asia, including Hong Kong (where he worked with the Jackie Chan Stunt Team), Thailand, and Malaysia, but Rush Hour has Foo calling America home for now.

If you look at his fighting from some of his films, you can see why the legendary Chan would want him as a part of his team. (If you’re squeamish like me, some scenes are pretty intense.)

Justin Hires: Justin Hires is a stand-up comedian who is probably best known for his appearances on Comedy Central’s popular Key & Peele. Hires, who has also been featured on In the Flow with Affion Crockett and Disaster Date got his start in the entertainment world by becoming the youngest cast member of Tampa Bay’s “Shakespeare in the Park.”

Hires moved from his hometown of St. Petersburg, FL, to Atlanta, GA, where he was cast in Stomp the Yard and The Gospel. Hires later became a VJ on mtvU and starred in MTV’s pilot for Dance Justice. YouTube and WorldStarHipHop helped Hires’s popularity rise, and after participating in the CBS Diversity Showcase, Hires was able to parlay all of his experience into landing the role of Det. Carter.

Check out some of his comedy:

There are a lot more videos on Hires’s YouTube page.

Now that we have their credentials, let’s get back to the question at hand: Do they live up to the dream team of Tucker and Chan? Well, just based on their stats alone, they do. Hires is extremely funny and creative, much like Tucker. Foo has the backing of Chan himself and is an accomplished martial artist and acrobat, so as we’ve already seen from the videos, his fighting is on-point. But the real test is if they have the same chemistry as Tucker and Chan.

Say what you will about the film series delving into stereotype, but the shining light of the films was Chan and Tucker’s friendship. As for the pilot? It goes by fast—probably too fast in terms of pacing. There’s not enough time for us to really get to know the new Li and Carter. With limited time, that also means there’s not enough time to see how the two could form a friendship; the audience is told that the characters are a good match, rather than shown that they are. Case in point: There’s a scene in which Sgt. Diaz (Aimee Garcia) tells us (and Li) that Li and Carter have a lot in common. Thankfully, we do get one good scene during which Carter bears his soul to Li, but that’s still not enough to overcome the deficit of the pilot: We don’t get any true camaraderie, at least not enough to rival the performances of the original film.

However, the fact that this is a television series is Rush Hour‘s saving grace. Even though the critics aren’t too pleased with the pilot, the ratings were actually pretty solid, meaning there’s a chance for the show to find its legs and give fans the friendship they want to see, as well as much-needed characterization to Li. As he stands right now, Li is pretty much how Carter describes him in the pilot, “a Chinese robot from the future.” The writer of the pilot neglected to give Li the emotional range he needed to counterbalance Carter’s over-the-top personality. It’s also clear to see that the writer liked writing for Carter more than for Li, leaving Li with some painful Asian stereotypes (such as the “model minority” personality ticks) as his basic character outline.

Overall, though, I’d wager that Hires and Foo will find the right footing eventually. As long as the writing shapes up a bit as well, these two could be the Rush Hour dream team to carry the mantle. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, though.

What do you think about Hires and Foo? Did you like the pilot? Give your opinions below!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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