Crossover film: Rush Hour

A crossover film is a film or production that crosses cultural borders during production, distribution and reception; it draws on universal themes and is characterised by crossover film techniques and languages. Films such as Babel, Slumdog Millionaire, The Dark Knight and Rush Hour are all considered transnational, crossover films simply due to there various cultures analysed, displayed or even influenced in the films.

Rush Hour (1998) presents stereotypes to public which are interpreted differently by a wide variety of audiences. Carter, played by an African American comedian, Chris Tucker and Lee, played by world-renowned actor, Jackie Chan; are teamed up; demonstrating a clash of cultures which lead to series of comical yet racially offensive incidents. Jackie Chan’s history of film appearances involve mixed cultural content, such as Hong Kong martial arts, that successfully appeals to both Western and Eastern audiences; making him a global film icon that allows films to gain a culturally hybrid approach. Thus, in Rush Hour through the casting of Jackie Chan, the film was able to be recognised as a transnational film due to its multicultural influences and representations.

The basis for majority of humour in Rush Hour is based off two characters with conflicting cultural backgrounds, trying to function within a white nation. An individuals perception is heavily based on their cultural background and that racial insensitivity s only based off of a specific culture. If Carter didn’t have an African America stereotype and Lee didn’t have a thick Chinese accent, or know some sort of martial arts; the movie wouldn’t have worked. This is simply due to the fact that the audience is trained by the media to expect certain qualities from people of various cultural backgrounds. The film encourages acceptance of the racial remarks from both Western and Eastern audiences; therefore validating racial differences and justifying modern, multicultural society.

References:

Sukhami, K, 2013, Crossover Cinema: Cross-cultural Film From Production to Reception, Academia.edu, viewed 1 October 2014, <http://www.academia.edu/3449865/Crossover_Cinema_Cross-cultural_Film_from_Production_to_Reception&gt;

Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPULDr0cn6A

Image: http://content6.flixster.com/movie/11/16/97/11169764_800.jpg

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