Rush Hour – The Scene When Carter and Lee Meet for the First Time
The first scene that will be examined will be the scene in Rush Hour, where Jackie Chan’s character, Chief Inspector Lee, is getting off the plane to meet Carter, played by Chris Tucker, for the very first time. The scene opens with an overhead shot of Carter sitting on the roof of a black car, with the words “Snake Boss 24” overlaid on the scene in large red letters. The scene then cuts to a medium shot of a plane that is coming in on the runway. Then, a medium shot of Carter, in a full length body shot, as he checks his watch. After this shot is a long shot of the same plane that was shown in the very first shot, but, this time, the plane is shot through a window pane, and the plane is seen down below. The words “is back with” is overlaid on the window pane, in red, in the same writing as “Snake Boss 24” as the plane coming in on a long shot on the other side of the window pane. These three shots are edited and cut so that they are very close together – the original shot of the plane, which was the medium shot, was about seven seconds long, the shot of Carter checking his watch was about three seconds long, and the long shot of the plane was also about seven seconds long. ...
The next shot is a close up of Inspector Lee, as he looks around, with the words “Rush Hour” overlaid on that shot, then a medium shot of Lee as he descends the stairs. When he gets to the bottom of the stairs, the camera cuts immediately to Carter, in a medium shot, as he is walking towards Lee. The shot of Carter walking towards Lee is about three seconds long. The shot after the shot of Carter walking towards Lee, is another medium shot of Lee, who is looking towards Carter, then turns to a woman next to him and speaks Chinese. During this entire sequence, there is no speaking, until Lee greets the Chinese woman next to him – rather, there is music that sounds Chinese. The pacing of this sequence is extremely rapid, as there is cutting away to show different parts of the shot – the plane, Carter, the plane, Carter, and the plane. After Carter reaches Lee, the first dialogue is spoken in the scene, while a bass guitar plays in the background. When Carter first reaches Lee, he is shot from the back, then the camera immediately cuts to a close up of Carter’s face, and now Lee is being shot from the back. This shot alternates between a close up of Carter, as he is talking to Lee, thinking that Lee doesn’t speak English, and a close up of Lee’s face, which first looks perplexed, then he is smiling, then back to Carter close up, then back to Lee closeup, then a medium shot of both of them as Carter is turning towards the camera. The camera is of the two men in a medium shot, from the waist up, as Carter talks about how he can’t believe that he got stuck with this assignment. This shot, where Carter is facing the camera and talking to himself is the slowest shot of the sequence, as this shot is around 12 seconds long.