Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How Rush Hour Inspired The Creation Of Rotten Tomatoes

In 1998, the world got the chance to witness quick-mouthed comedian Chris Tucker team up with martial arts action icon Jackie Chan for the film "Rush Hour." Playing as cops from two different sides of the world, the unlikeliest pairing of costars became a hit. Between its stylish action scenes and the humorous on-screen chemistry between Tucker and Chan, "Rush Hour" made approximately $244 million globally (via Box Office Mojo) and was a breakout U.S. role for Chan. "Rush Hour" also spawned two other sequels, with word going around about a possible fourth film being added to the franchise.

"Rush Hour" has already cemented its legacy in the buddy cop genre of movies. Yet beyond setting the bar for other team-up flicks to come, "Rush Hour" is also partially responsible for how fans today usually decide if a movie is worth their time. Rotten Tomatoes is arguably the top source for fans to gauge how good or bad both critics and audiences view a movie or TV series. Even the review collection site's "Certified Fresh" seal is proudly displayed or announced by any series or movie fortunate enough to receive it. Surprisingly, if not for "Rush Hour," Rotten Tomatoes likely wouldn't exist.

One of the site's creators was a huge Jackie Chan fan

It might be hard to believe, but during much of the '90s, Jackie Chan wasn't exactly a household name in America like he is now. Before "Rush Hour," Chan's biggest U.S. fans were likely action movie buffs who got the chance to enjoy international releases of some of his Hong Kong films, such as "Rumble In The Bronx" and "Police Story." Among these hardcore Chan film fans included one of the creators of Rotten Tomatoes, Senh Duong. In a retrospective editorial on the site, Duong revealed that the idea for Rotten Tomatoes came thanks to Chan's starring role in "Rush Hour" and his frustration at not being able to find any reviews for Chan's other movies before the 1998 hit.

As Duong recalled in the editorial, he often read reviews for movies to decide if it was worth purchasing the ticket. While "Rush Hour" got a lot of press ahead of its premiere, Duong still remembered his lackluster experience trying to find reviews for Chan's past films. So, the idea struck him to create a site that collected any critical reviews about a movie and put them in one easy, accessible place, which spun into Rotten Tomatoes. Ironically, as revealed in another blog post from co-founder Stephen Wang, the initial days of Rotten Tomatoes had the site functioning as more of a fan page to "Rush Hour" until the film's release got delayed. As Wang noted, the delay of "Rush Hour" resulted in the site aggregating links, quotes, and reviews for other movies, until it gradually transformed into the site we know today.