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Rush Hour 2
|     review    |     notes     |     awards     |     availability     |
Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan
Year: 2001
Director: Brett Ratner
  Producer: Arthur Sarkissian, Roger Birnbaum, Jay Stern, Jonathan Glickman
  Cast: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Zhang Ziyi, John Lone, Alan King, Rosalyn Sanchez, Harris Yulin, Kenneth Tsang Kong, Saul Rubinek, Jeremy Piven, Maggie Q (cameo)
  The Skinny: Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker reprise their roles in this smash-hit sequel to the surprise sensation Rush Hour. Though Rush Hour 2 may lack the clever cross-cultural nuances of its predecessor, it more than makes up for the deficiency with its winning mix of comedy and action. And more importantly, Zhang Ziyi is in it.
Review by Calvin McMillin:      Picking up right where its predecessor left off, Rush Hour 2 begins with mismatched pals Inspector John Lee (Jackie Chan) and Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) trying to enjoy a much-deserved vacation in Hong Kong. But the duo's hopes are dashed when a bomb is set off at the American Embassy. And from then on, the two cops find themselves in increasingly dangerous situations. From crashing dicey karaoke dives in Hong Kong to infiltrating the glitzy casinos of Las Vegas, detectives Lee and Carter find trouble at every turn.
     Rush Hour 2 is definitely bigger and flashier than its predecessor, but is it better? For many viewers, the answer is a resounding yes. The unlikely pairing of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker produces an undeniable chemistry. Though Rush Hour 2 can be applauded for its abundance of diverse actors, any cross-cultural message introduced in its predecessor has been summarily tossed. Still, what the sequel lacks in message, it more than makes up for in comedy and action.
     However, the film is not without its problems. Tucker's ugly American shtick in the Hong Kong sequences becomes tiresome, if not offensive, especially when he makes the highly competent Lee the constant butt of his inane jokes. To the film's credit, Inspector Lee is given a few zingers of his own to even the score (the unexpected "I'll bitch-slap you back to Africa!" comes to mind), but these witticisms are few and far between. But then again, perhaps there is more going on than we might think. To wit, Inspector Lee's questionable "translation" of Carter's alleged Cantonese (i.e. complete nonsense) may be puzzling to the average Chinese speaker, but I like to think of it as an extended practical joke of a more mature, far more intelligent Lee as he screws around with the totally clueless Carter. But I guess that's just me reading too much into an otherwise satisfying popcorn movie, now isn't it? (Calvin McMillin, 2002)
Notes: • With a $226 million dollar take at the U.S. box office, Rush Hour 2 is by far Jackie Chan's highest-grossing film.
• In truth, Jackie Chan is quite puzzled by the success of the Rush Hour films, and sincerely believes that his Hong Kong effort The Accidental Spy is superior. No joke.
• Surprisingly, the oftentimes-offensive Chris Tucker had a genuine problem with calling Zhang Ziyi's character "a bitch" in the final sequence.
• The film makes several references to Enter the Dragon and Scarface.
• Before taking the part, Don Cheadle insisted that his character speak Chinese and fight with Jackie Chan. According to Ratner, Chan was impressed with Cheadle's accent and abilities.

2002 MTV Movie Awards
• Best Fight (Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan)
2002 Teen Choice Awards
• Comedy Actor (Chris Tucker)
2002 World Stunt Awards
• Taurus Award (Best High Work, Best Fight, Best Specialty Stunt)

Availability: DVD (USA)
Region 1 NTSC
New Line Home Video
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
English Language
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Infinifilm Features, Additional Outtakes, Commentary, Trailers

image courtesy of New Line Cinema Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen