Ossus Library Index Action Movie Index

RUSH HOUR 2

Directed by Brett Ratner (2001, New Line Cinemas)
Starring Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker and Roselyn Sanchez

An American and a Chinese detective hunt down a counterfeiting organization.

 

 

3 stars

December 15th, 2001 on DVD

 
    A standard action fare, with some comic touches.  Not as good or as funny as the original, but still well-worth seeing.  

Nothing really stands out in the way of stuff that was really good or really bad.  Most of the stunts were made in the hopes of generating laughs.  Most of the time, they were successful.  I only laughed loud a few times, though.

I wonder if this film was supposed to pick up right after the last one ended.  As I recall, Rush Hour's credits rolled while Lee and Carter were on a plane to Hong Kong.  Now, they are visiting Hong Kong, Lee showing his friend around, when he gets a call from his boss saying that the American Embassy has been bombed.  Lee takes on the case because the man who is suspected was his father's partner when he died.  

Carter is completely incensed by what Lee is doing -after all, this is his vacation!  Some of the funniest scenes occur at the beginning of the movie, when Lee takes Carter to a karaoke bar and the American starts singing to the horror of the Chinese people!  It turns out that this is a mob hangout bar.  After an unsuccessful chase, which leaves the two police detectives hanging from a collapsing scaffolding, Lee takes his friend to a massage parlor, where the gang leader normally goes.  But he doesn't tell Carter this, so Carter thinks this is his time to relax.  They confront Ricky Tan there, and after a beautifully choreographed fight scene, they end up running home naked when they are dumped in the middle of a freeway!  

Lee thinks Carter is killed after a bomb goes off in the police station, but refuses to give up the hunt.  Carter, not knowing that everybody thinks he's dead, sneaks onto the yacht that Lee also infiltrates (with a funny but probably typical taxi driver).  There, they meet up, see Ricky Tan get killed by one of his subordinates, and watch as the woman escapes on a speedboat.  I have to admit that I was suckered -I thought Tan was killed.  But it was all a setup, for Lee's sake.  

They follow their leads back to Los Angeles, where they watch for a Casino owner and a woman who happens to be a Federal spy who has infiltrated a counterfeiting ring.  In another humorous scene, Lee spies on the woman, completely dazed, as she starts to undress in front of his eyes, while telling Carter that this spy duty was "very boring".

Following more leads, they end up getting captured and bound in a truck on its way to Los Vegas filled with the counterfeit money.  They manage to escape, in a scene that was much better than what is shown to be the original one on the DVD.  Carter takes packs of the phony bills, and they use the money to enter and win lots at the casino that the man they followed from Hong Kong owns.  The movie was starting to drag on by this time, until finally Lee confronts Ricky Tan again.  There follows another cool fight scene, until both Tan and his "partner" and his subordinate are dead.  

The movie ends with Lee and Carter about to go on their way, but finally they decide to go to New York, where presumably the third movie will take place.  I did enjoy this movie, but it was more about single gags rather than being a funny movie.  The fights were the best part, as both Lee and Carter did some cool stuff, and were often able to exchange opponents in the middle of a fight.  My favorite comic line has to be when Carter's informant calls him 7-11, because his mouth never closes!  

There were other neat action-oriented scenes, and lots more comedy, but less of it appealed to me compared to the original Rush Hour.  It was difficult to write this review, because there wasn't much that was actually memorable.  What was the point of having Lee think Carter was dead?  There wasn't much shock value to it, not like Ricky Tan's reappearance.  I thought Lee was going to sulk like Indiana Jones did in Raiders, but it was kept much more brief.  What was the purpose of having Tan's partner try to steal the counterfeiting plates, then, near the end?  Obviously it was so that Tan could confront the man, but his actions didn't make sense.  It was still opening night.  He could have made a lot more money before stealing the plates as his own.  

So I rate this movie as good for a laugh, but not if you want to remember what it was about.  The acting was good, and the choreography was excellent.  I also liked the extras on the DVD.  They were arranged in a logical manner, and we didn't have to go searching through difficult menus to find things.  The outtakes were funny, as usual, and I was very interested in the deleted scenes -one of which, the old Chinese man who misunderstands Carter's Chinese was going to get his daughter so that the American could do strange sexual things to her, was absolutely hilarious!  This one is definitely worth renting.

 
   

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