Rush Hour 2
Directed by Brett Ratner
Review by Evelyn Gildrie-Voyles <email@example.com>
Lately I have been explaining to ticked off readers of my FilmHead.com reviews that whether I like or dislike a movie has a lot to do with my personal taste, biases, and baggage. Just so there isn't any confusion, let me flat out state my baggage concerning Rush Hour 2. I love Jackie Chan. I have seen every movie of his released in American theaters and have rented dozens more. He is the only reason I saw Rush Hour 2. I find Chris Tucker alternately hysterical (Friday and The Fifth Element) and unspeakably irritating (Jackie Brown, Money Talks and Rush Hour). He is the only reason I hesitated before seeing Rush Hour 2. I'm glad I finally decided to see the movie. It wasn't as good as I wanted it to be, but it was better than the first one.
Chan and Tucker once again play Detective Inspector Lee of Hong Kong and Detective James Carter of the LAPD. This time Carter is visiting Lee in Hong Kong for vacation. Carter's vacation gets cut short by a bombing at the American Embassy. Carter's interference gets Lee thrown off the case so they both track the bombers to America on their own, angering a ton of government agencies -- both Chinese and American.
The plot moves quickly from Hong Kong to LA to Las Vegas, and through who's working for who and who's really who and who's really what complications. The plot is so ridiculous, contrived, and convoluted that it actually saves the film. Everything is so fast that the audience can't do anything but laugh. Tucker's character doesn't have a lot of time to be annoying. Sure his schtick gets a little tiresome in the beginning, but once the plot kicks in he just quips and runs. The two rants he does have during the middle of the film are quite funny and advance the plot rather than slowing it down as his long speeches did in the first Rush Hour.
Jackie Chan was as sweet, funny, and cute as always, but I was saddened by the fight scenes. Chan is primarily a stunt man and an acrobat, but he is getting rather old. He's pushing fifty and he just can't jump on helicopters or jump through ladders or flip around in the air like he used to. He can still do good fight choreography and I did enjoy his use of a small golden garbage can in the first major fight scene, but I sorely missed the elaborate use of props and slapstick humor which have become his trademark.
Ultimately, whether you like this film depends on what you are looking for. If you want more verbal comedy and less physical and martial arts inspired comedy, and don't find Chris Tucker annoying, then go see Rush Hour 2. If you want incredible stunts, perfectly timed physical comedy and cute double takes, rent Supercop.
For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Rush Hour 2 (2001)
Video Pick of the Week
Guide to Star Ratings