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Overall Rating

Worth A Look24.75%
Pretty Bad: 22.77%
Total Crap: 2.97%

6 reviews, 65 user ratings

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Rush Hour 2
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"Do You Understand The Word That Are Coming Out Of Mouth.....AGAIN?"
2 stars

When people complain about sequels being nothing but ATM machines that only accept your money with giving anything back, it makes you wonder about the mindset of some of the creative minds out in Hollywood. Obviously you’re trying to recapture whatever magic you created in the first place, but when you have a condensed schedule and an untalented director at the helm, filmmakers tend to fall back on exactly what worked the first time around, rehashing it to the delight of audiences who don’t expect anything new. Of course, this is a workable formula especially if the genre is laced with comedy and packed with action. Rush Hour 2 comes up short in both areas.

Following the Crocodile Dundee/fish out of water sequel routine, our two heroes start off in a different pond together, Hong Kong. While it may be Detective Inspector Lee’s (Jackie Chan) backyard, his partner James Carter (Chris Tucker) is just there on vacation. Holidays don’t last long in movies like this and soon enough, a couple of U.S. Customs agents are killed in a terrorist attack and the police suspect former cop Ricky Tan (John Lone, who shows up every few years in a film to play the Asian gang leader.)

Knowing that one plus one equals two and two equals the number for the first sequel, Tan isn’t just a suspect in the counterfeiting, bombings and other general improprieties taking place here, but he may also be responsible for the death of Lee’s father that we heard so much about during his bonding moments with Carter in the original. Tan, like any good potential villain, has a henchman, or in this case, a henchwoman, albeit perhaps not the most loyal of them, in Hu Li (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’s amazing Zhang Ziyi).

But plots are nothing more than a clothesline to hang the chemistry of the two leads and the incredible action scenes on. The one element that Rush Hour got right was to give Chris Tucker someone to play off of. Watching Tucker by himself is like being stuck in a Turkish prison fantasizing about nails on a sandpaper chalkboard. Partnered with Jackie Chan, we had an instant filter that kept the flakes out and even provided a little cream and sugar.

In Rush Hour 2, the filter is disposed of and Tucker & Chan spend a shocking amount of time apart. During one section, Lee is even forced to believe that Carter is dead, resulting in just a pointless exercise of about fifteen minutes to give Tucker some solo screen time to argue about chicken and having no payoff bigger than “Carter, you’re alive!” Even when they are present in the same surroundings, we keep cutting back and forth from Chan investigating and starting the action to Tucker spewing off what’s supposed to be comic relief, but is just an unfunny, unwelcome distraction from what we want to be seeing. When the funniest moment belongs to a line supervisor during the outtakes, you’ve got problems.

So the comedy is out. That leaves the action. And that’s exactly what Rush Hour 2 seemed to accomplish – leaving the action – somewhere other than on the screen. There’s some exciting early stuff involving bamboo and a massage parlor and Chan accomplishes an amazing feat involving a cash teller window later on, but that’s about it, resulting in about half the action we experienced the first time. The biggest question has to be who decided to veto (or not even think of) a showdown between Chan and Ziyi, one which could have (and should have) been the greatest mano-a-womano battle since Billie Jean King took on Bobby Riggs.

Even the sense of fun that inherently comes with a Jackie Chan picture is erased as he looks plain bored, or just more serious, than anything that Tucker projects with the decibel level raised to glass shattering proportions. One aspect of Tucker’s character that you may not hear much about, besides the most annoying speech pattern since Rosie Perez and his fourth generation dubbing of Eddie Murphy’s early work, is the racism line he continually crosses. He’s constantly taking jabs at all the Asian characters (“all y’all look alike”) and even goes into a tired, unfunny rant about how the white man won’t allow the black man to win at gambling. It’s a good thing Tucker’s character wasn’t white and Chan’s black, otherwise the mask of humor might not have been as easy a pill to swallow. The only real comfort and enjoyment can be found each time Ziyi cracks him in the face.

Freshness is never a term associated with a big summer sequel. All you can really hope for is a bigger plate of more of the same main course and if you’re lucky maybe get a free dessert or appetizer thrown in on the side. But why regurgitate the exact same lines and same joke archetypes to garner cheap smiles of recognition from the audience members? Instead of Tucker, this time around Chan gets to deliver the “understand the words” and “Michael Jackson” gags, not to mention getting another bomb strapped to him. The first film taught us never to touch a black man’s radio. Now we learn to never jump in front of a black man at a buffet line (if the buffet consisted of bikini-clad Asian masseuses).

All this familiarity comes under the helm of director Brett Ratner, who besides making a career in music videos (namely Mariah Carey’s) and his, now, third Chris Tucker collaboration (Money Talks & Rush Hour) also directed last year’s horrendous, insulting Nicolas Cage Christmas film, The Family Man. And unless Ratner can take credit for the fight choreography in both Rush Hours, this hack is working on the negative scale of the talent meter, possessing no finesse in fashioning a complete story or knowing how to work with actors.

The fact that Ratner is attached to remake Michael Mann’s Manhunter (the adaptation of Thomas Harris’ first Hannibal Lecter story, Red Dragon) as “Red Dragon” seems completely in sync with how music video directors continue to find work in feature films. After all, he transformed the Desert Inn hotel in Las Vegas into the fictional “Red Dragon” hotel for Rush Hour 2, so he must be the perfect man for the job. Rush Hour 2 is just par for the course in this year of familiarity and mediocrity.

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originally posted: 08/03/01 04:41:21
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User Comments

6/14/10 LINDA DOWDY Good "action comedy"! 4 stars
8/19/08 Shaun Wallner This movie is so funny! 5 stars
5/06/07 David Risser Another great Jackie Chan action flick! 5 stars
2/03/06 Anthony Feor A funny sequel, but brings down attention just a bit 3 stars
11/14/05 Jackie Tucker GOOD MOSHO 5 stars
11/14/05 J man Brett Ratner’s Choice of actors was out standing no other director could do a better job 5 stars
8/21/05 tony It was so funny. it was very good. 4 stars
7/02/05 Eddie Chan's worst role ever 1 stars
6/08/05 JD On an entertainment level, it delivers! 4 stars
1/24/05 keithers.. Another hollywood entry for Chan... 3 stars
8/30/04 john bale Tucker does Eddie Murphy, Chan does himself - predictable mayhem & kung fu stuff. 3 stars
5/31/04 Nobody about as good as the first...too many racist jokes 3 stars
11/21/03 rony awesome!!! makes me wanna visit hong kong!!! and electrifying Zhang Ziyi=ZZ^_^ 5 stars
11/01/03 Littlepurch Loved it! Haven't even seen the first one!!! 5 stars
10/14/03 Ian Hilarious! 5 stars
10/01/03 estheticaura Same formula. Different Scenery. 2 stars
4/19/03 Gecko Fanfoot Nice outing. Tucker and Chan are a great team. Tucker's a scream! 5 stars
2/03/03 Turtle Nowhere near as good as the original and has a terribly convoluted plot...FUN! 4 stars
12/31/02 John Aster Habig gees who knew jokes could be this dumb even racial humor 2 stars
12/29/02 Jack Sommersby Unexpectedly winning and entertaining. 4 stars
10/25/02 Interrog8 Oops, it didn't have the spunk of the first one. 3 stars
10/13/02 Bodine Harris Awesome 5 stars
8/13/02 Justin Better than the first! 5 stars
8/04/02 Ray McCoy John Lone should have had more screen time in this film!!! 3 stars
5/25/02 Film Guy Not funny ,not good 2 stars
3/31/02 Jeremy ACTION thats one of the main things i like 5 stars
3/18/02 Zargo wicked movie, Ziyi is a babe 5 stars
3/13/02 andrew howe its a classic 5 stars
3/06/02 Julia Cox Possibly unprecedented level of original-to-sequel improvement. Tucker almost not obnoxious 5 stars
2/24/02 Andrew Carden Scattershot Sequel Has Minimal Laughs and A Dumb Screenplay. 3 stars
2/20/02 Xaver While funny at times, it isn't as funny as the original. 3 stars
2/08/02 Jennifleur Best Jackie Chan Movie yet. Hope he keeps up the trend 5 stars
2/07/02 Phil M. Afficianado Sti[id film, done well 2 stars
1/21/02 Spencer Lent Not quite as good as the first one but pretty close 4 stars
1/17/02 Piz I could swear i saw this before, oh yeah, Rush Hour 1, but since the first was funny... 4 stars
12/25/01 Mogwai worth a look 3 stars
12/22/01 Bri funny, action is decent 5 stars
12/19/01 The Bomb 69 great popcorn movie, Infinifilm DVD made it better 5 stars
11/30/01 Rutt13 A good time, better, funnier than part 1 4 stars
11/09/01 Christina Boe I think that Rush Hour 2 was a very good movie. I believe this movie was well put together 4 stars
10/16/01 kate This was a wicked film, definitely a film to watch again 5 stars
10/14/01 gus i loved it! it came so close to surpassing the original 5 stars
10/06/01 Hashbro iam an ultimate rush hour fan and i cant wait for rush hour 3..but i better this again! 5 stars
9/29/01 Jim Renwick Good show 4 stars
9/29/01 Phoenix I laughed all the way through this. Chan and Tucker are great together. 4 stars
9/19/01 cheuk kinda cool watchin it, but when ur out, u realize u jus wen n 2 c jackie chan, not da movie 4 stars
9/16/01 A.J it was the best movie ever its better then rush hour 1 i hope you put rush hour3 5 stars
9/15/01 Palaboy Forget Chris Tucker, Jackie is the real star of this film! 3 stars
9/05/01 elee the best =) cant wait til the next sequel 5 stars
9/03/01 Injew Tries really hard to be funny. I left after 40 minutes of this garbage. 2 stars
8/27/01 B. Merriweather It was a delightful, funny and witty comedy that I truly enjoyed. 4 stars
8/23/01 Baphomet Damn enteeeeeeeeeertainin' n' no pretense. It's fun n' Ziyi iz stunningly beautiful. 4 stars
8/19/01 Mike L Too funny!!! also cant resist Zhang Ziyi!!!!DAMN HOT!!!! 5 stars
8/15/01 Don Slomski loved the 1st one, maybe Tucker / Chan will be together in a film soon, this wasn't it. 3 stars
8/13/01 Roy Smith Not a great movie but Tucker and Chan are a great team! Charisma to spare!! 4 stars
8/08/01 Mr. Hat Tucker handles all situations like some stand-up,but he's veryfunny & Jackie Chan is agile! 4 stars
8/07/01 Kimble Just... great! 5 stars
8/06/01 John Lyons not bad. Chris Tucker getting tired, but Zhang Ziyi is HOT! 4 stars
8/06/01 parkallan Pretty good film, action and comedy done well 4 stars
8/05/01 Y2mckay Same old shit, Tucker still kinda funny, Chan still fights good, Not worth a full review. 3 stars
8/05/01 Jed Complete Crap. Not the least bit funny. 1 stars
8/05/01 Brad this movie was awsome; better than the first 5 stars
8/05/01 Josh Tybur Hit and miss jokes, awesome action. Did they have to do that to Zhang? 4 stars
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  03-Aug-2001 (PG-13)
  DVD: 22-May-2007


  20-Sep-2001 (M)

Directed by
  Brett Ratner

Written by
  Jeff Nathanson

  Jackie Chan
  Chris Tucker
  Wong Fei
  Chris Penn
  Zhang Ziyi
  Alan King

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