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RUSH HOUR 2

SYNOPSIS:
LAPD detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) and Hong Kong Police Chief Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) are in Hong Kong on holiday when a bomb explodes in the US Embassy, killing two American customs agents investigating a counterfeit currency operation. The chief suspect is Ricky Tan (John Lone), a Triad boss and former detective who was once the partner of Lee’s father. With American and Hong Kong authorities fighting over jurisdiction of the case, Lee and Carter set off on their own path to track down Tan.

A fine cast, with the exception perhaps of one-note Chris Tucker, and plenty of zippy action fail to make this a proud sequel. The Hong Kong sequences are second rate, but when the action moves to Las Vegas there is some buzz about. However, the script is lumbering, heavy handed and uneven, and the characters are rather flat. Even Jackie Chan appears to be going through the paces, but we can’t blame him. Zhang Ziyi and Roselyn Sanchez stand out as a dangerous crim and mysterious customs agent respectively, but even their efforts are insufficient to pump up the movie.
Andrew L. Urban

Don’t rush to see Rush Hour 2, but if you are open to some more Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker action and fun, the spectacular Casino scene that is filled with innovative ideas and moves is worth the price of admission in itself. The first half of the film is very tired; the plot is weak and appears to be a poor excuse for the action scenes, while Tucker is rather irritating (with his rasping 7/11 mouth, that never closes). Much of the humour doesn’t work and Chan appears ill at ease and rather bored in the Hong Kong sequences. But then things do liven up and the colourful Red Dragon casino sequence (that follows an entertaining visit to the Versace shop!) is an absolute blast. Zhang Ziyi is a welcome addition to the cast, displaying some more of the eye-popping action shown in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. My favourite stunt is when a very lithe Chan manoeuvres himself at lightening speed under the base of a cashier’s tiny window—a stunt that we recognise as incredible, but is accentuated when we see how badly wrong it can go in the entertaining outtakes at the end of the film. The entire film seems to be a warm up for the outtakes, which of course are simply wonderful. There's even a mention of Rush Hour 3, but I do hope someone whispers into Chan’s ear, so he doesn’t rush into it!
Louise Keller

The Chan-Tucker team still fire in patches but Rush Hour 2 is no match for its predecessor. Things get off to a bad start with Chris Tucker doing an excruciatingly inept "American abroad" routine that rolls out every tired gag imaginable. Haven’t we seen enough mispronunciations of foreign words by dumb tourists to last a lifetime? Apparently not because Tucker reels out half a dozen of these clunkers before Jackie translates and we all groan at what he really said. No wonder Americans are regarded as the world’s worst travellers. Things pick up once the plot starts moving and ice-cold villain John Lone appears, aided by a psycho sidekick played by mainland actress and Gong Li look-alike Zhang Ziyi of The Road Home and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame. The other impressive female in the cast is Roselyn Sanchez, a foxy Puerto Rican fireball who plays the lover of Tan’s criminal partner Steven Reign (Alan King). It rolls along at a fast pace and there are some spectacular action sequences but a tired feel hovers over this production. For all Jackie’s loveable charm and Tucker’s ability with motor-mouth dialogue, the boys simply aren’t given funny enough material to work with. Put simply, too many gags die—leaving us with occasional chuckles amid large scale destruction in Hong Kong and the casino in Vegas where events wind up. The pleasure of watching Jackie Chan at work—even with flat material—makes this worth a look, but don’t expect too much.
Richard Kuipers

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 2

RUSH HOUR 2 (M)
(US)

CAST: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, John Lone, Zhang Ziyi, Alan King, Roselyn Sanchez, Harris Yulin

DIRECTOR: Brett Ratner

PRODUCER: Roger Birnbaum, Arthur Sarkissian, Jay Stern, Jonathan Glickman

SCRIPT: Jeff Nathanson

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Matthew F. Leonetti

EDITOR: Mark Helfrich

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Terence Marsh

MUSIC: Lalo Schifrin

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 27, 2001

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment

VIDEO RELEASE: February 20, 2002







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