Retro Review: Rush Hour 2

The fastest feet in the East meet the biggest mouth in the West, again. Except this time there are two lovely ladies and a counterfeiter thrown in the mix. Sounds like fun!

Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker reunite with “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner for “Rush Hour 2”. This sequel drops us right in the middle of Carter’s (Tucker) vacation in Hong Kong. He has journeyed to Hong Kong to visit his old pal Inspector Lee (Chan). When the American Embassy is bombed and its revealed that Ricky Tan (John Lone), a mysterious man is linked to the bombing Lee becomes quickly involved. It turns out that a hidden secret links Lee to Tan and that this may also involve the lethal Chinese Triad Gangs as well.

“Rush Hour 2” has taken a cue from the “Lethal Weapon” saga for this sequel as the film opens with us being dropped right into the middle of the relationship between Lee and Carter. The film wastes no time in recreating the duo’s chemistry and Carter’s impeccable mouth.

Like the way the Lethal Weapon sequels move, this sequel reunites the audience with the magic that was the first film. I liked how this is accomplished. A lot of sequels these days often try to recapture the magic of the first film by re-treading to many issues gone over in the first. Often that is a mistake. This was definitely seen in “Jurassic Park 3”. You don’t have to connect with the first film for a sequel to flow. For example take the Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies; they worked because they carried on the characters not the plot. Often a sequel is just the continuing adventures of the previous film’s central characters and that’s a saving grace when talking about “Rush Hour 2”. This is a decent sequel given the material.

Like in the first film, Tucker is the comedy man and Chan is the straight man. Tucker is wild and out of control as his mouth continuously keeps moving. This is a great comedic element and works in almost every scene. Tucker does seem more relaxed and assure of himself in this film. He is as hilarious here as he was in the first entry but sometimes will top himself like in the massage parlor scene. The reason could be that he made $20 million for the picture while Chan settled for $11 million.

I also really enjoyed the two female leads in this picture. Rosalyn Sanchez, last seen in the short-lived detective series “Ryan Caulfield: Year One”, makes a dazzling debut as an undercover Secret Service agent. She could be the next “Salma Hayek”. Look out boys!

The second is the beautiful and feisty Ziyi Zhang, last seen in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. Zhang has very little English lines in the film but just oozes lethal female as she locks horns with the male stars. These two actresses really inject a lot of charisma into the film’s mesh and it’s always great to have interesting supporting characters, especially in a sequel.

There were a few points that bewildered me. First, how come when the duo returns stateside that the adrenaline drops. It seems that the film seems to lag in comedy and action when they get off the plane in the US. I really wish the whole film stayed in Hong Kong. That atmosphere was way more interesting.

Second, what is with Tucker’s outrageous outfits throughout the film?

I mean he goes from funky Chinese attire (gold & black satin jumpsuits) to a snakeskin suit with a black cowboy hat. Every piece of clothing this man wears is very distracting.

Third, I wish we had more screen time with excellent actor John Lone. This guy is always brilliant as a villain. I wished there were more intense and meaty scenes with the duo or at least a huge duel between him and Chan.

“Rush Hour 2” is an excellent second entry. It will definitely delight fans of Chan and the first film.

(3.5 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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