Rush Hour 2

UK release date: Mar 26 2008

cast list

Chris Tucker
Jackie Chan
John Lone
Zhang Ziyi
Alan King

directed by
Brett Ratner

Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan reprise their roles from the 1998 original, Tuckerplaying Los Angeles detective Carter and Chan playing Hong Kong detective Lee.This time out, the duo is chasing after counterfeiter Ricky Tan (John Lone) andhis triad gang as they launder funny money from Hong Kong to L.A. to Las Vegas.

Not much of a story (one that was written by the genius who also brought usSpeed 2:Cruise Control), but that is no big surprise. The story for the firstfilm was pretty weak, and that film made $150 million so why bother writinganything worthwhile for this installment? It merely goes from point A to B to C,using clich after clich as it plods along. Brett Ratner, the film’s director,doesn’t even bother putting forth any effort. Instead of taking this installmentin a different direction and trying something new, he goes for the “if it ain’tbroke, don’t fix it” method of directing a sequel.

Writing and directing are, of course, not what we go to see a film like thisfor. We go for stunts, fighting and comedy. Even in these departments though,the movie falls flat on its ass. Jackie Chan’s trademark stunts and energeticfight scenes are beginning to look as tired as the man himself (how old is heagain?). Chan does try to inject some life into his poorly written character,but it is to no avail. Here is hoping that the proposed sequel to Shanghai Noongives him more to work with than this film.

As for Tucker, the truth of the matter is neither he nor his material is allthat funny. He delivers a few bits of comic gold here and there, but most of hisimprovised material is just plain mean-spirited and at times, borderline racist.Tucker’s character is the “fish out of water” in this film (Carter isvacationing in Hong Kong), allowing for a fair amount of jokes about culturaldifferences. Unfortunately, he takes almost every stereotype about Asians youcan think of and turns it into a punchline. Instead of being funny, Carter (andTucker) merely comes off as an ignorant American loudmouth in a nice suit.

The appealing supporting cast, which also includes Crouching Tiger, HiddenDragon‘s Zhang Ziyi as Tan’s hit person and Alan King as an American crime boss,are largely wasted. Do, however, keep an eye out for Don Cheadle’s funny cameoas one of Carter’s informants.

Rush Hour 2 continues the tradition of lame sequels to originals thatdidn’t even warrant a second instalment to begin with. A loud, boring mess that rarely comes tolife, this money sponge posing as a movie will no doubt make the millions whoenjoyed the first film happy, but not many beyond that.

It wouldn’t have taken much to make Rush Hour 2 an agreeable time killer. Theslightest bit of ingenuity and effort on the behalf of the cast and crew mighthave turned this into something along the lines of Lethal Weapon 2: a sequelthat lets the audience in on the fun. Instead, it plays like Lethal Weapon 4: abloated, improvised bore that only cares about taking your money and givingnothing in return.

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