PG-13 for action violence, language and some sexual material.
Chris Tucker, John Lone,
Roselyn Sanchez, Ziyi Zhang, Alan King, Harris Yulin, Don
Andrew Z. Davis
Jeff Nathanson (script for the sequel, Speed 2) &
Ross LaManna (original story and characters for Rush Hour)
New Line Cinemas
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Rush Hour 2 Lacks Punch
By Laura Bagby
CBN.com - Synopsis:
Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker team up again for this slap schtick comedy/martial
arts adventure. Chan reprises his role as Detective Inspector Lee of
the Royal Hong Kong Police, while Tucker returns as the loud-mouthed,
oversexed, sanguine Detective James Carter of the LAPD.
Carter is looking for a good time while vacationing in Hong Kong, but
his hopes of entertaining beautiful Chinese women (which he affectionately
refers to as "Moo Shoo") are dashed when Lee is asked to investigate
a recent U.S. Embassy bombing that killed two U.S. customs agents who
had been investigating a money smuggling ring. Lee suspects gang leader
Ricky Tan (John Lone, The Last Emperor), once the police force
partner of Lee's deceased father, is the criminal mastermind behind
the mass production of the "super bills," or counterfeit U.S. $100 bills.
The detective duo works together to stave off Tan's karate-kicking
henchmen, his billionnaire partner Steven Reign (Alan King, the multitalented
actor, comedian, and bestselling author), and his high-kicking and lethal
vixen Hu Li (Ziyi Zhang of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), as
well as the enigmatic, whose-side-is-she-on Secret Service agent Isabella
Molina (Roselyn Sanchez, who will be seen in the upcoming film Boat
Trip with Cuba Gooding Jr.) in order to recover the counterfeiting
plates and foil Tan. Along the way, our partners-in-law get themselves
into some hilarious and embarrassing situations as they travel the globe
from Hong Kong to Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
While the sequel
to the 1998 hit has raked in $250 million worldwide, according to the
movie's official Web site, rushhour2.com, thus proving to be the expected
box office boon, I was disappointed by the staleness of this latest
Jackie Chan flick.
The typical Jackie Chan junkie goes to see the screen stunts of the
47-year-old Hong Kong native for two reasons: Chan's comic appeal, and
Chan's daredevil martial arts moves. Anything less and fans are likely
to be miffed.
While the sequel does provide some comic slapstick moments and funny
one-liners for Chan, and the expected fast-paced, karate-chopping gyrations,
Chan is often upstaged by stand-up comic Tucker. The buggey-eyed funny
man gets most of the laughs, while it seems Chan is content to play
the straight man and concentrate on perfecting hand-to-hand combat.
(Honestly, is this a Jackie Chan picture or a Chris Tucker vehicle?
Perhaps they should change the billing.)
To its credit, the film does have several side-splitting scenes, driven
by some promising dialogue. In one scene near the beginning, Lee says
to Carter: "This is my land. Here I am Michael Jackson and you are Toto."
Carter responds, "You mean Tito! Toto is what we ate for dinner last
night!" And at the massage parlor, after fighting Ricky Tan's entourage,
Carter accidentally punches Lee, saying, "Sorry, you all look alike!"
The comic delivery and the racial undertones of these lines brought
uproariously laughter from the moviegoing audience, as did Carter's
bumbling efforts to speak broken Chinese.
Unfortunately, these comic bright spots were often overshadowed by
Tucker's over-the-top, sexually-charged responses. After enduring Tucker's
tiresome ranting and raving, and use of mild profanities, I was ready
to see some stellar stunts.
By far the best action scene of the film was when Lee and Carter, hanging
from ropes, come face to face with an approaching semi on the freeway.
What ensues is an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, albeit brief. Second
to this would have to be the massage parlor fight scene for its comic
appeal and fast-paced and well-timed acrobatic jabs.
Overall, however, there were fewer spectacular fight scenes in this
film than in previous Chan movies. I suppose that after years of broken
bones while doing death-defying feats, a talented actor and athlete
like Jackie Chan can afford to take it easy, but I missed those glass-breaking,
copter-jumping scenes of his former films.
Chris Tucker fans will likely enjoy this flick, while Jackie Chan fans
will likely conclude the martial arts star has seen better days. For
those simply looking for a buddy cop comedy, you will get what you pay
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