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Overall Rating

Worth A Look24.75%
Just Average24.75%
Pretty Crappy: 22.77%
Sucks: 2.97%

6 reviews, 65 user ratings

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Rush Hour 2
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by Andrew Howe

"Goes nowhere in a hurry."
2 stars

In Hollywood parlance the word “franchise” has long been a synonym for “creative bankruptcy”, and the mere mention of the term has been striking fear into the hearts of hardcore moviegoers since the day a studio executive first realised that originality is never a prerequisite for enormous box-office returns. Converting the goodwill fostered by past successes into a mountain of green is accepted industry practice, and Rush Hour 2 will have many viewers praying in vain for the winds of change.

The film reunites Chief Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) with his trash-talking buddy James Carter (Chris Tucker) and drops them into the middle of an Asian counterfeit ring headed by ice-cool Triad boss Ricky Tan (John Lone) and chief psycho Hu Li (Zhang Ziyi). The paper-thin plot is, of course, merely an excuse for Chan and Tucker to bust a few heads, work on their “chemistry”, and save the day amidst the obligatory explosions and death-defying stunt work, except when the script unwisely allows Tucker to practice the high-pitched vocals and exaggerated expressions that have become his stock in trade.

Rush Hour 2 is a fairly harmless film – it’s good-natured, there are a few laughs, and if you’re watching it at the end of a long day you won’t have to worry about shifting your brain out of first gear. Chan is his usual loveable self, allowing Tucker to dominate the dialogue while he sticks to what he does best, which is risking his life by personally bringing the script’s outlandish stunts to life (though there’s a truly bizarre scene in which he jives along to the car radio, using only a nodding head and an outstanding degree of facial expressiveness, which proves why his performances attract so many positive notices).

Tucker contributed one of the most delightfully over-the-top performances in recent memory to The Fifth Element, but he’s since become the Michael Winslow of the new millennium, trading on a familiar shtick which is starting to breed contempt. Most of his routines are aimed squarely at a teenage audience, but it’s a cut above the kind of thing that passed for comedy in the Police Academy films, meaning that boredom is the worst emotion you’re likely to experience (as opposed to, say, derision or disgust).

Action films are renowned for throwing top-notch supporting players into the mix, but Rush Hour 2 bucks the trend by presenting us with a procession of non-entities and pointless cameos by well-known performers. Even the villains are depressingly lacklustre – Lone seems content to live out his days collecting cheques for journeyman Chow Yun-Fat impersonations (and you only need to check out Year of the Dragon and Iceman to understand why that’s a crying shame), while Ziyi displays the cold-hearted intensity she brought to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon but is given precious little to do with it.

Nobody’s expecting top-shelf acting or an innovative plot, so we might assume that the action sequences would be enough to save the day. Since high-octane gunplay is my drug of choice I’ve never been a fan of over-the-top chop-socky, but even my natural bias doesn’t explain the overwhelming sense of ennui I experienced during the film’s monumental beat-’em-ups. They’re artfully choreographed, but the same could be said of that appalling dance sequence from The Ladies Man. A good action sequence pins you to your seat with its ferocity, and if you’re not picking up your jaw from the neighbouring row when it’s over then somebody’s not doing their job.

Sure, there’s the odd moment when you’ll find yourself admiring Chan’s ingenuity (a scene involving a cashier’s window is on the money), but most of the time it’s just one cartoonish set piece after another. Chan belts a few scumbags while leaping around like a frog on a griddle, Carter rearranges a few faces while having the gall to look surprised that anyone would want to tear out his tongue and beat him to death with it, and it all plays out in a PG-friendly stylistic wasteland.

Since no one who pays good money to see this by-the-numbers retread is expecting anything more, I suppose we get what we deserve. Rush Hour 2 is not a truly rotten film, and it never pretends to be anything more than it is. What it is, however, is the kind of flick that gives mindless entertainment a bad name, and that’s something that should never be condoned, especially when every ticket purchased helps support a franchise that has no regard for use-by dates.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4712&reviewer=193
originally posted: 10/15/01 23:54:36
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User Comments

6/14/10 LINDA DOWDY Good "action comedy"! 4 stars
8/18/08 Shaun Wallner This movie is so funny! 5 stars
5/05/07 David Risser Another great Jackie Chan action flick! 5 stars
2/02/06 Anthony Feor A funny sequel, but brings down attention just a bit 3 stars
11/13/05 Jackie Tucker GOOD MOSHO 5 stars
11/13/05 J man Brett Ratner’s Choice of actors was out standing no other director could do a better job 5 stars
8/20/05 tony It was so funny. it was very good. 4 stars
7/01/05 Eddie Chan's worst role ever 1 stars
6/07/05 JD On an entertainment level, it delivers! 4 stars
1/23/05 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
11/20/03 rony awesome!!! makes me wanna visit hong kong!!! and electrifying Zhang Ziyi=ZZ^_^ 5 stars
10/31/03 Littlepurch Loved it! Haven't even seen the first one!!! 5 stars
10/13/03 Ian Hilarious! 5 stars
10/01/03 estheticaura Same formula. Different Scenery. 2 stars
4/18/03 Gecko Fanfoot Nice outing. Tucker and Chan are a great team. Tucker's a scream! 5 stars
2/02/03 Turtle Nowhere near as good as the original and has a terribly convoluted plot...FUN! 4 stars
12/30/02 John Aster Habig gees who knew jokes could be this dumb even racial humor 2 stars
12/28/02 Jack Sommersby Unexpectedly winning and entertaining. 4 stars
10/24/02 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
8/03/02 Ray McCoy John Lone should have had more screen time in this film!!! 3 stars
5/24/02 Film Guy Not funny ,not good 2 stars
3/30/02 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
2/23/02 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
2/06/02 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
1/16/02 Piz I could swear i saw this before, oh yeah, Rush Hour 1, but since the first was funny... 4 stars
12/24/01 Mogwai worth a look 3 stars
12/22/01 Bri funny, action is decent 5 stars
12/18/01 The Bomb 69 great popcorn movie, Infinifilm DVD made it better 5 stars
11/29/01 Rutt13 A good time, better, funnier than part 1 4 stars
11/08/01 Christina Boe I think that Rush Hour 2 was a very good movie. I believe this movie was well put together 4 stars
10/15/01 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
9/28/01 Jim Renwick Good show 4 stars
9/28/01 Phoenix I laughed all the way through this. Chan and Tucker are great together. 4 stars
9/18/01 cheuk kinda cool watchin it, but when ur out, u realize u jus wen n 2 c jackie chan, not da movie 4 stars
9/15/01 A.J it was the best movie ever its better then rush hour 1 i hope you put rush hour3 5 stars
9/14/01 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
9/02/01 Injew Tries really hard to be funny. I left after 40 minutes of this garbage. 2 stars
8/26/01 B. Merriweather It was a delightful, funny and witty comedy that I truly enjoyed. 4 stars
8/22/01 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
8/12/01 Roy Smith Not a great movie but Tucker and Chan are a great team! Charisma to spare!! 4 stars
8/07/01 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
8/04/01 Brad this movie was awsome; better than the first 5 stars
8/04/01 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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