Worth A Look: 24.75%
Just Average: 24.75%
Pretty Crappy: 22.77%
6 reviews, 65 user ratings
|Rush Hour 2
by Matt Mulcahey
Thatís right, you uppity bastards. I donít care how formulamatic and regurgitated the genre may be, you throw in two enjoyable actors with some chemistry, a couple of good one-liners and some pulse-quickening action scenes and you've get a good time on your hands.As much as Iíd like to think I have good taste and am a respectful student of film history, Iíve always loved these moronic adventures. When I was 12 my favorite movies in the world were Lethal Weapon, Running Scared and Big Trouble in Little China. Hell, I even liked Tango and Cash and Action Jackson. It's for the same reason I love grade-Z horror schlock like the films of Lucio Fulci: Sometimes, after a long day, I just don't want to have to think too hard about anything.
"Man do I love buddy cop movies"
Buddy cop movies are some of the most mindlessly entertaining films ever, if done right. But if done wrong, you get Collision Course or Turner and Hooch.
The original Rush Hour falls into the former category: A guilty pleasure. But as much fun as it was, the movie still used a well-worn formula and lacked originality.
So how did director Brett Ratner come up with new material for a sequel to a movie that itself was highly derivative? Easy: He didnít. This sequel recycles not only the fish out of water plot line, as Tucker struggles with the language, culture and people of a foreign land just as Chan did in the original, but actually uses many of the same jokes (though they really wonít be all that funny unless youíve seen the original).
Yet somehow Rush Hour 2 manages to be the most entertaining and fun movie of the summer, slightly ahead of the even dumber The Fast and the Furious, an enjoyable homage to bottom-of-a-double-bill drive-in classics like Death Race 2000.
Rush Hour 2 picks up where its predecessor left off, with odd-couple Tucker, an LAPD cop, and Chan, a Hong Kong Inspector, landing in Chan's home turf for a vacation.
But that vacation is short lived as Tucker and Chan soon find themselves investigating a terrorist bombing that claimed the lives of two US Customs workers. This, in turn, leads to a counterfeit money ring and an ill-advised sub-plot involving the death of Chan's father.
As with the first film, the story is slight. But what makes the film work despite being creativity-impaired is how well Tuckerís brand of motor mouth comedy and Chanís legendary action sequences blend together.
Thereís also better villains this time around, as John Lone (playing an older version of his Year of the Dragon gangster) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Ziyi Zhang battle the heroic duo. Quite an improvement over blonde pansy Ken Leung.
Philip Baker Hall and Tuckerís banter with bomb squad member Elizabeth Pena are missed, with beautiful Secret Service agent Roselyn Sanchez and casino owner Alan King making rather inadequate substitutes.
However, there are a trio of funny cameos from alumns of Ratnerís last film, The Family Man, with Saul Rubinek as a casino worker, Jeremy Piven as a flaming clothing store employee and Don Cheadle in a completely random and excessive kung-fu fight with Chan.
But excess is part of what makes buddy cop movie so fun, with bombs, fistfights and jokes trying to divert attention from weak plots. And when a movie is as fun as Rush Hour 2, itís not hard to be distracted. Hell, the outtakes are a better time that half the crap I've sat through this summer.Is this movie original? No. Is it a great cinematic feat? Certainly not. Is it fun? Your damn right it is. And if this summerís bland movie season has proved anything itís that making a fun movie ainít that easy.
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originally posted: 08/10/01 03:38:12