Unfortunately Ratner does not find the same joy in Rush Hour 2, an occasionally amusing comedic adventure that leaves us with a profoundly annoying Chris Tucker fighting for attention while Jackie Chan fights one-dimensional Chinese villains with his bare fists. The film contains some neat action sequences, a great third act, and the most hilarious outtakes I can remember - but the clash of genres feels intrusive and awkward. I wanted more excitement, more character dimension, and a whole hell of a lot less of Chris Tucker's irritating mouth.
In this sequel, Chan and Tucker reprise their roles as Chief Inspector Lee of the Royal Hong Kong Police and the all-American LAPD detective James Carter. As the movie opens, the two buddies arrive in Hong Kong for a much needed vacation but receive the biggest case of their careers almost immediately. An explosion has killed two U.S. customs agents who were investigating producers of counterfeit money, and the police suspect the mastermind behind the scheme to be Ricky Tan (John Lone, in a very effective performance), the head of the deadliest gang in China.
Although it pisses Carter off, Lee accepts the case -- for personal reasons, perhaps. Enter the seductive secret service agent Isabella Molina (Roselyn Sanchez), billionaire hotel owner and Tan associate Steven Reign (Alan King), and a sexy but dangerous Hu Li (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon's Zhang Ziyi), and you have the unpredictable formula for Rush Hour 2. Jumping from one locale to the next, Carter and Lee find adventure at a local massage parlor, a bar, a casino, an extravagant hotel, and even a luxurious yacht.
Good action sequences and energetic performances don't fuel the movie's plot, which is often rambling and meaningless. Rush Hour 2 tries to pass its plot off as serious, but it's hard to play along when Tucker can't even play roulette without making a fool of himself. This is not supposed to be a stark drama, but after a while, we want relief from the nonstop comic relief.
Tucker doesn't steal his scenes; instead he steals our attention away from them. Chris Tucker is a talented, energetic comedian. In moderation, he can be very effective. Unfortunately, in Rush Hour 2, he appears in almost every scene and quickly outstays his welcome. In Rush Hour, he was an appreciated comic relief. Here, I just wanted him to shut up.
Stop or my mom will shoot.
Run time: 90 mins
In Theaters: Friday 3rd August 2001
Box Office USA: $226.0M
Box Office Worldwide: $347.3M
Distributed by: New Line Cinema
Production compaines: New Line Cinema
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 52%
Fresh: 66 Rotten: 61
IMDB: 6.6 / 10
Director: Brett Ratner
Screenwriter: Jeff Nathanson
Starring: Chris Tucker as Det. James Carter, Jackie Chan as Chief Insp. Lee, Zhang Ziyi as Hu Li, Roselyn Sánchez as Isabella Molina, Ernie Reyes, Jr. as Zing, Don Cheadle as Kenny, John Lone as Ricky Tan, Maggie Q as Girl in Car, Alan King as Steve Reign, Harris Yulin as Agent Sterling, Kenneth Tsang as Captain Chin, Lisa LoCicero as Receptionist, Meiling Melançon as Girl in Car, Lucy Lin as Heaven on Earth Hostess, Cindy Lu as Heaven on Earth Hostess #2, Jeremy Piven as Versace Salesman