"Rush Hour 2"
Directed by Brett Ratner.
Written by Jeff Nathanson.
Starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.
Release Year: 2001
Review Date: 8/3/01
The first "Rush Hour" was funny, the trailer
for the second "Rush Hour" was funny...and, thank God almighty, the
sequel was hilarious!!
In this, the worst summer for movies in my
20-year moviewatching history, "Rush Hour 2" is the movie to see.
Granted, it--and, no other movie for that matter--is not perfect,
but it IS the summer movie season, and this movie has all the
ingredients you could ever ask for in a film.
This is probably the best job I have seen
any director do of giving us just the right amount of motormouth
Chris Tucker, so credit must go to Brett Ratner for delivering a
film that has just the right amount of Tucker's mile-a-minute
dialogue. And, Tucker is hilarious in "Rush Hour 2." I am sure
that some of this is improvisation, but whatever isn't made up on
the spot is pretty well written and takes many small punches at
Asian culture and black stereotypes throughout the film. My
favorite? That would be tough...but, I will say that the massage
parlor scene when Tucker (as LAPD detective Carter) is shown a
collection of women from which to choose had my entire theater
rolling. Note that many of this film's laughs come at the expense
of racism, which is fine by me but might take the occasional uptight
person offguard. I was impressed at how many funny scenes were NOT
shown in the trailer, which is all too rare, friends.
-->Action & adventure.
Hey, if you are going to see "Rush Hour 2",
part of why you are going is to see Jackie Chan--reprising his role
as the ingeniously-named Inspector Lee--whoop somebody's ass. And,
while the action in this film is nothing earth-shattering, it is
still cool to see an actor do his own stunts. Chan does the
standard-issue run-up-the-wall move and it still impresses the hell
out of me. And, Tucker does a little more fighting in this movie
and--because all of the fighting is played for fun; this IS
PG-13--the fight scenes are both impressive and comical.
Zhang Ziyi (Jen from
Hidden Dragon") doesn't speak any English in "Rush Hour 2" but her
subtitled lines looked tough enough for me. Plus, she pulls off a
couple of badass axe kicks. Don Cheadle (recently,
"Traffic") shows up in one scene as an old friend of Carter's in Los
Angeles, and while his scene is pretty funny, his outtake at the end
had my audience in the aisles.
-->An energetic, sold-out audience.
Gordon, Nancy Nelson and I went over to the
multiplex at 10:30 on Friday night (opening weekend), and the show
was sold out and every color of the ethnic rainbow was in attendance
for the film. We had a shoving match to get into the theater, a
near-fight that featured loud, unadulterated profanity and some of
the hottest new cell phone rings around. Man, I sure do wish I
could get a phone that had a cool ring, like some of the high
schoolers did tonight. Plus, my phone antenna doesn't blink bright
blue when it rings...I need something like that, too. Regardless,
the audience was as entertaining as the film, and because the movie
was funny, there was lots of roaring laughter during some sequences.
Okay, for me, it was the women...and, Ziyi's
beauty is kind of hard to explain, but I know that I like it!
Roselyn Sanchez (as a US Secret Service agent named Isabella) has
lips that almost came out of the movie screen, they were so huge.
But, she was easy on the eyes and hopefully, she will turn up in
work that continues to require her to walk around in her Victoria's
Secret underwear, which Carter notes at one point in a great line.
For the men and women that like men (hey, I gotta be PC here), there
isn't too much beefcake walking around, and unless Chan and Tucker
do it for you, you will be hard-pressed to look elsewhere. I am
surprised there was not more eye candy for the male flesh lovers out
there, but that didn't factor into my viewing experience!
-->Some semblance of a plot to keep
Hey, this story wasn't original--Carter and
Lee move around the world looking to solve a case involving dead US
Customs agents and counterfeit $100-bills--but, it is easy on the
mind and provides ample opportunities for the heroes to get into
-->A great ending.
Trust me, you'll like it...and, you will
love the standard-issue Chan outtakes as well. It must cost
millions to insure this guy--he must get hurt every single day.
This might be the most important one, and
this is what the original "Rush Hour" did so well--you really like
watching these two cops hang out together. As partners, these are
two of the most watchable in recent memory...it kind of evokes the
Mel Gibson/Danny Glover partnership of the first two "Lethal Weapon"
films, before things started to go south. Chan plays off the
talkative Tucker well, and by the time he threatens to "bitch-slap
[Carter] back to Africa", you are laughing and loving it all at
once. Bring on another sequel!!
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard