Rush Hour 2
Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker try for that chemistry once again in Rush Hour 2, but the jokes are getting a little stale and the action is just not as spectacular.
In the sequel, it's Detective James Carter's (Tucker) turn to be the fish out of water. He goes to Hong Kong to visit his good friend Inspector Lee (Chan) and just wants to have a good time, but Lee, the ever-dedicated policeman, has another agenda. Lee takes on a case involving a Chinese counterfeiting ring headed up by Ricky Tan (John Lone). At first, Carter is peeved at Lee for stopping his fun, like singing Michael Jackson tunes in a gangster-filled karaoke bar, but he eventually tries to help his friend. Yet his brash American ways end up doing more harm than good in this staunch Asian world, and his smooth charm does nothing for Tan's lovely but deadly henchwoman Hu Li (Zhang Ziyi) or the mysterious undercover U.S. Secret Service agent Isabella Molina (Roselyn Sanchez). The action culminates in Las Vegas, where Carter and Lee must catch the bad guys red-handed--and tear up the place in the process.
Chan once again does what he does best. However, his reluctant hero who marvels at the mixed-up world around him is starting to wear a little thin. He and Chris Tucker do have a nice rapport and can play off one another well, as they did in the original Rush Hour, but Chan looks a little tired in this film. It might be time for him to try something completely different. Tucker, on the other hand, has moments of hilarity, but most times comes off screechy. This technique worked well in his other films, such as The Fifth Element, but in this one it gets annoying. However, he and Chan have a few great moments, including a scene with actor Don Cheadle, who makes a surprise cameo. Zhang, who looks amazing in modern-day clothes, has a few shining moments but is mostly wasted in the movie, as is powerful actor Lone, who simply plays the requisite bad guy.
Martial arts films are certainly the rage these days. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon took the form to a new level, while the original Rush Hour could be considered one of the first films to start the current craze. When the film was released in 1998, Jackie Chan wasn't as big a name in the U.S. and watching his high-flying, acrobatic moves simply amazed the general public. Combined with his chemistry with Tucker, the film was just a pure delight. The story didn't use many clichés and was compelling enough to keep the audiences' attention. However, in the sequel, the same jokes are being done, there isn't nearly enough of Chan's physicality and the story has a lot of predictable plot twists. It seems director Brett Ratner just threw the actors together, waited for the magic to happen again and forgot about the story.
If you expecting the rip-roaring fun of the original Rush Hour, you might be disappointed. But it's not bad to see two old friends get together again.