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Rush Hour 2

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Rush Hour 2

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker
Director: Brett Ratner
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 120 Minutes
Release Date: August 2001
Genres: Action, Comedy

*Also starring: Harris Yulin, Zhang Ziyi, Don Cheadle, Alan King, John Lone, Roselyn Sanchez

Review by Dustin Putman
2 stars out of 4

Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are, no doubt about it, one of the great present-day motion picture teams. Tucker, mugging charmingly for the camera, is a comedian who definitely grows on you, and his outright energy that is put into his scenes allow it to brighten up considerably. Chan is just as vital a part of their union, the straight man to Tucker's funny man who actually has a sly sense of humor himself. The characters in which Tucker and Chan portray might as well be named "Chris" and "Jackie," though, as they appear to be playing slightly more off-the-wall versions of themselves. The smaller roles are all unextraordinary and underdeveloped, with the only one worthy of note being Zhang Ziyi (who won acclaim in 2000's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"), as the ferociously beautiful, tough, and psychotic villainess, Hu Li. Ziyi has next to no dialogue, but she inhabits her role with an undeniably mesmerizing presence that breaks through, full throttle, in her nicely choreographed fight sequences.

While there are a few instances that show off Chan's incredible martial arts bravado (he has been widely publicized to perform all of his own stunts in every one of his films), there are not nearly enough of them, choosing to almost always go for the comedy in any situation. And because Lee and Carter are playing the wholly defined protagonists, there is little sense of suspense or possible endangerment to either party. As a full-out comedy, the film works only some of the time (it commits the cardinal sin for simply trying too hard, and has end title bloopers that are far more amusing than anything in the narrative), and as an action film, it is passable, but less than awe-inspiring. "Rush Hour 2" leaves the door wide open for a third installment; let's hope the makers try harder next time before spending an insanely high $90-million on a story that has been told, quite frankly, to death.

Copyright 2001 Dustin Putman

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