The problem with movies like RUSH HOUR 2 that give away almost all of the good
jokes in the trailers is that seeing the movie itself is about as much fun as
watching reruns. In RUSH HOUR 2, this problem is further compounded by the lack
of freshness in the jokes themselves. How many times have we heard the one
about the two guys who keeping misunderstanding each other as when one says a
woman "is da bomb" and the other thinks that the woman "has the bomb?"
The movie's almost saving grace is that it stars that teddy bear of a martial
arts comedic hero, Jackie Chan. Actually, he refers to himself in the movie as
a Snoopy character that women love. And women, if you do have a thing for
Jackie, you'll be glad to know that you'll get a chance to catch a glimpse of
his naked buttocks this time. Blink, and you'll miss it.
As they did in the original, Chan, as Hong Kong Detective Inspector Lee, teams
up with Chris Tucker, as LAPD Detective James Carter. They have good chemistry
together even if Tucker keeps trying to upstage Chan. Lee and Carter are best
when they are the most surprised, as they are when they go to a gay haberdasher
(Jeremy Piven) to get outfitted in the finest silks. But, if you've seen the
trailers, you already know the joke.
The setup this time, to the extent that one is needed in a Chan movie, concerns
the thwarting of an international counterfeiting ring. John Lone (THE LAST
EMPEROR) and Zhang Ziyi (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON) play the villains.
Roselyn Sanchez plays a big bosomed woman who may or may not be a secret service
agent hot on the trail of the cash and the printing plates. Don Cheadle has a
cameo that works best in the outtakes, just about always the best part of any
Chan film anyway.
As always, Chan is lovable, funny and vulnerable. Unlike most action heroes,
his pain is palpable. Working from an unimaginative script by Ross LaManna,
director Brett Ratner is never able to get the pacing right, with long slack
sections slowing the momentum between funny moments. In the movies today, all
roads lead to Las Vegas, where the neon glitters and all of the buildings are
little more than movie sets for adults. RUSH HOUR 2 ends there in a burst of
glory that hints at what could have been if the rest of the movie were better
written and more tightly paced.
RUSH HOUR 2 runs 1:30. It is rated PG-13 for action violence, language and some
sexual material and would be acceptable for kids around 8 and up.
My son Jeffrey and his friend Sam, both age 12, gave the movie *** 1/2 and ***,
respectively. They both thought that it was funny and had well planned out
Copyright © 2001 Steve Rhodes