Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Zhang Ziyi
Director: Brett Ratner
Running Time: 90 mins
Rush Hour 2 is an American film and the sequel to Rush Hour. After their previous escapade, Carter and Lee head to Hong Kong for a holiday, but soon become embroiled in a new investigation of a money counterfeit scheme surrouding a high-profile figure.
Much like the first film, I can’t say that I absolutely adored Rush Hour 2, but I still had some good fun with all the silly slapstick. Although it again fails to provide a properly engrossing story, two very energetic performances, coupled with good action, some great laughs, and an all-round fun atmosphere, makes the movie a great bit of popcorn entertainment throughout.
Let’s start off with what is undoubtedly the highlight of the movie: the performances. In the first film, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan were as energetic and entertaining as ever, but I couldn’t help but feel that the two were somewhat separated from one another, with Jackie Chan still playing his typical martial arts role, and Tucker still in the all-out comedy role, meaning that their chemistry in the context of a buddy movie wasn’t quite as effective.
However, this second film shows a marked improvement. While Chan and Tucker have their specialities, and we get more great martial arts from Jackie Chan and more hilarious screams from Christ Tucker, the two feel a lot more chummy than they did first time round. They’re both just as lively and funny throughout, but with a far more convincing and entertaining dynamic between them, it adds to the fun of watching the two go through this ridiculous case of affairs.
Another big plus of the movie is that it ups the fun factor quite a bit, turning it from what initially felt like a martial arts movie transplanted into an American setting, to a much more confident slapstick comedy that not only blends the crime and martial arts genres well, but simply works well on its own as a properly entertaining comedy that doesn’t need to be taken too seriously.
So, while we see Jackie Chan showing his skills in a heap of great action sequences, the movie is just as funny as it is action-packed, giving a greater balance of atmosphere than in the first movie, and a somewhat more simple and easy-going watch throughout, which I was delighted to see.
As entertaining as Rush Hour 2 is throughout, it’s still not an endlessly flawless film. Its lighter and slicker atmosphere makes for a more enjoyable watch, however the film still struggles to tell a story that will really grip you. That isn’t the most important criteria for a comedy like this, but it still makes a big difference when there is a crime plot that will keep you interested, rather than solely relying on the slapstick to make things entertaining.
So, although we get a typical cop investigation story, the majority of the plot is fairly predictable, and doesn’t feature enough surprises, silly or otherwise, to make things just that little bit more engaging.
Overall, however, I had good fun with Rush Hour 2. Yes, it’s not a perfect crime movie, but with a strongly silly slapstick atmosphere throughout, as well as two delightfully entertaining performances and good comedy, it’s an enjoyable watch regardless, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.1.