Rush Hour 2

Movie Information

Genre: Action Comedy
Director: Brett Ratner
Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Ziyi Zhang, John Lone, Jeremy Piven
Rated: PG-13

You don’t have to rush to see Rush Hour 2. The latest martial-arts mayhem movie is sure to be such a box-office hit, it should stay in theaters for months. When Chinese martial arts whirligig Detective Lee (Jackie Chan, Rush Hour) isn’t bashing somebody’s brains in, he’s an amazingly nice guy. He’s loyal and teary-eyed sentimental, and so unfailingly chivalric that the closest he ever gets to sex is a chaste kiss. LAPD Detective James Carter (TV comic Chris Tucker) is a boor by comparison. Tucker reprises his Rush Hour character’s trajectory as a bragging motor mouth. When he’s not verbally jousting with Chan or beating up somebody, Tucker is making inane remarks to any female in sight. But nobody said class was a prerequisite for humor, and Tucker is funny — even though his one-note repertoire pales pretty quickly. It’s his incredible good fortune to be paired with Chan: When Tucker ricochets off Chan’s comic brilliance, the two of them explode into the best goofy-buddy team since Lethal Weapon days. With this, his third hit comedy in as many years, director Brett Rattner is proving himself to be the Comedy King. He deftly handles the Buster Keaton-like slapstick action in the two Rush Hours, yet can also bring off the more difficult feat required in the recent character-driven Capra-esque tale — Family Man, with Nicholas Cage. In between the mind-boggling martial arts choreography and stunning cinematography lies a story: Tucker goes to Hong Kong for a vacation and ends up reluctantly helping Chan break up a complicated international crime cartel. Among the crooks are some of Asia’s best actors, such as the beauty with the lethal high heels (Ziyi Zhang, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and the double-crossing former cop (John Lone, The Last Emperor). Making everybody wonder why he only got one scene in the movie is Jeremy Piven (The Family Man), whose hilarious riff as an effete Las Vegas clothing salesman literally sent the audience I saw the movie with into squealing hysterics. Every scene in Rush Hour 2 presents yet another challenge to Chan’s ability to climb, kick, crawl, somersault, punch, gouge, whip, crack or crush his way through a never-ending legion of attackers. The damage Chan can wreak with a wastebasket in a massage salon is a thing of cinematic genius. But don’t worry. This is a Jackie Chan movie: Nobody ever really gets hurt. Even when people get blown up by bombs, Band-Aids could cover their wounds, and our heroes never get so much as a sore thumb. Good, clean, sexist, violent fun. Hey, it’s summer and anyone old enough to see Rush Hour 2 ought to be mature enough not to take it seriously.

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