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New Line Cinema
Official Site
Director: Brett Ratner
Producers: Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman, Arthur Sarkissian, Jay Stern
Written by: Jeff Nathanson
Cast: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Zhang Ziyi, Roselyn Sanchez, John Lone, Alan King, Don Cheadle, Wong Fei, Chris Penn, Stephen Sable

Rating: out of 5

WHEEEEE! Going to a Jackie Chan movie is like getting on the log flume ride at an amusement park. Oh, sure there are some thrilling moments, but mostly it is just a fast, fun, frolicking ride that leaves everyone laughing and feeling slightly giddy afterwards. That is how I felt after watching RUSH HOUR 2.

In this sequel to the surprise 1998 hit, Jackie Chan and co-star Chris Tucker reprise their roles as Hong Kong Detective Inspector Lee and LAPD Detective Carter. The movie opens with Carter visiting his friend Lee in Hong Kong on vacation, providing ample opportunities for duck-out-of-water humor at the expense of the loud-mouthed American in a foreign land. Soon enough this mismatched pair is in pursuit of a beautiful but deadly woman, Hu Li (Ziyi), whose weapon of choice is explosives, which in turn leads them to a smuggling operation run by Chinese gangster Ricky Tan (Lone). Along the way they encounter the lovely and (for five minutes) mysterious Isabella (Sanchez).

The storyline is flimsy, but it does its job; the smuggling angle is a convenient way to take our intrepid heroes from the street markets of Hong Kong to the highrises of L.A. and then to the casinos of Las Vegas. More importantly the storyline includes several wonderfully choreographed martial arts sequences featuring Chan, and also allows Tucker to showcase his shrilly pitched humor.

While many will be disappointed that there is no Zhang Ziyi-Jackie Chan showdown in the movie, there is a wonderful cameo by Don Cheadle as a kung fu-loving restaurateur that makes up for it a bit.

I was upset at reports that Tucker was paid $20 million while Chan was only paid $15 million. I hope it was simply that Tucker had a better agent, and not due to the discrimination against Asian actors that is still prevalent in Hollywood. Personally, I think that without Chan’s special brand of gentle, low-key humor mixed with martial arts magic, this movie would not enjoy the same broad audience appeal it does now.

All in all RUSH HOUR 2 is a fun summer movie. Go take the whole gang and enjoy the ride!

—Sandhya Shardanand

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

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