Turning the rare sequel trick and surpassing the original, Rush Hour 2 returns Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan and all of the culture clash shenanigans that made the original film a success. It marries that fun base a slightly stronger story, action that better highlights Chan’s martial arts skills and a finer supporting cast. The result is a fun film that is certain to please fans of the original and may win a few new converts along the way.
The film takes place three days after the events in Rush Hour. Detective Inspector Lee (Chan) and LAPD Detective James Carter (Tucker) are in Hong Kong, ostensibly on vacation, when an explosion at the US consulate thrusts them into the investigation of a global, multimillion dollar conspiracy. Taking a cue from the original, the pair are instructed to stay away from the investigation by the US Secret Service. Of course, being dedicated cops and this being their movie they don’t and what follows is all the intrigue, fish-out-of-water humor, and crisp action necessary for a successful summer action comedy.
Joining Tucker and Chan, who again work very well together, is a fun supporting cast that includes Don Cheadle, Alan King, John Lone and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’s Zhang Zhiyi. Cheadle’s cameo appearance is a funny highlight, but the real supporting kudos go to Zhang. Playing a venomous hitwoman, she pulls off the role with style, bringing the necessary physical skills, loads of charm and enough screen presence to stop an elephant.
This article was originally published in the Boston Metro in August 2001.