It's vacation time for Det. James Carter and he finds himself alongside Det. Lee in Hong Kong wishing for more excitement. While Carter wants to party and meet the ladies, Lee is out to track down a Triad gang lord who may be responsible for killing two men at the American Embassy. Things get complicated as the pair stumble onto a counterfeiting plot by L.A. crime boss Steven Reign and Triad Ricky Tan, an ex-cop who played a mysterious part in the death of Det. Lee's father. Throw in a power struggle between Tan and the gorgeous but dangerous Hu Li and the boys are soon up to their necks in fist fights and life-threatening situations. A trip back to the U.S. may provide the answers about the bombing, the counterfeiting, and the true allegiance of sexy customs agent Isabella. Then again, it may turn up more excitement than Carter was looking for during his vacation. Written by
If Chris Tucker's James Carter gallivanting in Hong Kong doesn't sound appealing to you, surely, you didn't see 'Rush Hour'. The dynamic 'Blackinese' duo return and they do so with a bite.
We now have the situation completely reversed with Carter venturing into the unknown and Lee guiding him for the majority of the film. Carter's interactions with the locals and clashes with the more calm Chinese culture compared to his audacious, egocentric personality are really the highlights yet again. As I said, a hardcore African American making his way in Hong Kong is bound to be a laugh.
Yet another stellar script and consistent directing from Brett Ratner help to ensure this sequel doesn't bomb out. A little less realistic, but then again, if you are familiar with 'Rush Hour', realism isn't the first thing on the agenda as much as action work and comedy play. The script was a little less compelling this time and seemed to be driven with a lighter direction in mind although it was interesting to learn a little more of the backgrounds of our two leads.
Chris Tucker's loudmouth antics just about match up to his brilliant show in the original, his dialogue is as fresh, smooth, fast and excessive as ever. Oh, and did I mention as funny? He dominates the screen once again, takes charge and gives you his typical impulsive on-screen persona.
Jackie Chan reaffirms his reputation as one of the world's best film stuntmen. His stunts yet again were terrifically executed and he was well supported by 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' star, Zhang Ziyi. The 'bamboo scene' was comparable in awe-worthiness to the 'convention center' finale scene in 'Rush Hour'. Again as the more sensible and sedate Inspector Lee, his partnership with Tucker is as good as ever and the interplay once again is just plain, good fun.
We also saw a shift in the love interest angle with the introduction of the seductive, sexy secret service agent, Isabella Molina played by Roselyn Sanchez. Her allegiances mysterious, she really sizzles in her role. Now that the duo finally have a beautiful woman to fight over, any guesses as to who wins?
If I don't give this 5 stars, it's simply because in some respects, it's a rehash of the original, in the same way in which you would deem Lethal Weapon 1 better than Lethal Weapon 2 or Beverly Hills Cop 1 superior to its successor. If you did however enjoy the original formula, look into this. As I said, it is the same old thing in some ways, but in others, the Tucker-Chan combination still find ways to surprise and entertain. And yet again, do not miss the bloopers.
P.S. Also don't miss Don Cheadle in surely one of the strangest roles you will see an African American man play. But a credit to him for it, he was outstanding.
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