Rush Hour 2
Rush Hour 2 is a 2001 American action comedy film directed by Brett Ratner and written by Jeff Nathanson, based on the characters created by Ross LaManna. It is the sequel to Rush Hour and the second installment in the Rush Hour series. The film stars Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, John Lone, Alan King, Roselyn Sánchez, Harris Yulin, and Zhang Ziyi. The plot follows Chief Inspector Lee (Chan) and Detective James Carter (Tucker), who go to Hong Kong on vacation only to be thwarted by a murder case involving two U.S. customs agents after a bombing at the American embassy. Lee suspects that the crime is linked to the Triad crime lord Ricky Tan (Lone).
|Rush Hour 2|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brett Ratner|
|Produced by||Roger Birnbaum|
Arthur M. Sarkissian
|Written by||Jeff Nathanson|
by Ross LaManna
|Music by||Lalo Schifrin|
|Cinematography||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|Edited by||Mark Helfrich|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Box office||$347.3 million|
Rush Hour 2 opened on August 3, 2001, to generally mixed reviews. The film was a commercial success, grossing $347.3 million worldwide making it the highest-grossing film in the franchise. It became the year's 11th-highest-grossing film worldwide as well as the second-highest-grossing PG-13 film. A sequel, Rush Hour 3, was released in August 2007.
LAPD Detective James Carter is on vacation in Hong Kong visiting his friend, Hong Kong Police Force Chief Inspector Lee, whom he met and befriended after working together to save the Chinese Consul Han's daughter, Soo Yung, in Los Angeles. Their leisure is temporarily put on hold as soon as a bomb explodes at the United States Consulate General, murdering two undercover U.S. Customs agents inside of it. Inspector Lee is assigned to the case, which becomes personal when it is discovered that it somehow involves Ricky Tan, his late police officer father's former partner. Ricky, who was suspected of having a role in elder Lee's death (although never proven), is now a leader of the Triads. This, however, causes Lee and Carter to get into a brawl between them and Ricky's bodyguards, with Carter becoming shocked with Lee as they were busy with their vacation.
The U.S. Secret Service, led by Agent Sterling, and the Hong Kong Police Force soon get into a fight over the jurisdiction of the case. Suddenly, Lee's office that Carter was in is bombed, causing Lee to believe he's dead and grieve for him. Carter is revealed to be alive, leaving the room before it exploded. He and a relieved Lee cross paths at Ricky's yacht where he is holding a dinner party. Ricky scolds his underling, Hu Li, who then leaves as Lee and Carter confront her boss. Just as Ricky asks for protection, Hu Li shoots him and makes her escape in the chaos. An angry Sterling holds Lee responsible for Ricky's death, and orders him off the case. Carter is ordered back to Los Angeles for involving himself and Lee volunteers to take him to the airport. However, at the airport, Carter gets Lee to return to LA with him.
On the plane, Carter tells Lee that in every large criminal operation, there is a rich white man behind it and that man is Steven Reign, a billionaire Los Angeles hotelier whom Carter saw acting suspiciously on Ricky's boat. They set up camp outside the Reign Towers, spotting a U.S. Secret Service agent named Isabella Molina, whom Carter met earlier in Hong Kong. After a few misunderstandings, Molina tells the two men that she is undercover, looking into Reign's money laundering of $100 million in superdollars.
Lee and Carter pay a visit to Kenny, an ex-con known to Carter who runs a gambling den in the back of his Chinese restaurant. He tells them that a usually broke customer recently came into his establishment with a suspicious amount of hundred-dollar bills. Carter confirms that they are Reign's counterfeits and they trace the money back to a bank. The mobsters are waiting for them and knock the two cops unconscious, with Molina looking on. After arriving in Las Vegas, Lee and Carter wake up inside one of the mob's trucks and escape. After finding out where they are, they realize that Reign is laundering the $100 million through the new Red Dragon Casino.
At the Red Dragon, Lee attempts to find the engraving plates which were used to make the counterfeit money, while Carter makes a distraction to help Lee sneak past the security. However, Hu Li captures Lee and takes him to a room where it is revealed that Ricky Tan faked his death. When Ricky departs, Molina tries to arrest Hu Li but Hu Li overpowers her and Molina is shot. After an explosion inside the casino sends all the guests fleeing to safety, Carter engages in a fight with Hu Li in a comical manner and accidentally knocks her out, while Lee heads to the penthouse to prevent Ricky from escaping with the plates. In the penthouse, Reign opens the safe and takes the plates, running into Ricky as he leaves. Reign tries to back out of the deal but Ricky stabs him to death. Lee and Carter arrive and a scuffle between them and Ricky ensues after he confesses that he killed Lee's father and mocks him for only asking Ricky to spare Lee's life before he died.
Ricky falls to his death when Lee kicks him out of the window. Hu Li enters with a time bomb forcing Lee and Carter to grab onto the decoration wires. The two escape on the makeshift zipline as Hu Li dies in the explosion. Later, at the airport, Molina thanks Lee for his work on the case, and kisses him. Having originally planned to go their separate ways, Lee and Carter change their mind when Carter reveals he won a large amount of money at the casino and the pair decide to head to New York City to indulge themselves.
- Jackie Chan as Chief Inspector Lee
- Chris Tucker as Detective James Carter
- Roselyn Sánchez as Agent Isabella Molina
- John Lone as Ricky Tan
- Alan King as Steven Reign
- Harris Yulin as Special Agent-in-Charge Sterling
- Zhang Ziyi as Hu Li
- Kenneth Tsang as Captain Chin
- Don Cheadle as Kenny
- Joel McKinnon Miller as Tex
Don Cheadle portrays Kenny, Carter's informant who owns an underground gambling den. Jeremy Piven, Saul Rubinek, and Gianni Russo have cameo appearances as a Versace salesman, casino box man and pit boss respectively.
Lalo Schifrin returned to compose the score for the film. According to him, "The music for Rush Hour 2 is completely different from Rush Hour. The first 20–30 seconds of the main title is a reprise of the music from Rush Hour – but that's it." He said that Ratner had requested a "symphonic score", which he incidentally found suitable for Rush Hour 2:
For the sequel, he asked me to do a symphonic score. It was bigger than life – like an epic score. I ignored the comedy – the actors took care of that. I played to the chases and the danger. It's a serious score in the sense of an "epic" score, like Raiders of the Lost Ark or an Errol Flynn film. Also, you must realize that the symphony orchestra allows many more possibilities. Mozart didn't need a rhythm section to "drive". I was able to create a lot of energy without the use of drums and electric guitars and all that.
Schifrin performed the Rush Hour 2 score with the Hollywood Studio Symphony. Varèse Sarabande released its album on compact disc in August 2001. In a 2001 interview with Dan Goldwasser for Soundtrack.Net, Schifrin was asked whether he would score Rush Hour 3, and he stated: "Oh, I'm not a prophet!" By 2007, Schifrin began composing the score for Rush Hour 3, which, as of 2018[update], is his last motion picture score.
Before its August 3 release, Rush Hour 2 premiered on July 26, 2001, on-board the United Airlines Flight 1 from Los Angeles to Hong Kong renamed, "The Rush Hour Express". The Hong Kong Board of Tourism teamed up with United Airlines and New Line Cinema in a campaign that offered both trailers for the movie for passengers on all domestic United flights during July and August reaching an expected three million people, as well as Hong Kong travel videos to inspire tourists to visit the country where the film was set.
Rush Hour 2 earned $226.2 million in North America and an estimated $121.2 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $347.3 million (surpassing Rush Hour and Rush Hour 3's worldwide box-office receipts). The film went at number one during its opening weekend, grossing $67.4 million at 3,118 locations. It was 2001's second-highest-grossing PG-13 film and the 11th highest-grossing film worldwide. Rush Hour 2 surpassed the 1984 film The Karate Kid as the highest-grossing martial arts action film, and was ranked as the second-highest-grossing buddy comedy film behind the 1997 film Men in Black. The film was also ranked as the fourth-highest-grossing second installments in live action comedy film franchises (behind the 2004 film Meet the Fockers and the 2011 film The Hangover Part II).
Reviews of Rush Hour 2 were generally mixed. The review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives a score of 52 percent based on reviews from 127 critics, and a weighted average of 5.45 out of 10. The website's critical consensus states that the film "doesn't feel as fresh or funny as the first, and the stunts lack some of the intricacy normally seen in Chan's films." At Metacritic, the film has a score of 48 out of 100 based on 28 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore during Rush Hour 2's opening weekend gave the film an average grade of A on an A+ to F scale.
Roger Ebert liked the sequel less than the first film and gave it 1 and half stars out of a possible four. He called Chris Tucker "an anchor around the ankles of the humor".
Rush Hour 2 earned a total of 27 award nominations and 10 wins, including an MTV Movie Award for Best Fight, a Teen Choice Award for Film-Choice Actor, Comedy, and 3 Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Movie Actor for Tucker, Favorite Male Action Hero for Chan, and Favorite Movie.
Because of various issues during development hell and production, Rush Hour 3 was not released until August 10, 2007—six years after Rush Hour 2. Rush Hour 3 did not receive the critical and commercial acclaim of its predecessors.
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