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Brett Ratner
Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, John Lone, Ziyi Zhang, Roselyn Sanchez, Harris Yulin, Alan King, Kenneth Tsang
Writing Credits:
Jeff Nathanson

Carter and Lee head to Hong Kong for vacation, but become embroiled in a counterfeit money scam.

Box Office:
$90 million.
Opening Weekend
$67.408 million on 3118 screens.
Domestic Gross
$226.138 million.

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
German Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Czech Dolby 5.1
Bulgarian Dolby 5.1
Czech Dolby 5.1
Polish Dolby 5.1
Thai Dolby 5.1
Turkish Dolby 5.1
Chinese Traditional
Latin Spanish
Brazilian Portuguese
Supplements Subtitles:
Chinese Traditional
Latin Spanish
Brazilian Portuguese

Runtime: 89 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 11/8/16
Available Only as Part of “Rush Hour Trilogy” Collection

• Audio Commentary with Director Brett Ratner and Screenwriter Jeff Nathanson
• Focus Points
• Deleted Scenes
• Vintage Featurettes
• Outtakes
• Trailers


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Rush Hour 2 [Blu-Ray] (2001)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 31, 2016)

Back in 1998, Rush Hour became a surprise hit – and its 2001 sequel did even better. Rush Hour 2 earned $224 million, which plopped it in fifth place for the year’s box office results.

I thought the first movie offered mild entertainment but never really understood its success. However, I remained open to the possibility that the sequel would be a more interesting affair.

Unfortunately, that didn’t become the case. Rush Hour 2 offered a generic rehash of the first movie with little new to bring to the table.

In Rush Hour, Hong Kong Detective Lee (Jackie Chan) came to Los Angeles to solve a kidnapping case. There he got paired with loudmouth local cop James Carter (Chris Tucker) to keep both out of the hair of the allegedly more competent investigators. Of course, they saved the day, and after a rocky start, they became friends.

At the end of the first film, we see Carter and Lee as they head toward Hong Kong for Carter’s vacation, and the sequel seems to pick up immediately where the original concluded. Much to Carter’s annoyance, Lee continues to take on cases instead of having fun, and eventually he works on an investigation that relates to a bombing at the US Embassy in Hong Kong.

Due to the American connection, Carter grudgingly goes along with this, and they pursue Ricky Tan (John Lone), the former police partner of Lee’s dead father who seems to have taken a turn for the criminal. In addition to Tan, we meet a mystery woman named Hu Li (Zhang Ziyi) who uses different disguises and has a nasty habit of blowing up various locations.

Lee and Carter blunder through their investigation, an endeavor complicated by Carter’s aggressive style and loud mouth. Eventually they find enough facts to get somewhere, though, and this leads them back to Los Angeles to chase after mega-tycoon Steven Reign (Alan King) and some missing “Superbill” plates that will allow the possessor to produce almost perfect counterfeit US money.

Rush Hour 2 presents all of this in a fairly aggressive manner, as it gives us a nearly non-stop assault of action and alleged comedy. As I already noted, I wasn’t terribly amused by the efforts of the original film, and the new one doesn’t do much to expand its horizons.

Hour 2 repeats many of the same gags from the first film, and the “fresh” jokes seem sophomoric at best. The emphasis remains on wacky culture clash ideas, such as when Lee tells Carter that some baddies will cut off their “egg rolls”.

The story becomes convoluted and nearly nonsensical at times, though I will admit it comes together in a fairly satisfactory manner by the end. The finale may not excel, but it ties together better than expected.

Not that this really matters, for Hour 2 is all about Jackie and Chris and their gags. I’ve never much cared for Chan, and he does nothing here to change my mind. Chan’s fans will undoubtedly continue to enjoy his work, but he really doesn’t seem very invested in the process.

As for Tucker, I’ve liked some of his performances, with my favorite being his infamous work in The Fifth Element. Perhaps the ultimate “love it or hate it” piece of acting, many people absolutely loathed his turn as Ruby Rhod, but I thought - and still feel - Tucker was hilarious.

Unfortunately, his work in both Rush Hour flicks just points out how much he steals from Eddie Murphy. The similarities appear frequently, and Tucker often comes across as a poor imitator. At times Tucker still manages to be funny, but not as often as the movie needs.

Again much of Tucker’s material simply feels like recycled Murphy. Director Brett Ratner also steals baldly from many other flicks. A chase scene at the end blatantly takes from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, for example, and many additional examples occur throughout the film. As I will relate when I discuss his audio commentary, Ratner happily acknowledges his theft, but that doesn’t make the segments seem any less stale.

On the positive side, I will say that Rush Hour 2 gives us a painless enterprise to watch. No, it doesn’t do much for me, but it seems pleasant enough to see, and I don’t mind the experience. The action sequences aren’t terrific, but they come across as reasonably creative and involving most of the time.

Some of the supporting actors work fairly well. Ziyi adds a nice “Bond girl” flair to the crazed assassin role, and Sanchez provides sexy style if nothing else.

Hour 2 also includes some interesting cameos from actors who’ve worked elsewhere with Ratner. I won’t spoil them, but at least one of them surprised me so much that I didn’t even believe it was the actor in question; I thought it was a guy who just happened to look and sound a lot like this performer. (Yes, I admit I’m an idiot.)

As with the first film - and pretty much all of Chan’s flicks, I believe - Hour 2 provides outtakes during the end credits. If you’ve read many of my reviews, you’ll know I generally dislike these. They usually show the actors flubbing lines and giggling, and they get old very quickly.

However, some of the bloopers for Hour 2 are darned funny. One in particular - in which Tucker simply cannot remember and/or say the phrase “gefilte fish” - is hilarious, and some of the others are very good as well. I’d say that the outtakes are more entertaining and amusing than the movie itself.

Not that such a comment puts me out on a limb. At best, Rush Hour 2 offers a little fun and some reasonably solid action sequences. However, as a whole it seems long on the same old stuff and short on inspiration.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus B+

Rush Hour 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Parts of the movie looked very good but the end product was a little erratic.

Sharpness became an occasional issue. Though much of the film boasted nice delineation, interiors tended to seem a bit soft. Overall definition remained positive but not as consistent as I’d like.

I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering. In addition, the movie lacked any specks, marks or other print defects.

Colors appeared pretty strong throughout Hour 2. Considering that Hong Kong and Las Vegas - two of our three locations - offer copious amounts of bright neon, the film popped with vivid and distinctive hues. In addition to all those lights, clothes and other elements added vibrant and attractive colors, and they always looked clear and bold.

Black levels worked fine, as they seemed deep and tight. Low-light shots could be slightly dense, though, so those lacked the clarity I’d like. All of this resulted in an acceptable transfer that lacked consistency.

Though Rush Hour 2 offered an action-comedy, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 sound designers appeared to take their cues mostly from the standard “comedy” soundtrack, as much of the movie’s audio remained focused in the front spectrum. From the forward area I heard nice atmosphere during the entire movie, as the front speakers offered good general ambience.

Lots of little elements popped up from the sides, and the score also provided very solid stereo imaging. Sounds blended together neatly and they moved across the spectrum cleanly.

As for the surrounds, they reinforced the music particularly well, as lots of Lalo Schifrin’s score emanated from the rear speakers. Effects information tended to fall into the category of general support for the most part, though some of the louder scenes came to life fairly nicely.

Explosions spread most effectively across all five channels, and some other aspects perked up the surround speakers. However, the track stayed largely oriented toward the front.

Audio quality consistently seemed strong. Dialogue was natural and warm, as I detected no signs of edginess or problems related to intelligibility.

Effects came across as accurate and distinct, and they showed good dynamics. Again, explosions worked best of all, as they demonstrated fine depth and impact, but other elements also seemed clean and vivid.

The score also provided some solid sound. The music was reproduced with good clarity and fidelity, and it offered positive bass and bright highs. Ultimately, the soundfield seemed a little restrained for this kind of flick, but the audio of Rush Hour 2 still was good enough to merit a “B”.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the original 2001 DVD? Audio showed a bit better warmth and range, while visuals were cleaner and more accurate. Even with its minor drawbacks, the Blu-ray provided a superior presentation.

The Blu-ray repeats most of the DVD’s extras, and we find an audio commentary from director Brett Ratner and writer Jeff Nathanson. Both men were recorded together for this running, screen-specific piece. Overall, I find this to be a very interesting and useful little track.

Not surprisingly, Ratner dominates the piece, and he provides a lot of solid information. He matured a lot since his commentary for the first Rush Hour movie, and he seems less concerned with second-guessing the audience; in that track, he often appeared strongly influenced by his perceptions of the fans’ desires. Ratner shows much less of that tendency here, as he indicates more what he thought was best.

Ratner also avoids the pseudo-intellectual trappings that mildly marred his commentary for The Family Man. Not once does he use the word “organic” during Hour 2, which feeks like a minor miracle after the Family Man piece.

Nathanson adds a fair amount of nice data as well, though he mainly points out the ways the film varied from his original script. The two maintain a reasonably honest and frank attitude throughout the commentary.

Though the track definitely features a fair amount of praise, it doesn’t get buried in those elements, and the participants include moderate amounts of criticism. I also like the fact that Ratner happily acknowledges all of his influences. As I note in the body of my movie review, Hour 2 stole from many flicks, and Ratner openly relates all of these. He may not be a great filmmaker, but at least he’s honest, and I rather enjoyed this audio commentary.

Under the Focus Points category we found six different short video programs. “Jackie Chan’s Hong Kong Introduction” essentially acted as a promo piece for the city. As we watched shots of Hong Kong - provided by the town’s tourist board - Chan told us how terrific the place is. During the one-minute, 58-second clip, we learn that we must visit Hong Kong, and when we do, we’ll return repeatedly.

Next we get Culture Clash: West Meets East, a four-minute, 53-second piece that looks at the issues related to filming in Hong Kong. We hear from director Brett Ratner, executive producer Andrew Z. Davis, producer Jay Stern, and actors Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, and Roselyn Sanchez.

Overall, the piece includes some fluffy comments, as the participants make generic remarks about the challenges and pleasures of working in Hong Kong. I like the information about complaints from the crew, but most of the rest of the material seems somewhat bland.

On the other hand, the behind the scenes shots seem excellent, as we see lots of raw footage. This makes the program entertaining and useful despite the mediocre comments.

Language Barrier runs for four minutes, 17 seconds and greatly resembles the prior piece. It offers more excellent behind the scenes material along with interview bits from Ratner, Sanchez, Chan, Tucker, editor Mark Helfrich, and second unit director/stunt coordinator Conrad Palmisano.

Again, the comments remain a bit light, though they add some decent information about the challenges of dealing with language differences and how Ratner dealt with the actors. The footage from the set becomes more compelling, so we get a generally interesting piece.

During Attaining International Stardom, we find a seven-minute, three-second program that essentially tells us how great Jackie Chan is. It features Ratner, producer Arthur Sarkissian, Chan, executive producer Davis, Stern, Tucker, and actor Zhang Ziyi.

While the behind the scenes material seems decent, that footage isn’t as good as seen during the prior pieces. The comments are exceedingly superficial, as they tell us little more than how amazing Chan is and how much fun the set was.

Kung Fu Choreography presents a bit more depth. The piece lasts nine minutes, 32 seconds and features Ratner, Helfrich, Chan, Sanchez, Stern, and Palmisano.

Much of the focus still sticks with how terrific Chan is and how great a piece of work the movie was, but we find some decent notes about the creation of the fight scenes, and the behind the scenes shots add a nice layer of depth to the package.

A very different piece, Lady Luck shows a short student film Ratner shot while at New York University film school. The two-minute, 39-second piece provided a black and white silent mini-thriller, and Ratner adds commentary on top of this.

The movie seems mildly interesting but not great, while Ratner contributed some good remarks about his early work. It merits interest as a curiosity.

Nine Deleted Scenes run a total of eight minutes, four seconds. None of these seem terrific, but a few become fairly interesting. In particular, I like the one in which Phillip Baker Hall reprises his role from the first film.

The remaining scenes feel less compelling. One in which Tucker interacts with Alan King comes across as another Beverly Hills Cop outtake, while the “Onto the Red Dragon” provides Tucker’s take on a Jamaican accent. Don’t look for Chris to win Oscars for roles in different nationalities, for his Jamaican lilt sounded more British to me.

All of the “Deleted Scenes” can be viewed with or without commentary from Ratner. As always, he provides useful notes about the clips. He succinctly tells us why he excised the segments, and he even relates his displeasure with some of them.

An Outtakes reel goes for five minutes, seven seconds. Many of them echo the same kinds of goof-ups seen during that movie’s end credits, so they feel redundant.

More material appears under “Vintage Featurettes”. Making Magic Out of Mire lasts eight minutes, 57 seconds as it looks at Ratner’s directorial style. We find interviews with Ratner, Stern, Tucker, Helfrich, Sanchez, Palmisano, and composer Lalo Schifrin.

Although the comments largely tell us how wonderful Ratner is, the material from the set adds some good stuff. Most compelling is the clip in which Ratner badgers Tucker to refer to Ziyi’s character as a bitch, but the rest of the elements also become very interesting.

Evolution of a Scene splits into three different segments: “Chicken Chop” (5:05), “The Bomb” (9:24), and “Slide For Life” (5:51). These are some of the best aspects of the disc, as they provide closer looks at the creation of these scenes.

While a fair amount of narration discusses the snippets, the behind the scenes shots become the focus, and they provide excellent material. We see the location scout for “Chicken”, storyboards for “Slide”, outtakes and working through the content for “Bomb” as well as a lot of other interesting shots. Overall, I really enjoy the “Evolution” segments.

Another short video program, Fashion of Rush Hour 2 runs three minutes, 54 seconds as it gives us a brief look at the outfits worn in the film. This piece combines some images of the clothes and accessories along with a particular focus on the flamboyant character played by one of the movie’s cameo actors. We see fun outtakes from his work as well as the period in which he “got into character”. The segment is short but pretty entertaining.

A Visual Effects Deconstruction begins with a 32-second “Introduction By Visual Effects Supervisor Kevin Lingenfelser” that sets up the embassy explosion scene, the sequence about which we’ll soon learn more.

From there, you can examine that 17-second segment via four different angles: “Backplate”, “Miniature - with Window Treatment”, “Miniature - Fixed Perspective”, and “Final”. While I barely see a difference between angles two and three, this is still a good little look at some effects work.

Lastly, the Trailers area adds two teasers plus the standard theatrical trailer.

Crowds ate up Rush Hour 2 and made it one of 2001’s biggest hits. Frankly, I don’t get it, as the film offers mild entertainment with little more than some tired culture clash gags and a few good stunts. The Blu-ray brings us fairly positive picture and audio along with a wide array of bonus materials. Rush Hour 2 gives us a mediocre action/comedy.

Note that as of November 2016, the Rush Hour 2 can be found only as part of a four-disc “Rush Hour Trilogy” package. This also includes Rush Hour, Rush Hour 3 and a disc with a bonus featurette.

To rate this film visit the original review of RUSH HOUR 2

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main