|Rush Hour 2|
|Directed by||Brett Ratner|
|Produced by||Roger Birnbaum
Characters created by
|Music by||Lalo Schifrin
|Cinematography||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|Edited by||Mark Helfrich
Robert K. Lambert
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|August 3, 2001|
Rush Hour 2 is a 2001 martial arts action comedy buddy cop film, being the sequel to Rush Hour. The film follows characters Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) and James Carter (Chris Tucker) involved in a counterfeit scam involving the Triad.
Rush Hour 2 was released on August 3 and surpassed its predecessor, earning $347,325,902 in total. It became the 5th highest grossing domestic film of 2001 and is the highest grossing martial arts film. The movie, however, received mixed reception.
After the events of the previous movie, LAPD detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) visits companion Inspector Lee of the Hong Kong Police Force (Jackie Chan). Upon arrival, a bomb is detonated at the American Consulate. Lee investigates the case, discovering it involves Ricky Tan (John Lone), partner of Lee's father who now leads the Triads.
Agent Sterling of the United States Secret Service (Harris Yulin) believes Ricky is part of a larger conspiracy, contrasting with Lee's theory of Ricky being the head of such conspiracy. Lee and Carter encounter Ricky at a party on his yacht. Ricky is then shot by his underling Hu Li (Zhang Ziyi), who escapes, leaving Lee as a suspect in Ricky's death. Carter is ordered to return to Los Angeles, secretly accompanied with Lee.
Carter insists that Steven Reign (Alan King), a partygoer at Ricky's party who remained calm during the ensuing chaos, is suspicious. They decide to spy on him, while Carter attempts to flirt with a Secret Service agent named Isabella Molina (Roselyn Sánchez) who reveals she, too, is investigating Reign for money laundering.
Lee and Carter track this laundering down to a bank associated to the Triads, where they are captured. After they escape, they find the money is being laundered at the Red Dragon Casino in Las Vegas. There, Lee and Molina infiltrate the back area in an attempt to find engraving plates (used to make counterfeit money). They are discovered and captured by Hu Li, who takes him up to the penthouse with Ricky Tan inside, revealing he faked his death and was at the head of the operation. Lee is gagged with a bomb, and Ricky leaves.
Molina attempts to arrest Hu Li. However, Hu Li throws Lee onto the casino floor, and a fight occurs. Hu Li manages to incapacitate Molina as she runs off. Lee, now free, meets up with Carter, who fights with Hu Li, as Lee attempts to find Ricky to prevent him from escaping.
Reign arrives at the penthouse and takes the plates, and is killed by Ricky after their deal is cut short. Lee and Carter confront him. Ricky admits he killed Lee's father. Ricky is killed after falling to his death out a window. They manage to escape Hu Li with a bomb once more.
With their services done, Lee and Carter are celebrated by Sterling and Molina. They decide to go back to their own countries, but Lee stays to watch one more basketball game in Madison Square Garden before.
After being adjusted for inflation, Rush Hour 2 out-grossed its predecessor Rush Hour. This was due to the fact that it had a little more box-office longevity and lasted consistently within the domestic box-office top 10 for roughly two weeks longer than the first movie. In addition, the hype surrounding the second movie helped it maintain high numbers for a longer period of time. After 50 days since its domestic release, Rush Hour was only #10 on the box-office charts while comparatively, Rush Hour 2 was still pulling in big audiences after 50 days in theaters and was the #2 grossing film domestically.
At the time of its opening, Rush Hour 2 had the biggest opening weekend for a comedy of all-time, and the third best non-holiday opening in history.
Prior to its August 3 release, Rush Hour 2 was premiered to the public on Thursday, July 26, 2001, on-board 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 Cinemas in a campaign that offered both trailers for the movie for passengers on all domestic United flights during July and August reaching an expected 3 million people, as well as Hong Kong travel videos to inspire tourists to visit China where the movie was set. This promotion is thought to have aided greatly in the success of the film despite lackluster reviews from most critics.
Initial press screenings of Rush Hour 2 indicated the possibility of an even higher grossing movie than the first. As a result, New Line Cinema and TriStar Pictures distributed it to 3,118 screens across America, 480 more theaters than the first movie. Additional possibilities to the sequels bigger success than its predecessor point to its release date, August 3, which was approximately a month and a half earlier than the release date of the first movie (September 18). Summer releases have long outperformed openings during the other months of the year as moviegoers are frequently out of school and have a greater amount of time to hit theaters.
The film has earned modest to good reviews, earning 52% on Rotten Tomatoes. Although from the Top Critics, it only received 44% earning it a 'Rotten' review.
It earned a 48 out of 100 on Metacritic.com, which is considered a "mixed or average" film. Jay Carr of The Boston Globe said: "It hadn't got a brain in its body, but it's fun to watch." Dana Stevens of The New York Times said: "The action and humor are enough to make an hour and a half pass by quickly and pleasantly." Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times said: "Tucker's scenes finally wear us down. How can a movie allow him to be so obnoxious and make no acknowledgment that his behavior is aberrant?"
Rush Hour 2 opened on August 3, 2001 in 3,118 North American theatres, and it grossed $67,408,222.87 USD ($21,619 per screen) in its opening weekend. It ended its run with $226,164,286.92 USD, making it the fourth highest-grossing movie of 2001 domestically, and the highest-grossing martial arts film of all time, excluding Kung-Fu Panda in 2008, because it is an animated movie whereas Rush Hour 2 is live action.
The film's total worldwide box office take was $347,325,802 USD, making it the 11th highest-grossing movie of 2001 worldwide.
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. A fourth installment in the series is in negotiations with reports that it may take place in Moscow.