|Rush Hour 2|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brett Ratner|
|Produced by||Roger Birnbaum
|Written by||Jeff Nathanson|
|Based on||Characters created by
|Music by||Lalo Schifrin|
|Cinematography||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|Edited by||Mark Helfrich
Robert K. Lambert
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
Rush Hour 2 is a 2001 martial arts buddy action comedy film and the sequel to the 1998 film Rush Hour. Shifting the primary location from Los Angeles to Hong Kong, 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, 2001 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 film, however, received mixed reception.
Four days after the events of Rush Hour, LAPD Detective James Carter is on vacation in Hong Kong visiting his friend, Hong Kong Police Force Chief Inspector Lee, as he was asked to vacation along with Lee after helping save the Chinese Consul's Han 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 proved), 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 and Carter split up. 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 easily over-powers 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 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 kills herself in the explosion. Later, at the airport, Molina thanks Lee for his work on the case, and she kisses him, while Carter watches from afar. 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.
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.
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.
Lalo Schifrin composed the soundtrack, interspersed with hip hop and R&B music. Two soundtrack albums were released. An album of the hip hop and R&B music used was released on July 31, 2001 by Hollywood Records and Epic Records. It peaked at #11 on the Billboard 200 and #11 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Another, containing Schifrin's original compositions for the film was released on the Varèse Sarabande label on August 21, 2001.