Okay I gotta level with you on this, I did not see the first Rush Hour until way after this, we're talking 2005 or maybe 2006. I got this movie on DVD in 2002, first time I ever met these characters, first time I ever saw Jackie Chan, this was the one that introduced me to martial arts films. If it wasn't Star Wars or Lord Of The Rings, I did not watch movies in order back then.
Now that we got that out of the way, let's get on to it. Unfortunately Rush Hour 2 did not surpass or meet the standards of the first, yet I still did enjoy it. So we pick up literally about 3 days since the end of the last movie with Lee and Carter going to Hong Kong for a vacation but very quickly accept the case of a counterfeit money ring run by the partner of Lee's dad, as they work with a Secret Service operative to figure out how they are smuggling the money and shutting the operation down. Pretty much by the end of the movie I realized how strikingly similar it was to Diamonds Are Forever. We start off in an asian country but quickly shift gears to Las Vegas, the villain supppsedly dies only to pop up again, the henchman or in this case henchwoman is one of the most memorable parts of the movie and even has a final go at our heroes before their demise at the end, and it has a bit of smut to it. I was kinda shocked and yet not surprisingly shocked at the fanservice with this, any opportunity to show half-nekkid ladies this film delivers to the point where I was like, okay damn put some clothes on before you catch a cold, and if you did your math I was about 7 years old when I saw this movie. And I watched it a lot, may have even fueled a particular taste in women....I've said too much right now so let's not dwell on that. To the technicals! I will say this movie upped the first with how many more stunts and hand to hand fights there were, with plenty of variety in location and inventive use of the environment. On the flip side, I didn't laugh as much but what it lacks in comedy it makes up for in action, so it's a fair trade off between the two. For an hour and a half movie it flies at almost lightning speed, I barely felt like I sat down when the third act rolled in which isn't a bad thing but it is something I noticed, and the first movie is like not even 10 minutes longer than this so it keeps you going quite quick. The cast again was quite good, with Jackie and Chris still having good chemistry and it's an appropriate shift to see Carter now in Lee's territory. John Lone plays a very cool headed and very smooth villain which he does quite well at, but Zhang Ziyi steals the show with a psychotic urge to kill and a striking look so she was easily the best new addition to the cast which speaks a lot about her acting talent as she didn't understand english and yet delivered a very good performance. Roselyn Sanchez I simultaneously liked her in the movie yet didn't, I liked her because she does kinda keep you guessing on who she's working for and even isn't half bad in an action sequence, but I just hated how the camera was leering at her with a few instances of let's just say undress, but she did fine work in the role. It's kinda weird how I remember liking this movie so much more than the first when I was younger, and was even expecting a little bit for it to still be my favorite and yet now I very much agree the first is still the best. I couldn't tell you how much I wanted to watch Rush Hour 3 after it was jokingly teased, and had to wait 6 years for it. Needless to say I do not remember much about it and I honestly don't think I cared for it much even back then. Only one way tonfind out where it stands. In the meantime, 3 stars, I give it 6.5/10, still worth a watch even if only once, and I'll see you next time.