Scott Hardie | August 4, 2001
I saw Rush Hour 2 tonight with Kelly, Ryan, and Brenda. Ryan loves Chris Tucker, while Kelly hates him, so I guess they sort of canceled each other out. I went to see Jackie Chan kick people, and while there was disappointingly little of that, I found myself liking it anyway.

Granted, the first twenty minutes or so are terrible. The movie starts out aping gags from the first film, a cinematic trend that is annoying me more and more these days. It also starts out with a strong dose of Chris Tucker's egotism. I don't mind Tucker's whinyness or his crassness, but when he gets really arrogant, I can't stand it. He thinks he's the shit, and he's really fucking not.

But, once the ugly opening was left behind, the movie found its rhythm and became funny. Tucker can be funny if he riffs on something other than himself and how cool he is. He did spend a fair amount of time making racist comments (he refers to Chan as a "monkey" at one point), but he only came off as a buffoon when he did so. Chan was quite amusing with his limited dialogue, and the closing credit outtakes were as funny as in any other Chan film.

I could have gone for some better (and longer) action scenes. According to conventional wisdom, Chan is getting older and can't do as many stunts as he used to do, so that's why the movie cut back on the action. But I've read that Chan complained about the Hollywood producers not affording him time to devise his usual martial arts dances, and they limited him to short bursts of action instead. What a fucking waste. Zyang Ziyi showed up to kick some butt, though she and Chan never actually fought. Also (if my memory is correct), she didn't have a single line in English, but that may be a good thing if she's so bad at it. :-)

In the end, Rush Hour 2 is as good as the original, and perhaps a little better, because Tucker does less self-centered humor this time. Just like with "Shanghai Noon" last year, I was disappointed by the racism (you can make a movie about racial diversity without crude slurs), but it's a good movie anyway. I recommend it to anyone who can stand Chris Tucker. He gets top billing and the biggest paycheck, and that's appropriate because he has the biggest part, so arrive prepared.

Scott Hardie | August 4, 2001
I forgot to mention that when I saw it (in a fairly packed theater on opening night), two Latino men sat next to me and had a speaking-volume conversation in Spanish throughout the entire movie. Not just ten or fifteen minutes, I mean literally the entire movie. I wonder if they didn't know English and were just entertaining themselves between the action scenes or not, but something was fucking going on. If Tinseltown hadn't cranked the movie volume up to deafening levels, the men might have actually bothered me.

Kelly Hardie | August 6, 2001
Ha, thats the best part about being partially deaf, stuff like that don't bother me no more. woohoo!

Kelly Hardie | August 6, 2001
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