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Although not as fresh as the original outing, RUSH HOUR 2 ($27) is both a fun and funny sequel to the mismatched cop buddy movie. Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker return as the sedate Hong Kong Chief Inspector and fast-talking LAPD detective, who find themselves again tackling a case that no one wants them involved with. Taking the premise of the original film and standing it on its head RUSH HOUR 2 starts out in Hong Kong with Chan’s Inspector Lee trying to show his vacationing American friend Carter (Tucker) a good time. Unfortunately, Lee is dedicated to his job and ends up dragging Carter from one investigation to another, instead of taking him to the tourist spots. However, when a bomb goes off in the American embassy, Lee and Carter find themselves drawn into a convoluted counterfeiting plot that involves the Chinese Triad, a new Las Vegas casino and two beautiful, but potentially lethal women.

Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker are the key to the success of RUSH HOUR 2. These two performers have their own chemistry that works exceedingly well in their mismatched partnership. Both men generate big laughs, although their styles are completely different. Chan is a silent clown in the tradition of Buster Keaton, who lets his actions speak louder than words, while Tucker’s mouth is his fame and fortune, and he proves that no one can speak louder than him. Director Brett Ratner keeps the action and the comedy flying at a breakneck pace. Additionally, all of the martial arts sequences found in RUSH HOUR 2 greatly benefit from the Jackie Chan touch. Not to be overlooked are Ziyi Zhang (of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON fame) and Roselyn Sanchez, who portray the film’s two potentially lethal femme fatales. The cast of RUSH HOUR 2 also includes John Lone, Alan King and Harris Yulin.

New Line Home Entertainment has made RUSH HOUR 2 as part of their Infinifilm series of DVDs. RUSH HOUR 2 is presented on DVD in its proper 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio and the presentation features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. As I’ve come to expect from New Line, this is another great looking DVD. The image on the disc is sharp and very well defined- coming up only slightly short of true demonstration quality. Colors are wonderfully vibrant on the DVD, especially the numerous deeply saturated reds. All of the hues are rock solid and are reproduced without a hint of noise or smearing. Additionally, the film’s flesh tones are right on the money. Blacks are pretty solid and inky and the picture produces an above average level of shadow detail. The film element used fro the transfer is virtually perfect, displaying no blemishes or apparent grain. Owing to the fact that this dual layer DVD is packed to the gills, digital compression artifacts are only slightly more noticeable than they appear on any other newly minted blockbuster DVD.

RUSH HOUR 2 features a high-powered action movie mix that takes fully advantage of the Dolby Digital 5.1 EX format. Channel separation is excellent, with effective panning of sound effects in the forward soundstage, as well as in the split surrounds. Dialogue is always completely understandable, which is something of an accomplishment, considering Jack Chan’s less than precise English. The bass channel is full bodied and provides a highly effective whomp. Lalo Schifrin’s music is beautifully recorded and is well integrated into the sound mix, yet it maintains its own sense of presence. Upping the ante is the DVD’s DTS 6.1 ES Discreet mix, which uses the additional resolution to produce greater transparency, tighter bass and more musical clarity.

Full motion video, animation and sound enhance the DVD's amusingly designed interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the disc’s supplemental section. Supplements are broken into two sections: Beyond The Movie and All Access Pass. Beyond The Movie includes six short featurettes entitled Jackie Chan's Hong Kong Introduction, Culture Clash: West Meets East, Language Barrier, Attaining International Stardom, Kung Fu Choreography, and Lady Luck. Beyond The Movie also includes a Fact Track of subtitled factoids that display on screen as the movie plays out. Moving over to the All Access Pass, we find a running audio commentary with director Brett Ratner and screenwriter Jeff Nathanson. This is a highly informative talk and director Ratner is rather hyped up as he talks about RUSH HOUR 2. Two more short featurettes entitled Making Magic Out Of A Mire and The Fashions Of Rush Hour 2 are also included under the All Access Pass. Evolution Of A Scene looks at how three separate scenes in the movie came together. Effects supervisor Kevin Lilngenfelser introduces the Visual Effects Deconstruction, which looks at a major effect from the film’s opening sequence. Nine deleted scenes are also included on the DVD, but these amusing bits only amount to extensions of scenes already in the movie. The Outtakes reel is actually a whole lot more entertaining and provides a lot of solid laughs. Two theatrical teasers and one theatrical trailer, plus cast/crew filmographies close out the DVDs video supplements. RUSH HOUR 2 is also DVD-ROM enhanced and includes the screenplay, as well as the film’s web site and links to more content.

RUSH HOUR 2 is a fun action-comedy/cop-buddy movie that will appeal to fans of the original film. New Line has worked their usual magic, producing a great looking and sounding DVD that includes a lot of extra content. Devotees of the genre, as well as Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker fans will definitely want to add this slickly produced disc to their DVD collections.


Rush Hour 2

Rush Hour/Rush Hour 2


DVD reviews are Copyright 2001 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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