Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday From the Archives: Rush Hour 2 (2001)

Every Friday we celebrate the heritage of Code Redd Net by posting a retro-review from our considerable back catalogue of embarrassingly naive, but nonetheless entertaining and heartfelt, movie and game reviews. Please pardon the prose; most of these articles were written in our immediately post-pubescent years. Hopefully you find them as enjoyable as we do.

Rush Hour 2 is a curious thing for us at Code Redd Net. In many ways it's a pretty dumb (though innocuous) flick, but it has memories for us. Not only was it our first movie review back when we launched the site in late 2001, but it was the instigating force behind the website itself. The nostalgia we feel gleefully blinds our objective judgment. In this case, affect goes beyond the text. And looking at my review (rewritten in 2005, I believe) I see that I had this same idea in mind when reexamining the movie. Looking forward to our tenth anniversary in a few short weeks, I want to make sure that Rush Hour 2 is understood as a significant part of our history.

"You must be forewarned that my opinion on Rush Hour 2 may be slightly slanted. Objectively, I have a difficult time reviewing the film, because the memories I have of it are closely tied with a friendship, and the enjoyable time we had seeing the movie in theaters. But, just to be impartial, I'll try to review the film based solely on it merit, not personal recollections, however awesome they may be. No promise, though. The story begins with the bombing of the American embassy in Hong Kong, which kills two U.S. customs agents involved in uncovering a ring of smugglers controlling "superbills," extremely well-made counterfeit $100 bills. Naturally, Detective Lee and Detective Carter, portrayed by Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, respectively, become involved in the case. Together they track down Ricky Tan, the head of the Triads, a deadly posse of thugs from China. From that rather basic premise, we segue into the action scenes, which unfortunately are very disappointing, at least in comparison to some of the other films Chan has done. Rush Hour 2 was my introduction to Jackie Chan, and in searching out his previous films afterward, I've found that this is some of his weakest work, as far as the martial arts are concerned. The humor is fine, but not great, and the pace is exceptionally swift. I just cannot help my bias, but I find myself really enjoying Rush Hour 2 every time I watch it. Definitely not the best work of Jackie Chan, but a really pleasant action film all-around."

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