Chief Inspector Lee of the Hong Kong Police and LAPD detective James Carter go to Hong Kong on a much-needed vacation, where Carter is looking forward to discovering the city for the first time. But when they arrive, they discover a bomb has exploded in the American Embassy, killing two U.S. customs agents who had been investigating a counterfeiting ring. The Hong Kong police suspect that Triad crime lord Ricky Tan is behind the blast. Inspector Lee is assigned to crack the case, much to the chagrin of Carter who is annoyed as he feels his vacation slipping away. But for Lee the case is personal -- Tan was once his father's police partner and played a direct role in his death. The two cops set off in pursuit of Tan, but this time around it is Detective Carter who is a fish out of water, and Lee now has the chance to teach him some lessons. But of course, as the pair chase Tan from Hong Kong to Los Angeles and beyond, Carter has a few things to teach the locals as well.
This rushed hour and a half passes pleasantly enough, in spite of an incoherent plot (something to do with international counterfeiting) and so-so action sequences. Once again, Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker play a mismatched pair of policemen, and each performer does what he is famous for: Mr. Chan performs acrobatic martial-arts stunts, and Mr. Tucker runs his mouth. As usual, the best stuff comes in the blooper reel that plays alongside the final credits, and for some reason the scowly and diminutive Zhang Zhang, in a completely inexplicable role, moves audiences (and this critic) to uncontrollable laughter every time she kicks Mr. Tucker in the face. - A. O. Scott
2001-08-03 | A. O. Scott | Read the New York Times Review of Rush Hour 2