The first installment of the Rush Hour series was a surprise sleeper hit and was a turning point for both Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker's careers. It was inevitable a second portion was going to be served and, for safety sake, the recipe has not been tinkered with very much. The odd couple characters of Lee (Chan) and Carter (Tucker) are relaxing in Hong Kong, with Carter planning on enjoying a true vacation and to get away from the wacky nonsense that is the LAPD. But not so fast someone's gone and blown up the American Embassy and next thing we know our heroes are back in true fighting form once again. And this time it's personal for the man suspected to be behind the explosion is the same man who was behind the death of Lee's father.
The plot of Rush Hour 2 is your standard action flick formula, with a prolonged chase between hero and villain from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, many sensational fight scenes, and even time for a little romance. Added to this sequel is Roselyn Sanchez who plays an American secret service agent who really tends to get irritating at times. Not only do you not really know who's side she's on, but she seems to have a serious chip on her shoulder and basically runs the tough-as-nails approach into the ground. Thankfully her evil counterpart is Hu Li, played by the captivating Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) whose talent is above and beyond this movie but thankfully adds a much-needed subtle touch, even if she barely utters a line of dialogue.
If Ziyi is the elegance of Rush Hour 2, then Chris Tucker is on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. The comedian's style worked well in movies like Friday and the first Rush Hour, but talk about tiresome. The character of Carter creates countless hostile situations by shooting off his big mouth and this gets very monotonous very quickly. In a movie where America and Hong Kong are to join forces, you're left wanting more of the Hong Kong style of fighting crime. Jackie Chan's superior combat techniques paired with the skillful Zhang Ziyi make you wish they dumped Tucker and Sanchez's gun-toting American ways off at the Los Angeles airport.