It took Jackie Chan three decades to crack the American market, and it was the 1998 action comedy "Rush Hour" that helped him do it. The combination of the Hong Kong superstar's astonishing martial artistry and the motor-mouth buffoonery of American stand-up Chris Tucker proved so popular the film grossed $250 million worldwide - making a sequel not only likely, but a cast-iron mathematical certainty.
Reunited with original director Brett Ratner, Chan and Tucker recreate their appealing double act in a formulaic plot that sees them racing from Hong Kong to Las Vegas, via Los Angeles, on the trail of some ruthless Triad counterfeiters. While Tucker goofs around in karaoke bars and massage parlours, Jackie orchestrates yet another masterful display of chop socky mayhem that sees him disposing of bad guys with everything from a Persian rug to a wastepaper bin. Elsewhere "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" 's Zhang Ziyi makes a lethal villain, while "Traffic" star Don Cheadle supplies a lively cameo as an LA hood who wishes he were Oriental.
Tucker's helium-voiced jabbering may not be to everyone's taste, and comparisons with the young Eddie Murphy are a tad premature. But he provides a perfect foil to Chan in a partnership built as much on miscommunication as chemistry. Throw in the obligatory selection of out-takes over the credits ("He won't be in "Rush Hour 3"!" jokes Tucker after seeing one foe fall to his death) and you have that increasingly rare beast: a sequel that is every bit as satisfying as its predecessor.
Visit the official "Rush Hour 2" website.