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Rush Hour 2
DVD disk
10.08.2004 By: Mike Sampson
Rush Hour 2 order
Director:
Brett Ratner

Actors:
Jackie Chan
Chris Tucker
Zhang Ziyi

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The fastest hands in the East re-team with the biggest mouth in the West in this hit sequel to the blockbuster original. In Hong Kong for a vacation, LAPD detective James Carter (Tucker) and Chief Inspector Lee of the Royal Hong Kong Police (Chan) are confronted with the biggest case of their careers - finding the people who killed two U.S. Customs agents who had been investigating a smuggling ring. With the Hong Kong and U.S. authorities fighting over jurisdiction of the case, Lee and a reluctant Carter set off on their own to crack the case.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I can sum this movie up using only three letters - U N F. Just shuffle those around a little bit and you get 90 minutes of pure, unadulterated FUN! A lot of critics contended this film was as good or better than the first, and I'd have to agree. It's certainly as good as and almost even better. If you're not a fan of Chris Tucker's humor (I am) you may not enjoy it as much, but unlike last week's MADE, there's more to this movie than the humor of a lead actor. Jackie Chan continues to amaze with his dizzying kung-fu style, using anything and everything to kick the crap out of the bad guys. And Zhang Ziyi...talk about a femme fatale! So hot and so vicious at the same time....

Hats off to director Brett Ratner and writer Jeff Nathanson for making an enjoyable action/comedy which, in the wrong hands, might've been doomed to fail. Ratner truly is the real deal and I look forward to seeing the work that he does on the SILENCE OF THE LAMBS prequel RED DRAGON (incidentally, the name of the casino in this film).
THE EXTRAS
This was my first foray into New Line's Infinifilm series of DVDs (BLOW and THIRTEEN DAYS are the two others) and I was a bit trepidatious. I didn't think that I'd want to be bothered by the pop-up icon telling me about more information on a particular scene. And while I did find the icon to be a tad annoying, I chalk that up primarily to the fact that I had never seen the movie and wanting to watch it interruption-free. But for those who've already seen the movie, I can imagine this to be a useful guide to the extra footage. And lots of it there is...

Since I didn't take advantage of the Infinifilm option, I chose to watch all of my extras manually after watching the film. The Infinifilm "Beyond the Movie" extras were made up of 5 short (average five minutes) behind-the-scenes clips giving some background information on the filming. The "Culture Clash" and "Language Barrier" clips were interesting and the "Kung Fu Choreography" was a real blast. The other behind-the-scenes clips not included in the Infinifilm set were "Making Magic out of Mire," "Evolution of a Scene" and "Fashion of RUSH HOUR 2." The first is an interesting look at director Brett Ratner and his sometimes unorthodox methods; the second is a look at three separate scenes and how they evolved from the page to filming; and the third is a funny clip of Jeremy Piven (who makes a cameo in the film as a gay Versace salesman) talking about all the different outfits from the film.

The DVD-ROM features have what's referred to these days as the "script-to-screen" feature which allows you to read a page of the script then watch that scene in a small corner of the screen. There's also links to the original RUSH HOUR 2 website and exclusive Infinifilm features (which because I have an advance copy, wasn't active at the time of review). Add on to all that an enjoyable audio commentary track from Ratner and Nathanson, deleted scenes and outtakes (funny, funny stuff), teasers, trailers, and filmographies and you've got one DVD that's packed to the gills!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I haven't seen a good old-fashioned no-brainer fun movie like this in a long time. Even movies that are supposed to be mindless fun lately are missing the mark (*cough*tombraider*cough*). But this one hit it and hit it hard! I'm doubly impressed that this was a sequel and sequels are never ever supposed to be as good as the first. The film is great, the DVD is great and no New Line isn't paying me to say this (although I wish they were) but you can make the videophile in your life very happy this Holiday season by buying them this disc.
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