Rush Hour 2
USINFO | 2013-05-30 17:24

Rush Hour 2 is a 2001 martial arts action comedy film. This is the second installment in the Rush Hour series. A sequel to the 1998 film Rush Hour, the film stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker who respectively reprise their roles as Inspector Lee and Detective Carter. The film finds Lee and Carter embroiled in a counterfeit scam involving the Triads.

Rush Hour 2 was released August 3, 2001 to mixed reviews from critics and grossed $347,325,802 at the worldwide box office, becoming the eleventh highest-grossing film of 2001 worldwide, the highest-grossing live-action martial arts film of all time, and the second highest-grossing martial arts film of all time, behind Kung Fu Panda. The film was followed up with another sequel, Rush Hour 3, in 2007.

Los Angeles Police Department Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) is on vacation in Hong Kong, visiting his friend, Hong Kong Police Force Chief Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan). Carter is interested in having a good time; however, soon after he arrives, a bomb explodes at the United States Consulate General. Inspector Lee is assigned to the case, which becomes personal when it is discovered that it somehow involves Ricky Tan (John Lone), his late police officer father's former partner. Tan, who was suspected, but never proven, of having a role in Lee's father's death, is now a leader of the Triads.

The United States Secret Service, led by Agent Sterling (Harris Yulin), and the Hong Kong Police Force soon get into a fight over the jurisdiction of the case. Lee, believing Tan is the head of the operation, learns that Tan will be attending a dinner party on his yacht. Tan scolds his underling, Hu Li (Zhang Ziyi), who then leaves as Lee and Carter confront Tan. Tan claims that someone is trying to frame him. Hu Li suddenly appears and shoots Ricky Tan, making her escape in the chaos, and an angry Sterling holds Lee responsible for Tan's death, and orders him off the case. Carter is ordered to be flown back to Los Angeles for involving himself. However, Lee and Carter return to L.A. together.

On the plane, Carter tells Lee that in every large criminal operation, there is a rich white man behind it and that man is Steven Reign (Alan King), an L.A. hotel billionaire that Carter says he saw on Tan's boat and that his calm demeanor during the shooting was suspicious. They set up camp outside the Reign Towers, spotting a sexy U.S. Secret Service agent named Isabella Molina (Roselyn Sánchez), whom Carter met on Ricky Tan's yacht. After they watch Molina undress, and a few misunderstandings, Molina tells the two men that she is undercover, looking into Reign's money laundering of $100 million in superdollars (high grade counterfeit $100 bills).

Lee and Carter pay a visit to Kenny (Don Cheadle), an ex-con known to Carter who runs a gambling den in the back of the Chinese restaurant he owns. He tells them that a usually broke customer recently came in to his establishment with a suspicious amount of hundred-dollar bills. Carter speculates them and confirms that they are Reign's counterfeits. They trace the money back to a bank friendly to the Triads, who are waiting for them and knock the two cops unconscious, with Molina looking on. After arriving in Las Vegas, Lee and Carter wake up inside one of the Triads' trucks and escape. After finding out where they are, they realize that Reign is laundering the $100 million through the new Red Dragon Casino (filmed at the now demolished Desert Inn).

At the Red Dragon, Lee and Carter split up. Lee attempts to infiltrate the back area to find the engraving plates (which were used to make the counterfeit money) while Carter makes a distraction, to attract all the security allowing Lee to pass. However, Hu Li captures Lee and places a small bomb in his mouth. She then takes him up to the penthouse, where it is revealed that Ricky Tan faked his death and, as Lee suspected, is in charge of the operation. Tan soon departs the room, and Molina attempts to arrest Hu Li leading to a confrontation between the two. But, despite Molina's best efforts, she is defeated due to Hu Li's martial arts experience. In the enusing chaos, Carter is able to free Lee from the bomb in his mouth before Hu Li has the chance to detonate it. Carter then fights Hu Li, while Lee heads to the penthouse to prevent Tan from escaping with the plates.

In the penthouse, Reign opens the safe and takes the plates, running into Tan as he leaves. After Reign announces he is cutting their deal short and keeping the plates, Tan stabs him with a knife, killing him. Lee arrives and confronts Tan along with Carter, who shortly appears after (accidentally) knocking out Hu Li. After a tense standoff, where Tan admits he killed Lee's father, Tan tries to break free, but Lee kicks Tan out of the window and he falls to his death. Hu Li then enters, holding a time bomb. Lee and Carter leap out of the window just as the bomb goes off, killing Hu Li. They slide on decoration wires with their jackets and barely escape the traffic on the street in the process.

Later, at the airport, Sterling thanks Lee for his work on the case. Molina says she would like to tell Lee something, and proceeds to kiss him for a short time, an event witnessed from afar by Carter. Lee and Carter plan to go their separate ways, but Lee reveals that he has always wanted to go to Madison Square Garden and watch a New York Knicks basketball game. Carter tells Lee he could go for one more vacation, and the two of them decide to go to New York City.

Box office
Rush Hour 2 opened on August 3, 2001 in 3,118 North American theatres, and it grossed $67,408,222.87 ($21,619 per screen) in its opening weekend. It ended its run with $226,164,286.92, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2001 domestically, and the highest-grossing martial arts film of all time, excluding Kung Fu Panda in 2008, because it is an animated film whereas Rush Hour 2 is live action.

The film's total worldwide box office take was $347,325,802, making it the eleventh highest-grossing film of 2001 worldwide.

After being adjusted for inflation, Rush Hour 2 out-grossed its predecessor, Rush Hour. This was due to the fact that it had a little more box office longevity and lasted consistently within the domestic box office top ten for roughly two weeks longer than Rush Hour. In addition, the hype surrounding Rush Hour 2 helped it maintain high numbers for a longer period of time. After fifty days since its domestic release, Rush Hour was only No. 10 on the box office charts while comparatively, Rush Hour 2 was still pulling in big audiences after fifty days in theaters and was the No. 2 grossing film domestically.

Rush Hour 2 earned a total of 27 award nominations and 10 wins, including an MTV Movie Award for Best Fight, a Teen Choice Award for Film-Choice Actor, Comedy, and 3 Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Male Butt Kicker (Chan), Favorite Movie Actor (Tucker), and Favorite Movie.

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