Rush Hour 2

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Rush Hour 2
Rush Hour 2 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Brett Ratner
Produced by
Written by Jeff Nathanson
Based on Characters created 
by Ross LaManna
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Cinematography Matthew F. Leonetti
Edited by Mark Helfrich
Robert K. Lambert
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
  • August 3, 2001 (2001-08-03)
Running time
90 minutes

United States

Budget $90 million
Box office $347.3 million

Rush Hour 2 is a 2001 Chinese-American martial arts buddy action comedy film. It is the sequel to the 1998 film Rush Hour and the second installment in the Rush Hour film series. 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.[1]

Rush Hour 2 was released August 3, 2001 to mixed reviews from critics, but it grossed $347,325,802 at the worldwide box office,[2] becoming the eleventh highest-grossing film of 2001 worldwide. It is the highest-grossing martial arts film of all time[3] The film was followed up with another sequel, Rush Hour 3, in 2007.


LAPD detective James Carter is on vacation in Hong Kong, visiting his friend, HKPF Chief Inspector Lee. The fun is put on hold when a bomb explodes at the United States Consulate General, killing two undercover U.S. Customs agents inside.[4] Inspector Lee is assigned to the case, which becomes personal when it is discovered that it somehow involves Ricky Tan, his late police officer father's former partner. Tan, who was suspected of having a role in Lee's father's death (though the connection was never proven), is now a leader of the Triads. This, however, causes a rift between Lee and Carter, the latter who simply wants to enjoy his vacation and not get into any danger. The two encounter Tan at a massage parlour.

The U.S. Secret Service, led by Agent Sterling, and the HKPF soon get into a fight over the jurisdiction of the case. Suddenly, the nearby room that Carter was in is bombed, causing Lee to believe he's dead and grieve for him. Carter is revealed to be alive, leaving the room before it exploded. He and a relieved Lee cross paths at Tan's yacht where he is holding a dinner party. Tan scolds his underling, Hu Li, who then leaves as Lee and Carter confront Ricky Tan. Just as Ricky Tan asks for protection, Hu Li shoots him and makes her escape in the chaos. An angry Sterling holds Lee responsible for Tan's death, and orders him off the case. Carter is ordered back to Los Angeles for involving himself and Lee volunteers to take him to the airport. However, at the airport, Carter gets Lee to return to LA with him.

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, a billionaire Los Angeles hotelier whom Carter saw acting suspiciously on Tan's boat. They set up camp outside the Reign Towers, spotting a U.S. Secret Service agent named Isabella Molina, whom Carter met earlier in Hong Kong. After a few misunderstandings, Molina tells the two men that she is undercover, looking into Reign's money laundering of $100 million in superdollars.

Lee and Carter pay a visit to Kenny, an ex-con known to Carter who runs a gambling den in the back of his Chinese restaurant. He tells them that a usually broke customer recently came into his establishment with a suspicious amount of hundred-dollar bills. Carter confirms that they are Reign's counterfeits and they trace the money back to a bank. The mobsters 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 mob's trucks and escape. After finding out where they are, they realize that Reign is laundering the $100 million through the new Red Dragon Casino.

At the Red Dragon, Lee and Carter split up. Lee attempts to find the engraving plates which were used to make the counterfeit money, while Carter makes a distraction to help Lee sneak past the security. However, Hu Li captures Lee and takes him to a room where it is revealed that Ricky Tan faked his death. When Tan departs, Molina tries to arrest Hu Li but Hu Li easily over-powers her and Molina is shot. Carter continues to fight Hu Li in a comical manner and knocks her out, 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. Reign tries to back out of the deal but Tan stabs him to death. Lee and Carter arrive and a scuffle between them and Tan ensues after Tan admits that he killed Lee's father and mocks him for only asking Tan to spare Lee's life before he died.

Tan falls to his death when Lee kicks him out of the window. Hu Li enters with a time bomb forcing Lee and Carter to grab onto the decoration wires. The two escape on the makeshift zipline as Hu Li kills herself in the explosion. Later, at the airport, Molina thanks Lee for his work on the case, and she kisses him for a short time, while a jealous Carter watches from afar. Having originally planned to go their separate ways, Lee and Carter change their mind when Carter reveals he won a large amount of money at the casino and the pair decide to head to New York City to indulge themselves.



  • In an interview, director Brett Ratner admitted that the first part of the karaoke scene with Chris Tucker was not supposed to be filmed. Tucker refused to act like Michael Jackson with the cameras running. Between takes, he went up as entertainment for everyone. Secretly, Ratner told the cameramen to film it but to not let Tucker notice them.
  • On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), Chris Tucker said that while he was filming this movie in Hong Kong, many locals mistook him for NBA star Kobe Bryant. In the film, while Tucker's character is running up the stairs, the old woman shouts, "Move out of the way, Kobe," to him.
  • After the scaffold fight scene at the start of the movie, just before Lee and Carter fall into the market stall, Carter says, "I can't believe I flew 10,000 miles for this s**t," whereas it is only just over 7,200 miles from Los Angeles.
  • The scene where Carter and Lee are running down the street naked in Hong Kong was an actual take; production could not block the street off for the shoot.
  • Philip Baker Hall, reprising his role of Captain Diel from Rush Hour (1998), and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman filmed cameos which did not make the final cut. Phillip Baker Hall's scene can be found in the deleted scenes section of the special features on the DVD.
  • When Carter first meets Isabella on the yacht, she tells him that she is from San Juan. In real life, Roselyn Sanchez was actually born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Seasickness helped Roselyn Sanchez feign a lack of enthusiasm for Chris Tucker's advances in the yacht sequence.
  • Jerry Lewis was offered the role of Steven Reign.
  • When Chris Tucker is saying that Asians always panic and points out Godzilla films as a reference, he shouts, "Hayaku! Hayaku!" This is actually Japanese, and it means "Faster! Faster!"
  • The scene where Carter gets the kosher meal was originally scripted to have Carter ask if Lee, "Want some of my gefilte fish?" after the stewardess left. However, Chris Tucker could not pronounce "gefilte," so the scene never made the final cut (outtakes of this scene are in the end credits). As a nod to this, in Rush Hour 3 (2007), Carter does manage to ask a stewardess if there is gefilte fish on his flight.
  • Don Cheadle agreed to do this movie only if he got to fight Jackie Chan and speak Chinese.
  • The climax takes place in the Red Dragon Hotel. Red Dragon (2002) was Brett Ratner's next film.
  • The part of the "Red Dragon" hotel was played by the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, Nevada. The sign was changed to read "Red Dragon," and the lower half of the building was painted red for the filming of the movie. The hotel was closed at the time, so evidence of the transformation remained for a while. The Desert Inn was demolished on October 23, 2001.
  • The counterfeit dollar bills used in the movie say, "In Dog We Trust." During shooting, some extras walked off the set with some of the fake cash, and it eventually ended up in a few casinos in Las Vegas. The situation went so out-of-control that production was briefly shut down when the FBI subjected the props department to an investigation to determine whether or not they violated the Counterfeit Deterrence Act of 1992.
  • During the filming of the stunt where Lee and Carter jump from the top window of the Red Dragon hotel and then slide down the wires of Chinese Lanterns, a real (i.e. not part of the movie) car chase took place on/through the set. Apparently, a carload of drunken tourists (the set was in Las Vegas) got into an altercation with a taxi driver, and the two cars began a chase that ran down the strip and onto the set, narrowly missing crew members, extras and an enormous crane which held a camera and crew. Fortunately, no one was injured; the driver and passengers of the taxi were detained by police.
  • Jackie Chan's favorite number is 32. The gangster's car has a license plate of "32" and when Lee spits the grenade onto the roulette table, it lands on 32 when it explodes.
  • The character Hu Li (Ziyi Zhang) (the Mandarin word for "fox") was originally written for a man.
  • In the final fight scene with Hu Li, Carter defends himself with a roulette wheel. When Hu Li stabs at Carter with her sword, she hits the wheel directly on the "00" (double zero), which only appears on "American" roulette game wheels.
  • Chris Tucker ad-libbed many different versions of his short speech to Hu Li at the end of their fight. Director Brett Ratner felt the speech was not working and told Tucker to call her a "bitch." Tucker refused to say the word and it took hours of convincing by Ratner before Tucker finally agreed.
  • At the airport, there is a man waiting for a passenger named "Freitag," named after the film's producer, James M. Freitag.
  • Ziyi Zhang could not speak English, so she had to take direction via the combination of an interpreter (often Jackie Chan himself) and director Brett Ratner essentially performing "charades." Her character only says three English words in the movie: "Some apple?" and, later, "Out!" In an interview, Roselyn Sanchez said that Ziyi Zhang tried learning English from her, but tried to discourage her as she would have ended up speaking it with a Puerto Rican accent.
  • The movie premiered on July 26, 2001 on a single Los Angeles to Hong Kong flight by United Airlines and the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
  • This is the only Rush Hour movie where Detective Carter (Chris Tucker) does not have a goatee.
  • Initially, Chris Penn was going to reprise his role of Clive from the first Rush Hour (1998) film.
  • This movie grossed $67 million on its opening weekend, which was $34 million more than Rush Hour (1998)'s opening.
  • The film made $347 million at the box office worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing installment in the franchise. It also made $226 million at the U.S. box office, becoming the highest-grossing installment in the franchise.


Prior to its August 3 release, Rush Hour 2 was premiered to the public on Thursday, July 26, 2001 on-board United Airlines Flight 1 from Los Angeles to Hong Kong, which was renamed, "The Rush Hour Express".[5] The Hong Kong Board of Tourism teamed up with United Airlines and New Line Cinema in a campaign that offered both trailers for the film for passengers on all domestic United flights during July and August (reaching an expected 3 million people), as well as Hong Kong travel videos to inspire tourists to visit China where the film was set.

Box office[edit]

Rush Hour 2 was released in North America on August 3, 2001, playing on 4,500 screens [6] at 3,118 theaters. It opened at #1 with an opening weekend gross of $67,408,222, for an average of $21,619 per theater ($14,980 per screen).[7] The film remained in the box office top 10 for a total of ten weeks. It closed on December 20, 2001 [8] with a domestic total of $226,164,286, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2001 domestically, and the highest-grossing martial arts film at the time.[3]

The film's total worldwide box office take was $347,325,802, making it the eleventh highest-grossing film of 2001 worldwide.[2]

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.[9] 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.[10]

The film's distribution rights were transferred to Warner Bros. in 2008.


The film received mixed reviews. It currently has a 52% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The site's consensus reads: Rush Hour 2 doesn't feel as fresh or funny as the first, and the stunts lack some of the intricacy normally seen in Chan's films. Roger Ebert gave the film 1.5 out of 4 stars criticizing Chris Tucker: How can a movie allow [Tucker] to be so obnoxious and make no acknowledgment that his behavior is aberrant?


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.[citation needed]


Because of development hell, Rush Hour 3 was not released until August 10, 2007—six years after Rush Hour 2.[11][12] In 2007, it was reported that a sequel to the third one, set in Moscow, was in negotiations.[13]


A soundtrack containing hip hop and R&B music was released on July 31, 2001 by Def Jam Recordings, Def Soul and Universal Music Group. It peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and No. 11 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

Home media[edit]

The only film in the trilogy without a Blu-ray release in the US, a Blu-ray release was originally set to be released in October 2007 in the United States, and December 2007 in the United Kingdom. This was to coincide with the releases of Rush Hour & Rush Hour 3 on the same format. For unknown reasons, both dates were pulled from the release schedule.[14] On Blu–, it was announced that a Blu–ray was due to be released in the United States on 12 August 2014. It is available for pre–order on[15][16]

It was later announced that the Blu–ray release would be delayed until 6 January 2015.[17] The Blu–ray had again been delayed, this time until 15 September 2015, but was then canceled without announcement. The US version was then re-scheduled for 16 February 2016.[18] In the PAL regions, the Blu-ray is available to buy on[19][20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scott, A. O. (August 3, 2001). "FILM REVIEW; Making Fun With Feet and Tongue". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  2. ^ a b "Box Office Mojo - Rush Hour 2". 
  3. ^ a b "Action - Martial Arts". 
  4. ^ Flanagan, Sylvia P.; West, Malcolm R., eds. (August 2001). "'Rush Hour 2' Star, Talks About Movie And How Fame Is Changing His Life". JET Magazine. Johnson Publication (published August 6, 2001). 100 (8): 58. ISSN 0021-5996. 
  5. ^ "New Line Cinema and United Airlines Team with Hong Kong Tourism Board for In Flight 'Rush Hour 2' Promotion". 2001-07-12. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Rush Hour 2 Has $67.4-Million Debut". Los Angeles Times. August 7, 2001. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Movie Rush Hour - Box Office Data, News, Cast Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  10. ^ "Rush Hour 2 Box Office data". 
  11. ^ "Rush Hour 3". Rotten Tomatoes. 
  12. ^ "Rush Hour 3". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  13. ^ ""Rush Hour 4" is Set in Moscow". 
  14. ^ "Rush Hour 2". Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  15. ^ "Rush Hour 2 Blu-ray (Pre-order Up)". 16 April 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  16. ^ "Rush Hour 2 Blu-ray (2014)". Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Rush Hour 2 Blu-ray". Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Rush Hour 2 New Line Cinema". Archived from the original on 9 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  19. ^ "Rush Hour 2 Blu-ray New Line Cinema". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  20. ^ "Rush Hour 2 Blu-ray New Line Cinema". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 

External links[edit]