Rush Hour’ sequel speeds to success

Rebecca Opstedahl

Rebecca Opstedahl

“Rush Hour 2”

It’s been hyped as a movie “where the fastest mouth from the West meets the fastest hands from the East,” and the hype rings true. Director Brett Ratner takes us to Tokyo in “Rush Hour 2” where two U.S. Embassy translators have been murdered.

Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) is on the case, and he recruits buddy Carter (Chris Tucker) to help him. They manage to get themselves tangled up with the Triads, China’s most notorious and deadly gang.

The leader of the gang is Ricky Tan (John Lone), the former backstabbing partner of Lee’s father. The officers discover that the Triads have bought U.S. minting plates on the black market and are printing bogus money with plans to distribute the counterfeit all over the world.

Carter’s wisecracking gets the two in trouble, and they are flown to Las Vegas courtesy of the Triads. A new casino is opening. What better place to spend counterfeit money but the gambling capital of the world?

It’s up to the famous duo to once again save the world by kicking and talking their way through all the bad guy muck.

Usually sequels can’t stand on their own, either because they were made in a hurry, which sacrifices quality workmanship, or because the idea is redundant. With “Rush Hour 2,” neither one of these applies.

Sure, you hear some of the lines made famous by the first “Rush Hour,” like, “Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?” But they are delightedly switched around this time.

Tucker and Chan make the best cop duo since Gibson and Glover from the “Lethal Weapon” movies. Combine that talent with the hot fight choreography, and this movie will establish itself as a comedy classic. Stars: 4


Ah, ’tis the season. The season of holiday cheer, bright lights and busy shoppers, but not for everyone.

The movie “Scrooged” (1989) stars Bill Murray and puts a modern spin on Dickens’ classic story, “A Christmas Carol.”

Murray plays Frank Cross, a successful television station president who feels nothing for everyone around him and lives to see the zeros on his paycheck.

His dead partner revisits him one night and tells him that three ghosts will visit him starting the next day.

The Ghost of Christmas Past happens to be a psycho taxi cab driver with rotten teeth and a knack for erratic driving. Cross witnesses the Christmases he spent as a child and when he fell in love.

It’s almost tear jerking, but not really.

The laughs really kick in with the Ghost of Christmas Present. This ghost is a pixie-like apparition who likes to inflict pain by hitting, pinching, slapping, kicking or using any method possible.

Finally, Cross is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future.

All the typical events of the original story take place, but this movie puts a very modern spin on the classic tale.

Murray plays the typical Scrooge to the max, and you really hate him. Even at the end you still don’t like him all that much.

Cross’s life is altered for the best, but you have to wonder if this paranormal experience has really changed his life permanently, or if he’ll go back to his old ways once the new year turns.

This movie is filled with some laughs and corny jokes, but give it a few minutes to warm up, and it’ll become a pretty enjoyable update of a favorite classic.

Stars: 3