Rush Hour 2 (2001)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-Train
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Featurette-Jackie Chan's Hong Kong Introduction
Featurette-Culture Clash: West Meets East
Featurette-Attaining International Stardom
Featurette-Kung Fu Choreography
Audio Commentary-Brett Ratner (Director) & Jeff Nathansan (Writer)
Featurette-Making Magic Out Of Mire
Featurette-Evolution Of A Scene (3)
Featurette-Fashion Of Rush Hour 2
Multiple Angles-Visual Effects Deconstruction
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Easter Egg-Lord of the Rings Trailers (2)
|Year Of Production||2001|
|Running Time||86:22 (Case: 90)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (74:17)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Brett Ratner|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Auto Pan & Scan Encoded||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English dts 6.1 ES Matrix (768Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes, general, in bars (not main characters).|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, free tickets from a certain airline.|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, outtakes during the credits.|
To my mind, there are essentially two problems with Rush Hour 2 - it has almost no story whatsoever, and the funniest line in the movie comes during the outtakes. This is not to say that it is a bad movie - it is still a lot of fun - but the pity is in what could have been. The opportunity was there to do a complete about face, and to focus on the American Detective James Carter's (Chris Tucker) experience in a foreign land. But, as most American movies seem to need to do, Rush Hour 2 cannot deal with the foreign land for too long without heading back to the good 'old US of A. As such, the action only lasts about half an hour in Hong Kong before Carter and his crime fighting buddy Chief Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) are winging their way back to LA.
The story, buried amidst the action and comedy set pieces, is something to do with Triads, led by crime lord Ricky Tan (John Lone) and assisted by his insane high-kicking off-sider (Zhang Ziyi) trying to smuggle counterfeit money into America. Really however, this movie was written to showcase the talents of Chan and Tucker, and their many co-stars (the audio commentary tells of the case of Don Cheadle who would only appear in the movie if he got to speak Chinese and fight with Jackie Chan - and so the part was created for his wishes). In the end, this is what audiences are looking for. This movie could have been titled "Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker do funny things and fight a bit", and still people would have come to see it. The story is really only there to allow the main stars to do their thing.
So, does it work? Well, against all my better judgement, I would have to say that yes, it does. Despite the utter lack of story (and what there is has gaping holes throughout), and the obvious exploitive setups (Chris Tucker and Roselyn Sanchez both appear in bath robes at various times, and both take them off to show off their bodies - I mean honestly, how many people get undressed in front of an open window?), this film delivers exactly what it should - good one liners, and great action. Will I see Rush Hour 3 when it comes out - without a doubt. I guess that means that Rush Hour 2 must have worked.
Presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, this transfer is 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer starts off with a very soft look - this lasts for about the first two minutes. From that point on however, it clears up to be extremely sharp, never lacking for detail wherever necessary. The opening shots are very reminiscent of tourist photography, and simply feature landmarks and images of Hong Kong. The only obvious grain present also occurs during the opening sequence, although this time it is on establishing footage of Zhang Ziyi's character at 1:00, and as such is more noticeable than on the landscape photography. Shadow detail is also very good, showing a great deal of depth during the darker scenes in the movie, of which there are quite a number. There was no low level noise detected.
Colours are spot on, detailing the many highlights of the Hong Kong setting brilliantly, and also showing the equivalently bright, but far more garish nature of Las Vegas with equal ability.
This film was completely free of both film and compression artefacts. The only possible area for complaint is with aliasing. There were only two very obvious instances of aliasing, at 0:35 on the windows of a high-rise building, and at 50:53 on the grille of a truck. Throughout the rest of the transfer however, there were many instances of extremely light aliasing. This is the type where it is not significant enough to notice apart from the slight "shimmer" it generates as the camera starts moving. Fortunately, the very minor nature of the aliasing prevents this from ever becoming more than a small annoyance.
There are two subtitle tracks on this disc. The default is the English translation of some of the Cantonese dialogue (and hence is not burned in to the transfer - which is not the case for the R1 disc), while the English for the hearing impaired track relates almost every word that is spoken. This does occasionally cause the need for speed reading of the subtitles, but it is certainly preferable to paraphrasing.
This is an RSDL formatted disc, with the layer change occurring at 74:17 between Chapters 13 and 14. The placement of the change is quite good, as it occurs on a static shot with no audio, however the length of the change still means that it is noticeable.
There are four audio tracks on this disc. These are the English dialogue in Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (matrixed 6.1), and in DTS-ES 6.1 (discrete 6.1), as well as in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround (although not surround encoded), and finally the audio commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. I listened to both the Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and DTS-ES 6.1 tracks in their entirety, and also the audio commentary track.
Dialogue is always clear and easy to understand (at least when it is in English), although those who have problems with accents may be advised to run with the subtitles on, as we have Chris Tucker's rapid fire speech, Jackie Chan's very thick Hong Kong accent, and Roselyn Sanchez's heavy Latino accent. The combination of all of these makes it necessary to concentrate a little harder than normal on the dialogue.
Audio sync was likewise never a problem on this disc, being spot-on throughout.
The score music for Rush Hour 2 was provided by Lalo Schifrin, who was also responsible for the original Rush Hour's score. It is a contemporary styled orchestral score, which matches extremely well to the on-screen action. The advantage of having the same composer is that the musical themes introduced in the original Rush Hour are continued here, giving a good sense of connectivity between the two movies.
The use of the surround channels is the most disappointing aspect of the audio transfer. The surrounds are used almost exclusively for score and a low level of ambient noise. It is only on rare occasions that they are used for more active effects, and I never detected any directional surround usage. In fact, I do not know why the disc manufacturers bothered with high-tech 6.1 soundtracks as they both play a lot more like Dolby Surround tracks than even 5.1 discrete tracks.
Unlike the surrounds, the subwoofer received a good workout, and added a great deal of punch to the bass where needed (such as during the numerous bomb explosions in the film).
In comparing the DTS track to the Dolby Digital track, the two were indistinguishable, with neither giving any advantage over the other. The poor surround nature of the soundtrack did not lend itself to an analysis of the two competing 6.1 formats.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is excellent after the first few minutes, and is a pleasure to behold.
The audio quality, while sufficient for the movie, is very disappointing given that the soundtracks were specially re-mixed for DVD.
The extras are plentiful, and really give a good amount of background information for what is really a very light piece of entertainment. This is about as good as it gets for a film of this nature.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||All matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)|