**/**** Image A+ Sound A- Extras A-
starring Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, John Lone, Zhang Ziyi
screenplay by Jeff Nathanson
directed by Brett Ratner
by Walter Chaw For as long as Jackie Chan has been the logical heir to Buster Keaton's crown, it becomes apparent during the course of Brett Ratner's Rush Hour 2 that he may also be the heir to Peter Sellers's Inspector Clouseau/Pink Panther crown. Blithely mixing the broad racial humour with the broad slapstick theatrics that typify Sellers and Blake Edwards's classic comedies of criminal bad taste, Rush Hour 2 even makes time for a couple of bombshell secret agents, a brief and largely inexplicable interlude involving breasts rendering a man amusingly mute, and a cheerfully inept sidekick who gets in the stray kick now and again. The tenor, then, is dedicatedly light, and the humour is predictably free of cleverness--mostly involving Asians eating dogs and killing chickens, and African-Americans preferring their chickens fried and their karaoke with a heaping helping of Jacko gesticulations. That Rush Hour 2 (and the Pink Panther saga, for that matter) is often so genial in its cheap humour and gratifying in its physical exertions speaks to an almost universal desire to see people get a pie in the face while inelegantly breaking societal taboos. Rush Hour 2 never once aspires to anything other than formula fluff and never once descends into the dangerous realm of superlative entertainment. It is the prototypical summer film: loud, cheap, exploitive, and forgotten almost as soon as it's over.