Rush Hour 2 is a 2001 martial arts action comedy film. This is the second installment in the Rush Hour film 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 Los Angeles police detective James Carter. The film finds Lee and Carter embroiled in a counterfeit scam involving the Triads.
Rush Hour 2 was released August 3, 2001 and grossed $347,325,802 at the worldwide box-office, becoming the 11th top 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.
L.A.P.D. Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) is on vacation in Hong Kong, visiting his good 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 American Consulate. 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 Los Angeles 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), a Los Angeles 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 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 US$ 100 million dollars in superdollars (high grade counterfeit US$ 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, 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 escaping 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 the Big Apple.
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