New Line Home Entertainment
Cast: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Alan King, Zhang Ziyi
Extras: Commentary Track, Deleted Scenes, Bloopers, Numerous Featurettes, Visual Effects Deconstruction, Fact Track, Trailers, Filmographies and so much more
This time around, Detective Carter (Chris Tucker) is visiting Lee (Jackie Chan) in Hong Kong. Friends after their match-up in the original "Rush Hour," Carter is determined to have Lee show him everything Hong Kong has to offer during his vacation, but immediately after Carter’s arrival, Lee receives a call that puts him on a new case – the bombing of the American Embassy in Hong Kong. With Carter in tow, Lee visits a nightclub for an incognito investigation, but before he can even turn around, Carter attracts all the spotlight. Quickly the two are caught in an investigation of the Hong Kong triads and their own internal power struggles and wars.
"Rush Hour 2" comes to DVD as part of New Line’s infinifilm line of special editions. The movie is presented in its original 2.35:1 <$PS,widescreen> aspect ratio from a print that is meticulously clean. No blemishes or mars in the source distract from the movie and the image is absolutely stable and sharp. A little too sharp for my taste, especially since edge-enhancement has been applied quite liberally, resulting in visible ringing artifacts in a good number of shots. I am not sure why New Line – a studio that is otherwise know for its top notch transfers – has decided to apply edge-enhancement to this particular title, but I believe that an untreated presentation of the movie would have looked every bit as good, if not a tad better with more naturally defined lines and edges. That aside however, the transfer is beautiful. Colors are very strong and finely delineated bringing out the beautiful hues and shades of the scenery. The contrast is also very good, making the nighttime scenes in the streets of Hong Kong beautifully neon-flooded, almost impressionistic, imagery. Blacks are very deep, giving the image good visual depth, while highlights are well-balanced. The compression has been done as skillfully as on any New Line release, without introduction of compression artifacts.
The DVD also contains an audio <$commentary,commentary track> by director Brett Ratner and writer Jeff Nathanson. The commentary is very informative and especially Ratner offers a wealth of information on the production and his cast. Whether he discusses his influences, locations, his ambitions, the experience of shooting in Hong Kong, his technique and certain shots, or some anecdotes and memories he has from the set, Ratner is always entertaining and pleasant to listen to. Nathanson is much more restraint but also offers quite some valuable insight, especially in terms of the character development of the main characters.
Due to the nature of infinfilm, the DVD is filled with countless little featurettes and footage on a wide variety of subjects. These materials can be viewed either as the infinifilm feature while you are watching the movie, or separately by accessing them individually from the "infinfilm Features" menu. On this disc you will find a beautiful introduction to Hong Kong by Jackie Chan that makes you wish it were longer. But also featurettes about the language barriers encountered during the production, as well as cultural differences are explored in such features. But also some information about Jackie Chan, the Kung Fu choreography in the movie, the costumes, the visual effects and so much more are covered in these extra features – too many to detail here, really. Another cool infinifilm feature is the "Fact Track," a subtitle track that goes along with the movie, pointing out facts and background information as you watch the film.
"Rush Hour2 " may have a few lapses is continuity and logic – I never knew the FBI has complete authority over the Hong Kong police and simply commands the Hong Kong police force – but I found these things less distracting than in some other films. Given its racy nature and its self-irreverence, the movie simply is too much fun to allow the viewer to be distracted by such trivialities. The DVD comes along with all the bells and whistles you could possibly ask for and the only question I have left is "How did they fit all this stuff on a single DVD?"