Review: Police Story 2 (1987)


Starring Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung, Bill Tung

Fight Choreography and Direction by Jackie Chan

Of the many sequels Jackie Chan has done, this one is the most direct a continuation from the original as you would ever see. Ka-Kui has to save the day once again…but is it as good as the first? In many ways it is, and besides the fantastic fight scenes, it can be attributed to one person-Maggie Cheung.

We pick up the action as we are once again introduced to Ka-Kui, who now finds his ass on traffic duty due to the shitstorm he caused in the previous film. I guess delivering 4 mall floors of asswhuppery is a bit much, even for Hong Kong. Ka-Kui finds himself directing traffic when May comes to visit him, and a pleasant moment is ruined when that glass-wearing douchebag Ko drives up. In Police Story he was the jackass Jackie socked in the glasses, and evidently that painful moment was lost on him as he starts tossing not-so-subtle threats toward May, and in a real punch to the gut, he shows that Chu, the main villain from the previous film, has been released from prison, the judge citing that he has a disease that is killing him, and he has a few months to live anyway.Chu vows to get his revenge on Ka-Kui before he expires. That evening Ka-Kui and May return from a dinner only to be threatened by Ko. It is here that we also see that May will play a much bigger role in this film than she did in the first one. She’s a great foil for Ka-Kui, and Maggie Cheung and Jackie Chan have that rare chemistry that makes you believe that yes, they are together in spite of each other. Maggie makes it seem so effortless, is it any wonder she became a major star in both China and France?

Fearing for her safety, May goes to stay with her Aunt, but Chu’s men find her anyway, and May busts that bitch Ko a right cross to his glasses, a taste of the pain to come. Unfortunately for Ko and his men they slap both May and her aunt around, and then have the brass balls-and I mean they must have been laced with titanium-to decide to get lunch and the diner across the street. Ka-Kui shows up at the diner, all right, with a tray of ass beating with a side of bitch slap potatoes, and he came to make sure they eat every bite. The fight here is just right, fast and brutal, with Jackie using everything around him as weapons, but in these early films they weren’t the gimmick they would become in later films. He used them because he had to. It’s painted with a more frantic brush and not with a “hey look at me use this ladder, chair, sofa, etc.” Ko, as you would expect, gets his ass royally kicked, and yes, gets punched in the glasses.There are more falls that make you wince in pain, none more than the last one.

Afterward Ka-Kui is chastised by the police chief, the same guy from the last film who looks like he’s 14 years old. Meanwhile just outside of his office Ko yells at everyone in earshot as he curses the police, and the payoff here is great fun as Ko dares Ka-Kui to strike him, and is surprised at what happens next.

That night May and Ka-Kui are on another date when he tells her that he’s quitting the police force. May is thrilled at this, and they plan a trip to Bali, and head to the mall (not the same one as in the last film…I think)to get their tickets. A fellow cop then enlists Ka-Kui’s help as a bomb may have been placed in the mall somewhere. Ka-Kui helps with the evacuation, and no sooner do they think it was a false alarm than the entire mall blows up, and I’m sure Ka-Kui will be banned from entering within 100 yards of any mall in China.

We then meet the group of businessmen who own the mall, as they get a call from the bombers who want a lot of money or something else goes boom. The police chief gets the case, and tries to get Uncle Bill (Bill Tung, but I didn’t have to say that, did I?) to get Ka-Kui to come back, but in a funny turn of events makes the chief do it himself. They do get Ka-Kui back by tricking him to get off his plane, but he leaves May behind as the plane takes off, and realizes too late that he has her passport. Ka-Kui takes the job, and he and Uncle Bill head for a little spy mission, not really realizing that a storm called Hurricane May is brewing over the horizon…

After successfully planting a bug with the business men, Ka-Kui and Uncle Bill return to the police station as a torrential downpour takes place outside. But that was merely letting Ka-Kui know that May had returned, and no one, not Ka-Kui’s martial arts, and not even an army of naked cops can stop her vengeance. This is one of the funniest relationship fights you’ll ever see onscreen, and even more impressive is that May’s tirade is done in one take through several rooms. Maggie really show’s she’s got the acting chops here, as Ka-Kui wilts in fear at her anger. One of the best scenes in the entire series, and laugh out loud hilarious. Brilliant.

That night Ka-Kui tries to make it up to her, but finds themselves ambushed for the final time by Ko and his men, leading to one of the best fights in the series, the playground fight, full of invention and “wow” moments. You’ll never look at a playland quite the same way ever again. After ward May decides to really call it quits as she can’t handle the life he leads, and the enemies he makes.

The film transitions at this point away from May and anyone having anything to do with the first film, and delves into Ka-Kui’s search for the bombers. He is given a team of undercovers who help in this task, as they search for anyone buying explosives. They soon find that this is the work of s small group of men, and no sooner does Ka-Kui think he’s gotten them where he wants them than they first blow up the police station and then kidnap May in exchange for Ka-Kui’s aid in getting them their money! Holy shit, these guys are more ambitious than many of Jackie’s baddies, and they mean the business. During this time we find that Chu is breathing his last breath, but finds himself applauding Ka-Kui as he breathes his last, not quite hating him anymore. You’ll see why.

Ka-Kui is able to escape the bombers clutches before going to free May at a fireworks factory-and you know that some old school JC Justice will commence, and chiropractors will toast their champagne glasses knowing more business is on the way. The bad guys, and even Ka-Kui, take horrifying falls, the likes of which you may never see again. Both May and Ka-Kui find themselves in danger, and working somewhat together they have the bad guys defeated, and their relationship restored. A thrilling action packed ending.

Choreography: (9) The fights, particularly the Playground Fight, is a Jackie Chan classic all the way. Maybe even more inventive than the fights in Police Story 1.

Stuntwork: (10) The stuntmen did a fantastic job once again, selling every fall, of which there were many, and having the balls to come back after the injuries incurred by the stuntmen in the previous film. They have ice in their veins, no doubt.

Star Power: (8) Jackie Chan and Maggie Cheung make a great pair, and Maggie is given much more do to here, no longer quite the one-dimensional character she was in the previous installment.  She played her ever suffering character with a lot of energy and verve, and is the perfect straight woman for Jackie Chan. Her star was poised to take off, and eventually did. Bravo to Jackie for recognizing her talent.

Final Grade: (9) Jackie Chan outdoes himself once again, and had the vision to give Maggie a bigger role than before, and this is a classic martial arts action film with enough action to satisfy the most jaded martial arts fan. I’m never sure whether I think this is better than the first one or not. Either way, a great film.

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2 Responses to “Review: Police Story 2 (1987)”

  1. I remember watching the playground fight over and over back in the day. This was one of my favorites, gonna have to revisit it soon. This is truly Jackie in top form.

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  2. […] STUNTS: (9) Great stuff from these guys. They took hits and tossed themselves around impressively, and timed everything well, and did some of what looked like horrendous falls. We haven’t seen this level of stunt work since Police Story 1 and 2. […]

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