Starring Jackie Chan, Nicolas Tse, Daniel Wu, Andy On
Fight Choreography by Jackie Chan
Directed by Benny Chan
After making some successful but not great films here in America, Chan took himself back to Hong Kong to film a new chapter in the series that turned him into an international superstar, but there are some changes as this is more of a reimagining of Police Story rather than a sequel.
Chan plays Senior Inspector Chan Wing, the best cop on the force who is looking to retire but is training a new generation of cops to take over when he’s gone. In this case he may as well by Supercop Kevin Chan, but the attitude of this film is much more dramatic, but to me, he’s Kevin Chan. He still carries that character’s confidence and swagger, both of which are decimated early on in the film, thanks to a new group of criminals, teenagers who get off on extreme sports and taking everything to the limit, led by Joe, who has some serious daddy issues that become more apparent later. After yet another successful bank robbery that results in a quarter of the Hong Kong police force to be killed, Chan vows to bring the robbers to just in just a few short hours. Of course Joe takes offense to this, and lures the Supercop and his team to a warehouse that is tricked out with traps that would make Jigsaw proud. One by one Chan’s men are injured and captured, until Chan and his future brother-in-law are all that is left, and before long only Chan is left, and he finds himself playing elaborate games for the lives of his men, and he fails every test, causing the deaths of each of his men. Joe and his crew escape before Chan can kill them, and Chan is barely able to escape with all of the bodies before the warehouse explodes, taking with it his confidence and bravado.
The traps are well done, as is his first fight with Tin Tin Law, played by Andy Oh. It’s a great reminder that Jackie Chan can still bring a good fight, but this must be the first film to really acknowledge Jackie’s real age, and his character is beaten because he’s an old man trying to fight as a youngster. If any fans wondered what Jackie has left physically, this is the answer, and that answer is that he’s got quite a lot, but has to modify his fights for what he can still do.
We catch up to Chan, now a drunk in an alley, scared and ashamed to see his fiancee Ho Yee after getting her brother killed, when out of no where comes Frank Chen (Tse), a mysterious young man who decides to help Chan get his life back together and stop Joe and his gang for reasons you won’t find out about until the last scene in the film, but it all makes sense in a pay it forward kind of way. Soon Chan, Frank, and another police operator Sasa go after Joe and his crew, who refuse to go down without one last reckoning…
Even though this is called New Police Story, it share more in common with the first two entries than it does with Supercop and First Strike. It was refreshing to see the action come back to street level crime, instead of the James Bond style adventures of the previous two. It also has the big stunts that we come to expect from Jackie Chan, including a fall from the Bank of Hong Kong, and stunts on a bus reminscient of Police Story 2. He even smacks a lawyer, and we know Kevin Chan doesn’t like lawyers.That’s some Kevin Chan shit right there for you. The film is slickly shot by Benny Chan, but is still gritty in some places. Jackie Chan gives a great dramatic performance here, and make no mistake this isn’t an action comedy. It’s an action thriller with some light moments here and there, mostly provided by Nicolas Tse.
The final fight between Andy On and Chan in a Lego store is fantastic, and shows that Jackie can still do a complex choreographed fight scene if given the time. It’s great to see his character fight using his experience rather than trying to match youthful speed and power with the same.
New Police Story may be a reboot, but it does a great job of starting—and ending—the Police Story series. That makes me excited to see how Jackie will end his Armor of God series that is in preproduction now…
(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best)
CHOREOGRAPHY: (8) Not quite as great as the other Police Story films, but a good return to form for Jackie after his hiatus making Rush Hour sequels.
STUNTS: (9) Great stunts this time around. The gliding down the side of a building with a bicycle, iron bar, and handcuffs was fantastic.
STAR POWER: (8) Jackie looks better here than he has in a while, and Nicolas Tse and Daniel Wu, both of whom Jackie found for the film Gen-X Cops are getting better and better.
FINAL GRADE: (8) A dramatic reboot and ending of a great series and a huge return to form for Jackie Chan. One of his best of the 2000’s.
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