Wednesday, July 13, 2005

New Police Story

Lazy getting around to writing this one up. I watched most of this movie on the plane back from Expo, then finished it up Thursday afternoon. I also watched most of the DVD extras Thursday too (a behind-the-scenes feature, a making-of short, trailers and music video).

There are two kinds of Jackie Chan movies. Serious and comic. In both veins you'll see stunts and martial arts to one degree or another. The Police Story movies have been Jackie's big 'serious' works, and feature drama, stunts and some martial arts. This is not so say that humor is banned from these films, as Jackie Chan made his name with his signature humor. But he tried to establish himself as a serious actor as well, here.

Nailing down a filmography of Police Story movies is difficult, as Jackie Chan and others freely relabel his cop movies, both into and out of this franchise. So it's hard to say how many are 'really' part of the Police Story universe. But the Love HK Film review of the original Police Story links to four films, not counting New Police Story. While hardly definitive, I pretty much agree with this list:

To date, I'd have said that Police Story and Supercop were the two best movies in the cycle, and I haven't seen anything to change my mind. New Police Story is entertaining enough, to the mind of a Hong Kong action movie fan like myself, but it is not a sterling example. Read the linked reviews for more detail, but I think Jackie is finally stepping back from his stuntman, martial arts glory days. The movie is as much an ensemble cast as any he's ever had. True, some of his early work with Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung depended on teamwork, but here, the reliance is on pretty faces and hammy pose striking.

Interesting, though not surprising after all these years, were the behind the scenes documentaries showing Jackie wearing harnesses for every stunt (which were then digitally removed from the film). Jackie works with a net! Now I'm feeling my age.

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