I totally forgot how darn entertaining Jackie Chan movies can be. I fell in love with them in the mid-90s when Rumble in the Bronx became a hit here in North America, but he lost me in the following years with too many team-ups with Chris Tucker and Owen Wilson. But, the other day Police Story 1 & 2 came up on the movie channels and I binged both. The fire has been re-lit.
In Police Story Jackie plays Chan Ka-Kui, and Inspector for The Royal Hong Kong Police Force who is planning a major undercover sting called “Operation Boar Hunt”. The operation is a success and leads to the arrest of the crime lord, Chu Tao (Chor Yuen). Since Ka-Kui is the officer on record for the arrest, he becomes a minor local celebrity and his next assignment is to protect Chu Tao’s secretary, Selina Fong (Brigitte Lin), the prosecution’s lead witness.
The rest of the movie is then loaded with Chu-Tao’s attempts to ruin Ka-Kui’s reputation by framing him for murder and kidnap his former secretary. Yeah, this is an ’80s action film trope that comes close to nonsensical. At one point Ka-Kui is in a race with Chu Tao to turn his “data” over to the authorities.
But, what it lacks in plot it makes up for in spades with charm, humor, and out-of-this-world stunts. Ka-Kui’s relationships with his girlfriend, May (Maggie Cheung) and Uncle Bill (Bill Wong) are as memorable as they are hilarious. Maggie Cheung was most impressive as she did some challenging stunts on her own.
I was also expecting some serious disconnect with this being a Hong Kong film from 1985, but this movie is heavily inspired by the action films coming from Hollywood at the time, so, it felt more familiar than foreign.
OK, Jackie singing his own song during the end credits was a little weird, but the one scene that did have me cringing was the one which had Jackie being left behind at the police station to man the phones. It is meant to be light, with him doing acrobatics to answer several incoming calls while holding a conversation with May. One of the calls is from a guy who lost his cow. OK, that’s a good one for comedy. But the others are one from a woman whose husband is beating her and another who was raped… yeeeeaaaahhhh…
Anyway, that’s only 2 minutes of the film. The other in 138-ish is flat-out gold. You don’t even need to take my word for it because the entire film with English subtitles is right here on YouTube:
It’s silly. It’s fun. It’s #MarsApproved. Get ready for a Police Story 2 write up next.