Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Police Story

Jingcha gushi; action / crime, Hong Kong / China, 1985; D: Jackie Chan, S: Jackie Chan, Brigitte Lin, Charlie Cho, Maggie Cheung, Yuen Chor

In a spectacular attempt, police officer Kevin Chan Ka-Kui attacks drug mobster Chu who is fleeing with his 3 associates in a bus, but gets caught anyway. Secretary Selina had an affair with Chu, so Ka-Kui gets the assignment to watch over her since she is the main witness. In the house, she gets attacked by a killer, so he brings her to his apartment, which causes his jealous girlfriend to leave him. Chu gets released thanks to a good lawyer and immediately frames Ka-Kui with the murder of his chief. Now the police is after him, but he proves his innocence and arrests Chu in a mall.

Jackie Chan, the master of impossible martial-arts stunts from Hong Kong movies, decided to direct "Police Story" himself, his 5th directorial achievement, in order to present himself in a more serious edition, even adding some bitter themes of corruption and tough life of police officers. Implicitly, the dark-serious approach isn't quite his style, the Bollywood (over)acting of some actors is bothersome and the story is blatant, yet despite only 4 action sequences, "Police Story" as a whole isn't so dramatically different from his opus, whereas he manages to insert a few humorous scenes here and there, like the goofy one where the car is speeding through plastic houses or when the hero is pretending to have a phone conversation with the girl, but she is right behind him. Also, the mall stunt scene shown 3 times, where Chan slides down a long pole 'fireman style', breaking through hundred small light bulbs wrapped around it and causing them to explode through his arms, is a legend and still causes bewilderment over how in the World he managed to survive that. Despite all the flaws, the film still contains that uncapturable spirit of audacity and untramelled creativity of Hong Kong cinema which reached its Zenith in the 80s, demonstrating how they are willing to do extraordinary things to stand out from the ordinary cinema of the world, which instills respect.


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