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The greatest Jackie Chan film of all time; "Police Story" is a humorous, action adventure flick that will leave you thrilled, excited, and awed. All the stunts were man-made and old school, meaning no green screen and body doubles to fake the action, which are rare in today's film society. You can feel everyone's heart and soul put into this. When you feel something strong like that, that means you're watching a damn good flick.
This time travelling machine is Chan's detailed and affectionate piece of work, it beams me back to childhood days with a mature perspective.
Ging Chaat Goo Si (Police StorY)
Chan is obsessed on delivering an engaging story. And when I say obsessed, I mean he has crafted every scene, every frame of the film as a compelling and challenging sequence to reel you in. And boy does it work. Against all odds, all fumbles, all the absurdity and the cliched element of the script, the film stays at the tip of its feet convincing you to be at that very same posture, totally thrilled and enthusiastic about a regular case of an oh-so-non regular cop. But this super cop is never revealing his intentions or the trick of what makes him so absorbing and empathetic towards us.
For it's not that he is a good guy or particularly a bad one. His three dimensional character is what holds up against time, for a film so advanced in the mid '80s, it feels refreshing to know that we are in safe hands, and that guy (Jackie Chan) is the lead actor of the film along with being a writer and director. And for someone who often writes his part, as in the choreography of the action sequences which has always been him figuring out how much and where he can push himself, he knows what and where to flaunt his dancing and comic skills and where to work on simply the merit of the storyline.
Also I'd like to mention the amazingly crisp editing that makes the action look clean for the most part of the film. The loud and cheesy background score that goes for the cheap shot works surprisingly in its favour, especially when the jokes are lost in Chan's innocent eyes and his body that writhes from pain and rage which elevates the mediocre part of the film into a nail biting gritty Police Story.
Jackie had just starred in a major action film that was supposed to be his breakthrough film with American audiences, "The Protector" directed by James Glickenhaus and co-starring Danny Aiello, about two NYC cops who travel to Hong Kong to find the kidnapped daughter of a rich businessman. The problem with that film was that Glickenhaus wanted to make Jackie the next Dirty Harry. When Jackie explained that's not why people go to a Jackie Chan film, Glickenhaus didn't listen and tried to give Jackie a strong silent type of persona that doesn't match is on-screen personality at all or is anywhere close to what we love about Jackie. Also, "The Protector" didn't allow Jackie creative control over his fight sequences, which are less acrobatic and are slower than his Hong Kong films, looking much more like a Chuck Norris movie than a HK production. Jackie was so dissatisfied with the final product he actually reshot significant potions of the film for the Asian release of the film (incidentally, that cut is now available on home video). Following the disappointment of "The Protector" Jackie then wrote, directed, starred, and served as stunt coordinator in his own police themed martial arts action film as a sort of rebuttal to "The Protector" and the result is arguable one of Chan's best films. Jackie himself considers this his best film, where he plays Chan Ka Kui (or Kevin Chan in the English dubbed version), a police detective trying to take down a crime lord, having to protect witness Brigitte Lin before trial (which leads to farcical sexy comedy antics involving Jackie hiding Lin from his girlfriend Maggie Cheung) and later finds himself framed and on the run from the law while trying to catch the bad guys and clear his name. The film features some of Jackie's most memorable fights and stonework. The opening shootout and double decker bus chase scene is a classic. It's so classic that Sylvester Stallone lifted on gag holding a bus a gunpoint for "Tango & Cash." The final action set piece of "Police Story" is an absolute jaw-dropper. There are so many good gags and stunts that make this a classic; crashing a motorcycle through an endless amount of glass, kicking a bad guy down an escalator, one fight involving a clothes rack, to the culminating multi-story drop down a pole though a Christmas light display (which resulted in Chan in real-life getting third degree burns). What "Police Story" does so well is that it mixes Hong Kong martial arts sensibilities (wild acrobatics, jaw-dropping stunts, and general over-the-top action) while also including American action film elements (car chases, gun fights, and a gritty urban setting, all within a fairly standard police procedural plot). Chan promoted the film at the time as a mix of Buster Keaton and Clint Eastwood, which is pretty apt. The film has the plotting of a Dirty Harry film, but interspersed with silly slapstick comedy. That's a blend that may not work as well for American audiences not used to Chan's Hong Kong action films (Dirty Harry doing pies-in-the-face may seem a bit odd), but "Police Story" would serve as a good entry point into some of Chan's HK films that weren't re-released in North America. The US re-edits of Chan's "Rumble in the Bronx" and "Supercop" are probably the best films to start with, but check out "Police Story" (and also "Drunken Master II" although it's a period film) next as a transition film to get into his lesser known HK classics, like "Project A" "Dragon's Forever" "Wheels on Meals" or "Armour of God." Overall, "Police Story" is classic Jackie Chan and essential viewing for fans.
Jaw dropping stunts galore!
Jackie Chan's crime thriller Police Story (1985) is an exhilarating blast like no other action movie. First of all, Jackie Chan's direction is surprisingly fresh and skillful. His use of a still shot focused into followed by a sweeping panning shot is engaging and exciting every time. His quick cuts remain grounded by props and people so that you never lose sight of the action. His storytelling is excellent between the drug dealer plot, police corruption subplot, and romance subplot. Chan tackles police investigations, criminal scheming, courtroom proceedings, and high octane chases with the same brilliant hyper speed focus. Police Story is a well directed film from Jackie Chan early in his career.
The music for Police Story is a pounding and thudding composition full of 1980's excitement and silly ideas. It works to keep you in suspense as well as enjoying the entertaining moments in Police Story. It fits the era perfectly.
Jackie Chan is obviously the reason to watch Police Story. His lightning fast movements compel you through loud shootouts, car chases, foot chases, hand to hand combat, and comedic setups alike. I love getting to see Jackie Chan shoot through several drug dealer henchmen in the beginning. You get to see Chan pull off his own version of The French Connection's sting, which leads into a 10 minute gunfight with bullets firing from everywhere. His car escape by driving through the homes of civilians is hilarious as well as shocking. Chan's stunt work is the stuff of legend as he's really doing the action sequences you witness in Police Story. His clinging to a moving bus with nothing but an umbrella and his strength is awesome.
Furthermore, Chan jumps off a roof into a pool, breaks through endless glass panels, slides down an electric pole, and crashes and fights through an entire mall. There are so many scenes within Police Story that demonstrate Chan's fighting mastery, but also his comedic prowess. One of the best directed and written scenes is when Chan is left alone to answer several phone calls at once. His mixed messages and maneuvering around multiple phone lines is absolutely hilarious. I also thought the scene wherein his girlfriend does not realize his car is about to run them over is funny and well executed. The sequence where Jackie Chan is trying to apologize to his girlfriend for bringing a female witness home is full of mistaken identity comedy. I think Police Story is so well written and executed that there's entertainment for everyone.
Bridget Lin is funny and quick moving as the key eye witness named Selina Fong to the drug lord's crimes. Her comedic timing with Chan is so funny in her apartment during the fake assassination attempt as well as her pretend flirting with Jackie.
Maggie Cheung is lovely and sweet as the endlessly mocked May. She is suddenly introduced as a comedic setup for a relationship dispute then used for plenty of physical comedy. When she tries to drive away and Jackie is holding onto her scooter, you can see her fear and later when she falls down the stairs in the mall, you worry for her safety. She's a fun and versatile actress that rolls with the many punches in Police Story.
Yuen Chor is fun as the smug drug lord Mr. Chu Tao. Bill Tung makes for an admirable defender of policemen doing their work as Inspector Bill Wong. Lastly, Lam Kwok Hung is fearsome and likable as the serious superintendent Lee. He starts out as so rigid and intimidating, then reveals his softer more personal side to his work that I think makes him a well rounded character.
Overall, Police Story is fast paced and fun to the brutal ending combat. Jackie Chan never risked his life and body as much as he does in Police Story.
With all the enjoyably ridiculous action and cheeky humor that Chan fans could hope for, especially considering its opening and closing sequences, the success of Police Story lies in the stunt legend's knowledge of what makes a movie watchable.
The expectedly impressive action and choreography from Jackie Chan, particularly the non-stop insanity in the mall, save the entire picture. I acknowledge the films status as one of Kung Fu cinema's greats, but outside of the slapstick humor, action, and a handful of well-written twists throughout the plot, everything else was either uninteresting or boring.
this is some serious art
Funny, slick and well done action sequences, Police Story is possibly the funniest, craziest and overall best film in Jackie's career
Ging chaat goo si (international title: Police Story) is an action movie with comedic elements about the misadventures of a rookie cop, who goes after a local drug lord. The movie starts on a high note with fast-paced action scenes and greatly choreographed stunts â" however, parts of the plot that can be considered the second act, really change the mood of the whole film and never convey a sense of excitement. The middle part seems narratively incoherent and insignificant to the main plot, slightly marring the otherwise fantastic action movie. The movie may be what brought Chan worldwide fame, making the actor a household name for outstanding stunt work, fast action scenes, and comedic elements.
Full review: http://movie-discourse.blogspot.com/2019/01/ging-chaat-goo-si-hk-1985.html?view=flipcard
Oh man what a great film, just shows how talented Jackie Chan was before he got sucked into a Hollywood Vortex