Movie Name: Police Story
Studio: Golden Harvest
Genre(s): Martial Arts/Action/Adventure/Comedy
Release Date(s): April 14, 1985
MPAA Rating: Movie Rating
Inspector Chan Ka-Kui (Jackie Chan) has accidentally become a star when he helps lead the police in their capture of a crime lord named Chu Tao (Yeun Chor). When the police find they need more evidence, Chan Ka-Kui is assigned to protect Chu Tao’s secretary Selina Fong (Brigitte Lin) in the hopes that she can provide more evidence to send Chu Tao to jail. As Chan Ka-Kui tries to juggle his job, Selina Fong, and his girlfriend May (Maggie Cheung), he finds that stopping Chu Tao might be tougher than he thought!
Written and directed by Jackie Chan, Police Story (警察故事 or Jǐngchá Gùshì) was released in 1985 in China but never received a proper U.S. release until 1998. The movie started a franchise and is generally well received by critics.
I saw Police Story’s sequels long before Police Story. Jackie Chan became popular in the U.S. (though he was known by many) after Rumble in the Bronx and this meant many of his big hits became retrofitted for U.S. audiences. Due to the fact that both Police Story and Police Story 2 were dated by this time, the U.S. simply adapted Police Story 3 (Supercop) and Police Story 4 (Jackie Chan’s First Strike) with little ceremony for the first two films.
I can’t say I do love the first film in comparison to later versions of the series. I do find the story a bit darker which is a nice change for Jackie Chan, but the movie constantly tries to lighten the mood with Jackie and his girlfriend May…complete with goofy music and moments that don’t always flow with the harder action. The basic principles of the story aren’t bad, but it isn’t always the smoothest path.
Jackie Chan does continue to make his films fun. I enjoy Chan who here is sometimes Chan Ka-Kui, Kevin, or in the American dubbings often just Jackie Chan (with many of his other films). Most American versions of this film do suffer from some horrible dubbing and Jackie Chan didn’t not always voice himself. Despite not always fitting in with the story, some of the comedy between Maggie Cheung and Jackie Chan is decently timed, but Maggie Cheung did go on to better things.
The action for this film (when not downplayed by the comedy) is pretty good. The opening police raid sequence with the car chase through the shanty town is impressive and like most Jackie Chan, you can tell the dangerous stunts by how many times they go into slow motion. A lot of the stunts didn’t go as planned including Jackie Chan’s slide down the pole at the mall which severely injured the star.
The Police Story series is one of Jackie Chan’s better series. I do recommend watching them in order since for a long time that wasn’t even possible in the United States because for at least the first three films, the stories feature recurring characters. Police Story was followed by Police Story 2 in 1988.
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