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Saturday, 3 February 2018

Retro Review: Police Story 3: Supercop (1992) #jackiechan

Police Story 3: Supercop (Cing Ghaat Gu Si Saam Ciu Kap Ging Chaat)
1992 (released in 1996 in U.S)
Cast: Jackie Chan, Michelle Khan (formerly Yeoh), Maggie Cheung, Ken Tsang, Yuen Wah, Bill Tung
Genre: Action Comedy
U.S & Hong Kong Total Box Office Gross: over $48 million 

Plot: A Hong Kong cop teams up with his female Red Chinese counterpart to stop a Chinese drug czar

'Third Time Is A Charm For This Chan & Yeoh - Led Action Sequel'

The third instalment of the Police Story franchise, which spanned 4 movies in total, arrived at a time that Hong Kong martial arts based action movies, especially those featuring Jackie Chan had hit its peak. I loved the first Police Story, the second film was good but not great, and with Police Story 3, it so easily surpasses the previous offering. Originally released back in 1992, it got its due in the U.S when it came out in 1996. 

Cop Chan Ka-Kui is sent on a secret mission by his Hong Kong superiors to assist the military police in mainland China, as his efforts are being appreciated and alas, he is dubbed ''supercop''. When he gets to China, he hooks up with Chinese Interpol cop, Jessica Yang. Whilst working undercover, Chan helps a gang leader and a few of his accomplices break out of jail. With Chan and Yang, earning their trust, it isn't long until their cover is blown wide open in Malaysia and events then shift back to Hong Kong and the pairing have to figure out how to outsmart & defeat the bad guys. 

This entry takes a different approach to the first two movies: the first being it sees Jackie Chan passing on the director's duties onto Stanley Tung and the second the addition of Michelle Yeoh as Kwai's sidekick partner. As usual, Jackie does some incredible and daredevil stunts and fights, with Michelle Yeoh who matches up with him, every step of the way and ultimately resulting in an epic chase sequence with Chan hanging onto a ladder and Yeoh riding a motorbike and jumping onto a moving train. She measures up to and holds her own alongside Chan, but after seeing her impressive showing in Yes Madam!, I had no worries or concerns that she would struggle against him in the fight stakes. In some instances, she even dominates in a few action setpieces and even upstages him on more than one occasion.  

The comedy and humour are actually a little smarter and more toned down than in the previous movies and Police Story 3 is far more polished, both production-wise and it all comes together onscreen very nicely. 

The one thing that grated me about the previous Police Story was May, Kevin's/ Chan's girlfriend; she was annoying and Jessica is a much better character than Mai. She clutches onto a van for dear life, and still manages to beat seven shades out of the baddies. Michelle Yeoh IS the Jackie Chan of this movie, who almost manages to steal the limelight from Chan. In Police Story 1 and 2, the women were passive, would get beaten up, whine with May and take a few hits and not fight back to defend themselves and Chan would come to their aid & rescue. Thankfully, Yeoh's Jessica is a badass, who resumes her ass-kicking antics from Yes Madam! and takes it up several notches. Her fight scenes were incredible and she was amazing. Maggie Cheung is a little tolerable in her relegated role as Mai and this time around, her somewhat subdued turn did not make Police Story 3 less enjoyable for me. 

Police Story 2 was very good but the movie itself was restrained, the story wasn't as engrossing and it didn't gel in parts, and of course, Mai grated me on so much and she was an annoyance. 

But the original Police Story had my favourite and the best final fight scenes where the action takes place in a mall; with Police Story 3: Supercop, all-round it is probably by all means vastly superior to the first film. The final act in this film comes close to Police Story 1, in terms of high quality. Police Story 3 has the better story, more obnoxious villains, character progression and the addition of Michelle Yeoh and her agility and high-energy fight scenes, enhanced my enjoyment. I've also detected a slight Western/international feel that Police Story 3 evokes. With Stanley Tong's style and approach to this film, he has honed a Jackie Chan action film that appears to be more palatable and accessible for Western audiences to grasp and enjoy. 

I very much enjoyed this instalment a great deal: the stunts and action are bolder and bigger and even more elaborate and the movie itself does something different, whilst at the same time it remains atypical Jackie Chan flick, through and through. 

Final Verdict:

Police Story 3 doesn't quite attain the over-the-top stunts and innovativeness of Police Story 1, but I consider it to be way better than Police Story 2. There appears to be far more polish given to this film, and so it feels even more refined with the higher production values that really galvanised it. 

& the addition of Michelle Yeoh made it even better and even more watchable. 

I think that had Police Story 3 had a final scene that was as or even more outrageous, hard-hitting and over-the-top than as in Police Story 1, that would have made it the best film in the series. 

Regardless still, this was highly enjoyable and such a blast.


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