The problem with New Police Story isn’t that Jackie Chan is too old for this kind of thing. He may be over 50, but as he demonstrates in a succession of lightning-quick scenes he’s still more than able of holding his own in hand-to-hand combat. The problem is that Jackie decided to go back to the well one more time to recapture his audience, but what really caught me with New Police Story was actually the solid story on display here.
Story is simply enough. A bunch of bank robbers who clash with the police are on the lose. After an operation to arrest the gang goes bad, Officer Wing Chan finds himself receiving the blame. Making the decision to drown his sorrows with drink. One year later, Chan returns to the force from an extended alcohol-fuelled leave to bring the gang down.
Before I get to the meat and potatoes, I just want to say how happy I was to see Jackie Chan kicking butt in Hong Kong films again. Hollywood Jackie is sooo not my cup of tea. Rush Hour, The Medallion, The Tuxedo, Shanghai Knights, etc. are all crap, for lack of a better word. With a darker edge than most of Chan’s Hong Kong output, New Police Story is such a refreshing return to form for Jackie that it’s like bumping into an old mate you haven’t seen for years, having an instant connection and heading down the pub for a laugh-filled five-pint catch-up. This is also a surprisingly nasty film, with minor characters (especially cops) killed in a variety of violent ways that seems rather at odds with the general nature of the comic scenes. I read a fun tidbit about this movie that states that the film lays claim to the highest number of police officers injured and sacrificed during its movie running time. I don’t know about you, but for me, that an impressive statistic.
Director Benny Chan knows how to shoot good action scenes and mix up the slow motion with some daring shots like lowering his cameraman down the side of a building with his actors. There’s also some impressive explosions. It may not tax your brain too much, but let’s face it, Jackie Chan has never really been too concerned about the cerebral side of cinema. It’s action all the way with this man, and as a result Jackie Chan’s New Police Story is perfect popcorn entertainment for a Friday night. Or for that matter, any night from Saturday to Thursday too. These are the kind of movies I want Jackie Chan to be in, and I will continue crossing my fingers. Slightly Recommended.