With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Friday, January 09, 2009

ACF 200: Police Story

Police Story / Ging chaat goo si
(a.k.a. "Jackie Chan's Police Story")
Directed by and starring Jackie Chan
Hong Kong, 1985

Back in ACF 193, I announced the upcoming release of Supercop (a.k.a. Police Story 3) next Tuesday, January 13th, 2009. So I thought it'd be worthwhile to take a look at the first two films in the series. Like next Tuesday's release, both are available from Dragon Dynasty. I've owned Hong Kong DVD versions of the entire series for years. But the discs I'll be looking at here are the DD releases.

First of, the film is terrific, a classic, one of Jackie's best. He plays a police officer involved in a major operation to bring down a drug dealer. Maggie Cheung (who was about 20 years old when the film was made and hadn't had her top front teeth fixed yet) is May, his long-suffering girlfriend. Brigitte Lin, one of my all-time favorite Hong Kong actresses plays Selina Fong, the secretary and/or girlfriend of the crime boss; their relationship isn't clear, at least it wasn't to me.

The film has incredible stunts. Early on there's a shoot-out and a car chase through - and I do mean through - a hill-top shanty town, followed by further terrific stunt work involving a double-decker bus. The extended finale takes place at a shopping center and culminates in one of Jackie's greatest-ever stunts.

The film is on a single disc DVD from Dragon Dynasty. This version is a bit trimmed down from the original Hong Kong release. Some of what's been cut - nothing of great importance as far as I'm concerned - can be seen in the deleted scenes extra. Other extras include a tribute to Jackie by Rush Hour director Brett Ratner and DD's go-to Hong Kong expert Bey Logan. The two also team up on the feature commentary, which I haven't had a chance to listen to yet.

The other extras are a conversation with Jackie, a featurette with members of his stunt team, and trailer gallery. I particularly enjoyed the insights provided by several members of Cheng Jia Ban (which means "Chan Family Group"), the Chinese name of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team. Really interesting to hear about how certain stunts were performed and how some of them went wrong.

I give the film a 4 out of 4 star rating. It's outstanding, a must see and an ought-to-own.

The extras merit 3.5 out of 4 stars, not just good, but superior offerings.

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