New Police Story

Deal Score0
Deal Score0

Welcome to the next generation of POLICE STORY! The once famous but now disgraced Inspector Chan (Jackie Chan) and his new rookie partner, Frank (Nicholas Tse), are headed towards an action-packed showdown with a sadistic punk gang. It’s a new breed of criminal for sure, but never count out an old pro when it comes to solving the twists…and using his fists!… More >>

New Police Story

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  1. This movie is packed with action. I have long been waiting for the blu-ray release.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Chan Kwok-wing, the protagonist of “New Police Story,” is not (Kevin) Chan Ka-kui, hero of Jackie Chan’s Police Story–or so they say. This Chan is older, wiser…and drunker. In short, he’s a mess. He’s even worse off than Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon: Our second glimpse of him prominently features several adult beverages. A couple of scenes later, he’s facedown in an alley. How the mighty have fallen.

    Flash back one year: Chan is the hot dog cop stud, foiling grenade-wielding hostage takers and punching out shady businessmen in a scene that’s a sort of Police Story Condensed. Shortly thereafter, Joe (Daniel Wu) and his gang of rich-kid criminals rob a bank and then…call the cops. Just when we start to wonder why the bad guys (and girl) want to stage a blatant open-air shootout in the street a la Heat, instead of escaping when they have the chance, we learn that they’re some sort of thrillseekers club, competing among themselves to win the biggest share of the bank loot via a point system. Kill higher-value targets (like, say, cops), get more points and more money.

    Chan, cocky with previous success, declares on the TV news that he will apprehend the gang within three hours. Joe, however, has other plans, and when Chan’s team “infiltrates” the gang’s lair, the gang starts picking them off one by one. When Chan is unable to save them (indeed, Joe has cruelly engineered this foregone outcome), he spirals into depression and self-loathing, distancing himself from both the police force and his fiancée, Ho Yee (Charlie Yeung), whose brother was one of the officers Chan lost. Just as Chan hits rock bottom, a young rookie cop (Nicholas Tse) appears to bring him back into the fold.

    In stark contrast to the raw quickie HK action movies of the mid-90s like Man Wanted, for example, NPS is very slick. Beautifully lit and shot, NPS features some mostly excellent visual effects and dynamic cinematography. It’s not all gritty back alleys and shuttered storefronts; it’s shining chrome and glass and neon. HK has never looked better. Despite all the glitter, however, New Police Story is darker and more twisted than any other Police Story film…or any other Jackie Chan movie, for that matter. OK, so even if this isn’t the same series, NPS still features numerous references to the original PS series, including a double-decker bus that crashes through a lot of glass.

    A solidly entertaining movie, NPS is, nevertheless, not without its annoying little foibles. For one, logic and physics go out the window–or should I say over the ledge?–immediately. The big action set piece in the beginning relies on that most implausible of movie gimmicks: the real-life video game scenario. Meaning that there are lots of intricate traps and setups that depend too much on people being exactly where they need to be. It’s great in the movies, but it would never work in real life, because one misstep breaks the whole chain. Also, there’s a little too much unnecessary wirework for my taste.

    Not surprisingly, with all the neon, chrome and hot English-speaking hipsters, NPS is more than a little reminiscent of Benny Chan’s earlier Gen-X Cops (Benny just loves the HK Convention Centre). As much as I enjoyed the fluffy goodness of GXC, however, in the case of NPS I think there’s too much Benny and not enough Jackie.

    On the plus side, most of the gunfights are nicely restrained, and the police tactics are more realistic than usual. Perhaps my favorite part of the movie, besides Charlie Yeung’s overbite, is a fantastic battle in Legoland between Jackie and Andy On, reminiscent of one of my all-time favorite JC fight scenes: the pachinko parlor fight in the mostly otherwise-forgettable Thunderbolt. And there are some very funny bits that don’t go over the top with the comedy. The “ending” was a little on the sappy side, but it still got to me, and the epilogue/flashback was even more resonant and touching.

    At last, Jackie shows some real range (and a new hairdo, sort of, thank god). He goes from confident and cocky to subdued, tired and weary–and, holy cow, he gets emotional (and I don’t mean just angry). Not once, but multiple times. It’s different, but different is good.

    The supporting players are well cast. Nicholas Tse is quite appealing here–not the lightweight he was in Gen-X Cops. At first I would have preferred Stephen Fung, but Tse won me over. (There is actually a cameo by Fung in the deleted scenes.) He even gets to play his role for some laughs, which was enjoyable.

    The irresistible Charlie Yeung’s Ho Yee takes the place of Maggie Cheung’s longsuffering May and brings some heart and humor to a role that could have been spectacularly unrewarding. On the other side of the female equation is Charlene Choi, who has obviously discovered the secret of eternal youth. How else to explain why she still appears to be 12 years old? For some gravitas, there’s Yu Rong-guang doing his badass straight-arrow cop schtick. A Mandarin speaker, Yu has here been dubbed into Cantonese–but with a distractingly deep voice (I kept thinking of Sonny Chiba in The Storm Riders).

    The standout performer here, hands down, is Daniel Wu. He was merely serviceable in GXC, and I didn’t dig him in Purple Storm, but after seeing him in NPS, I have a new respect for him as (and I don’t use this term lightly) an actor. As the quietly sinister tortured son-slash-criminal mastermind, Wu digs deep and puts it out there. Excellent job, sir.

    I wouldn’t bet that this will be the last of the Police Story movies, New or otherwise, but if it is, it serves as a fitting bookend. In any case, it’s certainly not the last major HK outing we’ll see from Jackie Chan. That I’d bet on. Hey, if Robert Redford is still making action-type movies at his advanced age, Jackie can certainly be making them well into his hundreds. And I almost hope he does.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. I’ve long been a fan of Jackie’s films. He breathed new life into the genre like no other with his humorous style of combat; and it’s inspiring to still see him move like he does at his age. The action in The New Police Story were just as fun as most of his lighter films; and the stunts were typically incredible, just as you expect from a Hong Kong production that isn’t stiffled by Hollywood politics and/or insurance. And despite the more dramatic seriousness of Police Story, with a little Drunken Master mixed in, I found myself laughing much more than I expected. Aside from a few sequences that demand a little further explanation, The New Police Story was about as much fun as my favorite Chan films. The only real disappointment of the Blu-ray was that Lionsgate didn’t include a lossless track for the original language. A lossless audio option is provided for the dub track; but only lossy audio is included in the original Chinese. That said, since I had a guest that doesn’t like reading her movies, I opted for the dubbed track when we watched it and was surprised at the fidelity. The translation was word-for-word the same as the subtitles in the approx 5 minute portion of the film I compared the two. And the harmonics sounded very natural and dynamic. That Jackie did (most) of the voice dub for his character himself, further helped to make sitting through the dubbed track, not only bearable, but enjoyable.
    Rating: 3 / 5

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