Police Story/Police Story 2 Jackie Chan

Police Story/Police Story 2 Jackie Chan
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Following a few disastrous attempts to break into the American film market, nimble martial arts comedian Jackie Chan took his career into his own hands by conceiving, directing and starring in the Police Story series. With its mix of broad slapstick, highly complex action choreography and death-defying stunt work taking full advantage of the scenery of each setting, the first Police Story refined the Chan formula into an easily repeatable formula for success. The plots are essentially interchangeable variations on themes of police corruption, gang violence and letting duty get in the way of romance. To spice up those basic ingredients, the first film plays with the idea of celebrity law enforcers as a method of recruitment. Unfortunately, like most of the cogent thoughts in these types of visceral, physicality-focused spectacle pieces, the concept floats away on the wind as soon as the action revs up. Whether detective Ku-Kai Chan (they just call him "Jackie" in the English version) goes rouge to fight the system, staging an assassination attempt in order to get closer to a sexy crown witness or getting his faithful girlfriend he was trying to cheat on into all sorts of mean-spirited danger (while playing it for laughs), generic heroics and misogynistic humour aren't what draw audiences to a Chan film; they come for the insane stunts, mongoose-fast fists and feet of fury. To get a sense of how little the specifics of the story matter, try watching either movie with both English dubbing and subtitles on. Enough significant discrepancies are revealed that certain plot points and attitudes of characters change almost entirely depending on which version you take as gospel. Even the Cantonese language track is dubbed, so it's hard to say how much linguistic nuance has been lost in translation no matter which language you choose. Depending on what kind of comedy you favour, watching with English dubbing might yield more laughs. For example: if the idea of a guy with a light Italian-American accent voicing Jackie Chan, pronouncing Sha Tau Kok Station as "Shadow Cock Station," while the hyperactive detective tries to manage calls for the entire precinct, making a joke out of a rape report in the process, gives you a chuckle, you're in for a treat. Most of the insensitive humour is built from "innocent" misunderstandings, but, again, nobody watches a Chan movie for its insight into gender dynamics. To answer the only question that matters: yes, there are more than enough crazy-ass stunts to keep your chin dirty in both movies. The shopping mall sequence in the first and warehouse battle in the second — Chan basically choreographs a round of human Donkey Kong — are among the most wowing scenes of the ultra-positive action director's career. Both chapters of the Police Story franchise included come with a set of special features. Since Chan was already a pioneer when it came to including outtakes over the ending credits, there isn't a great deal of bonus content. All the footage of stunts gone wrong and right is repackaged, along with deleted and alternate scenes, with both the Hong Kong and International versions of the trailers. Watching both is quite revealing of some cultural differences: ditching any display of pretence, the Hong Kong trailers have no banal voice over-explaining three-quarters of the insignificant plot, just action scenes set to the cheesy theme music. (Shout! Factory)