Trivia Jackie Chan sings the theme song, "September Storm".
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Jackie Chan's New Police Story (2004)
22nd Oct 06
Jackie Chan's entire police team is wiped out by a gang of robbers. One year later, Chan returns to the force from an extended alcohol-fuelled leave to bring the gang down.
Hooray Ė shout three cheers from the top of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Ė Jackieís back to what he does best! After years trawling the Hollywood routes of international fame, from the quite good (Rush Hour, Shanghai Knights) to the simply awful (The Tuxedo, The Medallion), Quentin Tarantinoís favourite film star has returned to Hong Kong for an extension to his famous Police Story series, and in doing so has reminded us that thereís still plenty of fight left in this amazing 52 year old action star yet.
Ok, so itís taken almost three years for this film to reach our shores (making Jackie a mere 49 when he made this) and itís not officially a sequel to the Police Story series (more of a marketing gimmick and a similar vein of storytelling) but weíre more than prepared to overlook these things if the action is good enough. And rest assured, the package in Jackie Chanís New Police Story is all present and correct, from outstanding fights scenes, destructive stunts all the way through to the much-loved and heavily copied outtake credits sequence.
This time around Chan plays Chan, Hong Kongís most decorated and respected super cop who foils a bank robbery / hostage situation in the opening scene. However, the peace and quiet of Hong Kongís crime-free streets donít stay peaceful and quiet for long as a gang of extreme sports and video game fans soon break into a bank where they publicly taunt the police to stop them.
Chan responds by leading a team of officers, including Rocky, the younger brother of Chanís girlfriend Ho Yee (Charlie Young), on a raid on the gangís base, but the raid quickly turns into a set-up as Chanís team is taken out one by one in a series of elaborate traps. Chan is the only one to escape (barely) and soon descends into a downward spiral of drink and despair, wracked with guilt and shame at the botched operation.
Cut to one year later, and Frank (Nicholas Tse) stumbles upon an unconscious Chan in the street and takes him back home to clean him up. Chan is less than grateful at first, but Frank tells Chan that he is a young policeman who idolised the old Chan and then sets about reuniting Chan with his girlfriend. Frank urges Chan to return to work, and after some persuasion they decide to team up to bring down the gang that caused the death of so many of Chanís friends and colleagues.
With a darker edge than most of Chanís HK output, New Police Story is such a refreshing return to form for Jackie that itís like bumping into an old mate you havenít seen for years, having an instant connection and heading down the pub for a laugh-filled five-pint catch-up. The story is engaging with a quirky bunch of bored Ďhipí rich kid villains kicking up a fuss providing the perfect backdrop for a redemptive journey for Chan and some decent enough subplots. Even the acting is pretty good too. Ok, so admittedly Chan still has to stretch perhaps that stretch too far when playing an alcoholic, but his years in the Hollywood system have improved his Ďdramaticí qualities no end, and he even, believe it or not, squeezes out a tear in this film.
But letís face facts; youíre not here to see a new Jackie Chan movie for the acting and the plot. Youíre here for the fights, the action, the stunts, the shits and the giggles. And New Police Story certainly doesnít disappoint on that front. The standout stunt scene here involves an out-of-control double-decker bus ploughing through a crowded shopping precinct with Chan surfing on the top trying to halt itís destructive path, whilst other highlights include abseiling BMX bikes, Chan swinging from flaming ropes, a couple of huge explosions, and the final Ďdanglingí confrontation on top of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The fight sequences are top-notch also and although itís fairly obvious Chan is getting slightly limited in his old age (the edits are quicker, and there are more close-ups Ė stand-ins? - than a lot of his previous films) the fight sequence between Chan and Tin Tin (Andy On) amidst the Lego display is 110% pure adrenalin. Nice product placement for the Danish brick-builders too.
It may not tax you brain too much, but letís face it, Jackie Chan has never really been too concerned about the cerebral side of cinema. Itís action all the way with this man, and as a result Jackie Chanís New Police Story is perfect popcorn entertainment for a Friday night. Or for that matter, any night from Saturday to Thursday too. Jackie Ė itís good to have you back.
1st Nov 04 Above all though, it is the relationship between John and Laura Baxter which is the filmís central focus throughout, and the gradual disintegration of their relationship amidst a haze of grief.