Release: 20th August 2018
Two of Jackie Chan s most iconic films explode onto Blu-ray from incredible new 4K restorations! Featuring some of the most dangerous stunts ever performed on camera, Police Story and Police Story 2 are a dazzling blend of gritty action cop drama and impeccably choreographed martial-arts sequences that revitalised the Hong Kong action genre and established Jackie Chan as a worldwide superstar.
Jackie Chan has always walked that fine line between being a super human wow machine and a tumbling court jester. That special mix has become a hallmark of his career spanning decades. Although the quality of the storytelling surrounding his kung fu set pieces has been uneven at best, it is hard to belittle the efforts of a man who creates such wonders as the closing mall fight of Police Story.
Presented lovingly here in a dual boxset, Chan’s Police Story 1 and 2 are dated AF, but the fights and stunts still remain more thrilling than 90% of anything produced since. As standalone features, the original Police Story is a much better film than the sequel. Both are a tad lame, and both are sometimes more Frank Spencer than Buster Keaton (see umbrella on a bus), but the original just feels hungry to prove itself. The action is pretty relentless, with Chan and his team provoking endless ghost face emojis from the audience. It set the model for a career filled with OMG flips, kicks and fancy moves.
Although Police Story 2 still has some great moments (a playground fight being the most memorable), it seems Chan had become more self aware as a director here. He plays with speed and time, altering the overall effect of the stunning choreography in the negative. He is no Michael Mann when it comes to framing and pacing his action, but he does know how to show off the right beats. Here is a man who focuses more on the fight than how to capture it; which is a positive from the perspective of spectacle, but on occasion it can be a little ropey from an audience P.O.V.
Still, this is by the by when you have one of cinema’s greatest physical talents doing what he does best. Chan is up there with Fred Astaire, Charlie Chaplin, Lon Chaney and Jim Carrey in terms of sheer corporal majesty. And Police Story 1 and 2 will long stand as two shining examples of the Chan pre-Hollywood golden era.
Police Story 1 Grade: B+
Police Story 2 Grade: B-
A Some great features and a pretty decent transfer of the film’s means that this is easily the best version to purchase. There are a number of different cuts of the films, dubbing options for the lazy viewer, and of course some great outtakes and talking heads.
Special Features Grade: A-
A fitting tribute to a dated yet constantly entertaining franchise that birthed an icon.