POLICE STORY (2004-HK)
review by Neo
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Chan is back.... I wanna cry! Also my once favourite actress is back too! CRY
One thing I really wanna say before I begin is that JACKIE CHAN IS BACK and just when I was thinking Chan has lost his former magic as his age does not decrease, he is truly back in stunning fashion and back to most likely his best movie for more than a decade and probably his best effort since Drunken Master 2. Phew, that was a hell of a long time ago when Chan made that classic and after almost a decade in Hollywood, Hollywood has proved only one thing, he is no good at comedy as his laughs does not comes from his mouth, but more so his brilliant and genius action slapstick comedy. It further prove that HK can still produce good action movie and while this movie does not revitalise the cinema like Infernal Affairs nearly did, it certainly is a movie to be remembered and that the year 2004, HK cinema is sort of back to its 90s heyday of classics action movies. Then again, this is just a one off, but I must comment on one thing, that despite this year producing less movies, the quality of movies is generally better in many aspects from the last few dud years - from production values to direction. So that's probably a good sign, but whether the movies are good or not is entirely another question. So what more can I say about the New Police Story is one thing, while I don't love it, but I like it a lot and man and geez and whatever shit, finally Chan is back and that's saying a hell of a lot.
Oh okay and let's continue, it has been a while or should I say a few days since I last wrote the above paragraph and now with a moment of a break, I will continue my review. So let's get the summary up from the official site now: Senior Inspector Wing (Chan) is the most decorated and respected officer at the force. A legend in his time, he leads his select team of officers in solving the toughest case. Frank (Tse) hopes to become the personification of justice. One day he meets Wing stinking drunk in a dark alley. He leads Wing back to the police station and finds the gang's action against the police have been made into an online game, and they must play the game to find the next move. Basically as in all action packed movies especially martial arts, it is not really the highlight, however, the story is not exactly stupid, but actually quite involving, especially appealing to teenagers and early 20s people in a stunning fashion, not usually seen in a Jackie Chan movie. This is definitely an attempt of drama by Jackie Chan.
Firstly I must say is that for all those critics out there that pan Chan's acting in drama, I agree with you, but then again I do not. Yes he is not an actor like Tony Leung, but who is. Chan as always known for stunts and its the inventive fights and stunts and all the expressions (funny ones) that make him a likable INTERNATIONAL superstar. One do not rate Chan movie base of his acting because he is not an actor. While it is unfortunate to say that Chan is no Robert De Niro as he wants to become, I must say, he is back to himself and that's his best and what makes him unique. A presence not felt the same since or ever since Drunken Master 2. On hearing people saying it is weakest of the series, I would comment what a load of bullshit. While it is by no means as stunning and classical as the first 3, I say it is a huge par better than First Strike. I also hear people criticising about the techo storyline and young villains in Daniel Wu and Andy On. Come on, old folks or should I say narrow minded people who are in their 40s, or 50s of declaring a movie as crap just because they don't like technology movies. Internet crimes and crimes involving technology is now a relevant concerns just like the 80s where threat of bombings and kidnappings. So on that very point, the story is extremely relevant. If you want another kidnapping story in a police Story than just go and watch Rush Hour (as the US seems to be slower by 10 years) or the Police Story series. So what do I want to say, is that who the hell cares if Chan can't act dramatic, sure his crying scenes are laughable, but he is at least himself not the clown that Hollywood sees him and on that very point is why I feel that Chan is back to home and that's where he belongs and succeeds.
As I would promise, this will probably be my longest review on this site as reviewing this type of movie I have a lot more to say than say a routine romantic comedy. It is sounding to hear praises to Daniel Wu's acting and I must say he is a very much improved actor in all aspects. His villains smile and in a cute but yet menacing fashion is stunning to watch. As I have criticise him in Love Undercover, I have always notes Wu as a hard working actor than aims to improve. From being same level as Edison when they came out together, I am safely say now that he has surpassed Ed with flying colours. While I am disappointed that he did not fight Chan in the film at all, his acting alone shows much promise for not the near future but many more years to come. So Good Luck mate.
Andy On has been a hit and miss, while being the lead in Black Mask 2 was terrible, he was the only good thing in Star Runner, where his acting coolness earns him the best NEWCOMER award and guess what the moment I saw that movie, I knew I would win that award. Say I am good like predicting, but I am really not that good, but sometimes my feelings can be right. Okay back to the movie, so how did he perform. I would say a few things, very good tight chemistry with Chan in the fight and seemingly seems to be able to match him in every move. His role requires not much acting and fits him perfectly, while not gonna win any awards this time around. But overall, a big supporting role future in this potential filled youngster.
And now the one you all been waiting for, well maybe just myself is the return of my used to be favourite actress! CHARLIE YEUNG! What a star she was, a beauty she used to be and although after a five years absence she is still the same innocence beauty in her. While her acting here is not as good or on par to her last movie a long time ago, she is to be excused for it as the film did not require her to do much anyway. But I must say that I am delighted to see her back on screen and hopefully many more years to come. While people may criticise her role, but think about it, what Chan's movie in HK does the female love interest do a lot, even Maggie Cheung as good as she is does not do much! Although Ah Sa does appear she is just playing her cute cute self again so what more should I even say about it when I have discussed it so many times already and I decided to save your time by not repeating myself again. So if you missed my comments on Ah Sa, just search Ah Sa on my index page!
As to the downfall of Nick Tse, he is able to walk up higher without his head down in what I would call a pretty good comedic and tight performance. From the moment of his film with Karena Lam in Tiramisu, I knew this guy can act and geez many people has told me the opposite. May be I am wrong, but I am pretty sure that Nick can last a long way and his acting is a huge par better than Edison and more natural than Daniel Wu. I am sure he can act and just like his songs, he is at least willing to try new things like writing his own song, while people pan it, may be I am weird I tend to like his style of songs. All in all, he has good chemistry with Ah Sa and Charlie Yeung, while with Jackie, it is slightly questionable, never the less, he is a potential actor that can last a long way. See if I am right in 10 years time (as if you will remember me then!)
As I say before, I don't care what other people say about a film, if I like it, I like it, if you don't it is entirely fine with me, as everyone is entitle to their own opinion. In my reviews I go with the feeling and I do strongly feeling that this movie is a real Jackie Chan movie. In rating movies I do not just rate it, but also place in it in its context and the people starring in it. In a Jackie Chan movie, I rate it as a Jackie Chan movie, not rate it as a drama (then again only idiots will). Surely by now, you will see me giving high marks to a number of films made this year, but what I do is placing films in their context, that is the year that it is being made. For year 2004 - 10/10 movie may well be 7/10 in 1994. So that's how I rate movies too. In terms of action, style, stunts, few can go pass Jackie Chan and while this is not Chan best movie, it is without doubt not the worst as some people I heard from Jet Li Forum said. While it is not up to the Chan's 80s police story series, it is a par better than First Strike and a huge par better than any of his Hollywood efforts. As far as action movies is concern this is one of the better one in recent years and while it is not the best, it is not even crap that so many critics had panned. Perhaps one thing is that I am mainly concerned with is that JACKIE CHAN is TRULY BACK TO HIMSELF!
I rate it 9/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Product Title : New Police Story
Artist Name(s) : |Jackie Chan| Nicolas Tse| Charlie Yeung| Charlene Choi| Daniel Wu| Andy On| Terrence Yin
Language : Cantonese| Mandarin
Duration : 120 minutes
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo) - October 2004