2004, Emperor Motion Pictures/China Film Group Corporation/JCE Movies Limited
Jackie Chan (Chan Kwok-Wing)
Nicholas Tse (Frank Cheng)
Charlie Yeung (Ho Yee)
Charlene Choi (Sasa)
Daniel Wu (Joe Kwan)
Dave Wong (Sam Wong)
Andy On (Tin Tin Law)
Terence Yin (Fire)
Hiro Hayama (Max Leung)
Coco Chiang (Sue Chow)
Deep Ng (Hong)
Yu Rong-Guang (Commander Chan)
Sun Chun (Superintendent Kwan)
Jackie Chan makes an official return to his trademark style of Hong Kong style action with this film that also showcases something Chan has wanted to show for a long time. That would be his dramatic side of acting.
Senior inspector Chan Kwok-Wing is one of the most respected officers on the Hong Kong Police Force. When a team of five masked bandits, known as the Gang of Five, rob the Bank of Asia, Chan and his team make a guarantee that they will get the gang in three hours. When they arrive at the gang’s hideout, a search soon turns into a nightmare for Chan and his team. All but Chan are taken down and hung above fifty feet while Chan himself is forced to play a series of challenges. Chan loses the challenges and his entire team is killed.
Flash forward one year later. Suspended for his actions with the Gang of Five, Chan has resorted to spending his nights wallowing in self-pity and going with the bottle. After a night of drinking, Chan is beaten up by two small time robbers and passes out. Waking up in his apartment, he meets the mysterious Frank Cheng, a rookie police officer who claims to be Chan’s new partner and to stop the Gang of Five.
The Gang of Five are ex-U.S. Marine Fire, martial artist Tin Tin Law, computer expert Max Leung, leader Joe Kwan and his girlfriend Sue. All coming from rich families, Joe has hatred for cops due to his superintendent father always harassing and beating him. He and his crew purposely rob banks just so they can kill police officers. As Chan and Frank start their investigation, they run into ex-cop turned gangster Sam, who is able to help the duo. Assisting as well is Sasa, a police computer expert who gets close to Frank. Meanwhile, as the case continues,
Chan finds himself reuniting with Ho-Yee,his one-time girlfriend who he “left” after the incident because her brother Hong was on Chan’s team. She never blamed him for her brother’s death and hopes Chan can get past his worries. However, Chan has a lot more than he bargains for when he learns that his new partner isn’t who he says he is. Despite that, Chan must muster up the courage to once again face his past and stop the Gang of Five once and for all.
After the misfires that were The Tuxedo (2002) and The Medallion (2003), it was time for Jackie Chan to do two things. Go back to his roots of bringing back his brand of action and showcase his dramatic side. The result? Chan is back in true form and gives us something more. For those who feel that Chan has been typecast for so long, one can only watch this film and see that he brings out one of his best dramatic performances as a tortured soul who must face his past if he expect to move towards the future.
Chan gets to team up with the man he once called his possible successor in the action genre, Nicholas Tse. Tse plays what starts out as a rookie officer only to be an actual everyman whose father was a thief and thus, could not be a cop. However, there seems to be some special connection to him and Chan and it is revealed in the finale of the film. Charlie Yeung makes her comeback after a seven-year layoff as Chan’s girlfriend Ho-Yee, who plays it straight and tells Chan how she feels, especially when they celebrate her birthday after the incident that turned Chan into an alcoholic wallowing in self-pity.
Daniel Wu is great as the villainous leader Joe Kwan. While he may seem like someone who is just playing games, like Chan, he too is a tortured soul. Childhood trauma has triggered Joe into hating cops, more like hating his father and because of that, he feels like all the police officer he goes after, he has to imagine they are his father. While still having some sort of respect for his father, Joe feels he must take it out on other officers.
The one other member of the gang who makes the most impact out of the film is Andy On, who plays Tin Tin. Andy, who just two years prior to this film, made his debut as Jet Li’s successor in Tsui Hark’s dreadful sequel Black Mask II: City of Masks (2002). However, upon seeing him in that film, one would hope that as time went on, he would study more martial arts and make an improvement in the genre. After a win for Best New Actor for Star Runner (2003), Andy shows that he fully improved in the action genre. Having suffered a pulled hamstring during his last fight with Chan in the film, he gets doubled by JC Stunt Team member and Korean superkicker extraordinaire Park Hyun-Jin for some of the more complex kicking combinations in the film.
With the JC Stuntman Team in full mode here, the action is quite exciting. Chan even gets to play homage to his 1985 epic Police Story with a chase on a double decker bus and while there is some obvious wirework in some of the fights, it doesn’t hold back anything in terms of the overall action. Even the young Tse gets in on a nice barfight sequences against the likes of JC Stunt Team members Anthony Carpio, He Jun, current JC Stunt Team leader Wu Gang, and others.
New Police Story is definitely one of the best new millennium Jackie Chan films. Showcasing his talents for both action and drama, Nicholas Tse, Daniel Wu, the returning Charlie Yeung, and the “Onimal” Andy On are excellent support for this film.
WFG RATING: A