Review: POLICE STORY 2 警察故事續集 (1988) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Review: POLICE STORY 2 警察故事續集 (1988)

Review: POLICE STORY 2 警察故事續集 (1988)

In this sequel, Chan Ka-Kui (Jackie Chan) who caused severe damage in the public areas during the course of arresting Chu Tao (Chor Yuen) and his men has forced his superior, Superintendent Lee (Lam Kwok-Hung) to demote him as a traffic cop. While in the line of duty, Chan is surprised to discover that Chu Tao has been released out of jail because he is terminally ill from cancer with only three months to live. Despite that, Tao makes sure that he'll make Chan's life a living hell and assigns his bespectacled right-hand man, John Ko (Charlie Cho) to do the dirty work. After John and his men harass Chan's girlfriend, May (Maggie Cheung) and her mother, Chan gets upset and starts a fight at the restaurant. His drastic action forced him to resign and decides to do the right thing for May.

REVIEW: The biggest problem here is Chan's abrupt change from the first story centres on Chu Tao and his men to an entirely new plot focusing on a scene involving a trio of terrorists -- Cheung (John Cheung), Dummy (Benny Lai) and Pau Hung (Ben Lam) -- demanding $10 million as "protection" money after they put a bomb threat in a shopping mall. Despite the fact that POLICE STORY 2 is better plotted than the skimpy original, the overall execution remains somewhat lacklustre. Midway, there's an unnecessary filler involving an unorthodox interrogation scene between three beautiful policewomen (Angile Leung, Crystal Kwok, Ann Mui) and a cocky suspect, Crazy Fai (Andy Dai) where they forced him to spill out the information about the terrorists by torturing him with their martial art skills. Strangely enough, these three female characters are completely ignored in the subsequent scenes.

The first POLICE STORY in 1985 was no doubt a groundbreaking success for Jackie Chan's career and also a milestone for the Hong Kong movie industry. Three years later, he's back with the long-awaited sequel in POLICE STORY 2. Fans of the original movie who are expecting the same brutal intensity and insanely-choreographed stunts will be slightly disappointed with the result Chan has made in this sequel. Instead, POLICE STORY 2 is considerably toned down in term of violence and above all, spectacular stunts that matches the insanity level of POLICE STORY.

Still, the movie does contain some of the best Jackie Chan's trademark stunts. Even though they are not as groundbreaking or highly entertaining as the original, at least the action are reasonably engaging to hold your attention. Earlier, the fight scenes in the restaurant and the playground garden is notable highlights here. The climactic finale, which sees Chan jumping from building to building and vehicle to vehicle in order to capture the bad guys and following with a spectacular showdown in the fireworks factory.

At this stage of his career, Chan has decided to start downplaying his martial art performance in favour for more stuntwork and less personal violence. So one can be sure that the final fight scene involving Chan and the high-kicking Benny Lai is restrained to the point that he has to defeat him by tossing explosive squibs against him instead. As for the acting, Chan is an engaging presence as usual and the rest of the supporting actors are all equally credible.

During the production of this sequel, Chan gets hit full force by a car while crossing an intersection (apparently the stunt driver has somehow miscalculated the timing) and is sent throwing off screen. In additional to more mishap, Maggie Cheung suffered a head injury during the finale while trying to outrun the falling metal frames. If you notice after that metal frames sequence, Cheung does not appear in close-up for the rest of the movie. Her character is either being shot from far away or from behind with a double (Crystal Kwok) taking over her place. Cheung's head injury can be seen during the outtakes from the end credits.

Overall, POLICE STORY 2 remains an entertaining, if inferior sequel. Ironically, the sequel did better than the groundbreaking original, with a remarkable gross of HK$34.1 million at the box office. The movie received an award for Best Action Choreography.

While the plot is uneven and the action is significantly less spectacular than the groundbreaking first POLICE STORY movie, this second entry still engages with Jackie Chan's brand of action mayhem.

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