Review: POLICE STORY 3: SUPERCOP 警察故事III超級警察 (1992) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Review: POLICE STORY 3: SUPERCOP 警察故事III超級警察 (1992)

Review: POLICE STORY 3: SUPERCOP 警察故事III超級警察 (1992)

In this third instalment, Chan Ka-Kui (Jackie Chan) is assigned by his Hong Kong superiors (Bill Tung, Philip Chan) to go for a secret mission to assist the military police force in mainland China since he is highly recommended as a "supercop". Apparently, the military police force needs someone like Chan to help them nail an international drug syndicate run by Chaibat (Kenneth Tsang). But first, he must prove himself to the military police force's director Yang (Michelle Yeoh) by staging him in a martial art duel with the best fighter in her squad. He is then given a further assignment that requires him to go undercover in a prison camp, where he helps Chaibat's favourite henchman, Panther (Yuen Wah) to escape. After a successful jailbreak, Panther subsequently introduces Chan and Yang, who disguises as his sister, to Chaibat in Hong Kong. Both Chan and Yang manage to win Chaibat's trust, especially after showing their capabilities for helping his men destroy an army fortress run by a General (Lo Lieh) in Thailand when a heroin deal with him and other drug lords goes wrong. Soon after, Chaibat takes them to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where his imprisoned wife, Ching (Josephine Koo) is about to face the death penalty. He wants his men to help Ching escape from custody at all cost. But trouble arises when Chan's cover is blown after he unexpectedly runs into his girlfriend, May (Maggie Cheung), who coincidentally lives at the same hotel.

REVIEW: Seven years after the groundbreaking POLICE STORY (1985) Seven years after the groundbreaking POLICE STORY (1985) and the surprisingly restrained sequel of POLICE STORY 2 (1988), Jackie Chan reprises his iconic role in POLICE STORY 3: SUPERCOP. Released in 1992, the third instalment of the lucrative POLICE STORY movies was the most highly-anticipated Hong Kong action blockbuster of the year. While POLICE STORY 3: SUPERCOP doesn't exactly reach the creative height of POLICE STORY, it was considerably better than POLICE STORY 2.

The good news is, the plot is better and the overall production is more refined than the previous two instalments. But still, the first third of the movie is surprisingly slow-moving, as director Stanley Tong (replacing director Jackie Chan who helmed the first two movies) takes his sweet time to get to the rhythm. The real excitement only generated once Chan and Michelle Yeoh get to strut their stuff in the final half-hour. From there, it's an elaborate stunt sequence that includes Chan hanging on a rope ladder atop the helicopter hovering the city of Kuala Lumpur (he does his own daring stunt here without any safety measures below him); Yeoh performs her own motorcycle jump over the ground and atop the speeding train; and a spectacular showdown at the rooftop of a train that sees Chan squaring off against Chaibat's best fighter, played by Ken Lo.

The comedy aspect is mildly amusing, especially in a brief scene involving Bill Tung disguises as Chan's elderly mother. Acting-wise, Chan is surprisingly restrained here while Michelle Yeoh manages to steal much of the limelight in her highly-energetic role as Yang. In fact, her character is so popular that she is granted her own POLICE STORY spinoff, titled PROJECT S (released the following year). Kenneth Tsang is memorable as the merciless drug lord, while Bill Tung has his fair share of moment playing a comic relief. Maggie Cheung, who is relegated to a smaller role, delivers a thankless performance this time around.

POLICE STORY 3: SUPERCOP was a box office hit in Hong Kong, grossing at a respectable HK$32.6 million (even though it was significantly lower than POLICE STORY 2). The movie earned two nods in Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actor (Jackie Chan lost to Tony Leung Ka-Fai in 92 LEGENDARY LA ROSE NOIRE) and Best Action Choreography (lost to Yuen Woo-Ping in ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA 2).

Like POLICE STORY 2, this third entry may not have reached the same creative height set in the first movie, but still entertains with spectacular stunts and memorable pair up from Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh.

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