A review by Katharine Schroeder, Kids Corner webmaster
New Police Story is a stunning film. From the acting to the action, from the cinematography to the stunts, NPS is a nearly perfect drama/action movie. There is, however, one thing missing from this film, so prepare yourself. The happy-go-lucky Jackie that you know from his previous films is nowhere to be found. But that's okay.
Jackie shows us a side of himself in New Police Story that has only been hinted at in his past films - that of a serious dramatic actor. Yes, there are scenes from past movies where Jackie has had the chance to showcase this talent - the gut-wrenching scenes with his retarded brother in Heart of Dragon come to mind. Never has Jackie had the chance to show us what he's made of like he does in this movie, however.
Jackie plays Inspector Chan, a Hong Kong police officer with a sterling record. Everything changes when he is set up by a gang of cop-hating thugs who ambush Chan and his team. He is the sole survivor.
Fast forward ahead one year and find Jackie's character stumbling through his life in an alcoholic daze, unable to forgive himself for the loss of his men. He is tortured and in agony. Enter Nick Tse's character who has given himself the job of resurrecting the old Chan and helping him to find the gang of thugs. Ultimately the gang is defeated and Chan is able to come to grips with his devastating loss.
A simple enough plot. Now it's up to Jackie to make us feel what Chan feels- and wow! - does he ever! It is almost painful to watch him stagger around blind-drunk or hungover. Deep lines of grief are carved into his face; his hair is unkempt, and his clothes hang on him. One of the most heart-rending scenes is one in which he stands, a broken and sorrowful man, holding a birthday cake in his hands and trying to sing "Happy Birthday."
Nick Tse's character adds several moments of humor, but they are few and far between. Jackie adds little, if any, humor to the movie. New Police Story is a dark and dramatic movie; both violent and frightening. It is not your typical Jackie Chan movie, but it is a great film.
The movie contains a few interesting extras - like the runaway bus scene (reminiscent of Police Story). The truck full of rubber ducks has "Albert, Willie, and Solon's Duckie Company" written on the side. And I am 99% sure that the office scene near the beginning of the movie was filmed right at the JC Group's offices in Kowloon. (That dragon etched into the glass door looks mighty familiar.) The film is a great introduction to some of the most famous places in Hong Kong, including the magnificent Hong Kong Convention Center. And if you're sitting there asking yourself why Officer Kwan (played by Rongguang Yu) looks so familiar, just think back to Shanghai Noon and remember that he was one of the Imperial Guards.
One more thing: New Police Story is NOT for Jackie's younger fans. It would certainly traumatize them to see Jackie so broken and defeated. The movie is bloody and violent and parents should screen this movie for their children before they show it to them. It is probably not appropriate for kids under the age of 14.
To see a slide show of scenes from the movie and from the making of the movie, click below: