Review: “Police Story 1 & 2” Help Define Jackie Chan’s Pre-Hollywood Genius

Eureka Entertainment presents Police Story 1 and 2 on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK. each film sports a new 4K restoration meaning audiences can experience Jackie Chan’s death-defying stunts like never before. Martin Carr takes a look at why these films maintain their entertainment value three decades after their original release.

Police Story - Jackie Chan

These two examples of Jackie Chan before he broke Hollywood with the risible but profitable Rush Hour franchise give us an indication of why he was such a success in West. Presented here on Blu-ray with newly translated subtitles, the Police Story films provide two standard plot lines which importantly provide the stage from which Chan’s charisma can take full effect. Packed to the gunnels with death defying stunts all performed in the main by Chan himself, Police Story and its sequel feel blessedly free from corporate interference. Opposite his co-star Maggie Cheung who portrays the long suffering, perpetually in peril fiancée slash girlfriend May, Chan’s Ka Kui is both pursuer and pursued. From the shanty town demolition derby opener to a shopping mall fireman’s pole finale, Police Story and its follow up are fast paced, dynamic and explosively engaging.

Elements of the plot and movie itself feel dated but Jackie Chan is undaunted, seemingly indestructible and always smiling. Near miss action stunts which include hanging from careening buses by umbrellas, running between steel door frames or falling from height through plate glass or construction equipment add an inherent sense of danger. Playing the part of leading man, co-writer and director Chan can be seen in end credit sequences overseeing, being nursed on stretchers or unconscious.

Storylines across both films either involve corrupt businessman or blackmailing bombers out for quick cash. Released in 1985 and 1988 respectively this is only a small slice of the Chan output as the man is nothing if not prolific. Mixing dramatic action with comedic asides and split second stunt work timing it is a surprise that Police Story has yet to be remade, just as Internal Affairs was repackaged as The Departed by Martin Scorsese. Peppered with visual storytelling rather than portions of needless exposition both films thrive on economy.

Although the sequel boasts more outlandish stunts, larger explosions and a noticeable upping of expectations, storytelling remains sensibly simplistic providing both Cheung and Chan room to shine. For any fans of Jackie Chan who want to see him before Hollywood came calling this is your opportunity; someone who is not only inventive and inspiring but lightening quick.

police story, four stars, film review, Top 10 Films

Eureka Entertainment’s limited edition box set (which you can buy on Amazon.co.uk here) features:

Police Story 1 and 2 - Eureka

• Special Limited Edition (3000 Copies) Box Set
• 1080p presentations of both films, sourced from immaculate 4K restorations including Police Story 2 in its full 2 hour version for the first time ever in the UK
• Original Cantonese mono audio track for Police Story
• Restored Cantonese 5.1 audio presentations for both films
• Optional English audio tracks
• Optional Mandarin audio tracks
• Optional English subtitles
• The Police Force version of the first film, originally re-edited for the US video market and featuring its own electronic score by Kevin Bassinson
• Police Story – Deleted and extended scenes, including alternate opening and ending sequences
• Police Story 2 – Outtakes
• Jackie Chan (40 mins) – A documentary on Jackie Chan’s early career from cult film documentary series, Son of the Incredibly Strange Film Show
• Archival Interview with Jackie Chan (20 mins)
• Interview with Benny Lai (15 mins)
• Jackie Chan stunts promotional trailer
• Box set exclusive – Collectors booklets for each film, featuring new essays and archival content

Police Story 1 and 2 - EurekaDirected by: Jackie Chan
Written by: Jackie Chan, Edward Tang
Starring: Jackie Chan, Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung, Chor Yuen, Charlie Cho

Released: 1985 / Genre: Action
Country: Hong Kong / IMDB
More reviews: Latest | Archive

Police Story 1 and 2 - EurekaDirected by: Jackie Chan
Written by: Jackie Chan
Edward Tang
Starring: Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung, Charlie Cho

Released: 1988 / Genre: Action
Country: Hong Kong / IMDB
More reviews: Latest | Archive

Written by Martin Carr

Jackie Chan’s Police Story 1 and 2 Limited Edition Box Set was released by Eureka Entertainment on August 20.

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Film blogger. Writer. Novelist. Singer. Living the dream. Isle of Wight based. Chipping away at the rockface. Leaving a mark...well trying anyway... See More at: http://martincarr.jimdo.com/

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