A reboot of the Police Story series Jackie Chan is Police Inspector Wing. One of the top cops in Hong Kong his world is shattered when his team is killed by a group of sociopathic bank robbers. His life a drunken spiral Wing gets his chance at redemption when he is given a new, younger partner (Nicholas Tse). With a new lease on life he is given one last chance to bring the gang that destroyed his life to justice.
If you like watching Jackie Chan cry, well I don’t want to know you. That makes you weird and creepy. On the plus side I think I found the movie for you. The 2004 entry to the Police Story series forgoes the comedic nature of past films and is heavy on the drama. While I found Nicholas Tse and the rest of the supporting carry their own I can’t say the same for Jackie. It may be years of being the goofball of kung fu but his version of drama seem to be crying a lot. Crying and drinking. Not the fun and happy Drunken Master drinking but the sad “Listen to country music alone” type. Needless to say this isn’t the same Jackie that wore an adorable seal hat.
That isn’t to say the story itself is bad. On the contrary I found the plot to be a lot of fun. While the new vs. old school plot is hardly anything new it is played off pretty well by making the villains here absolutely ridiculous. Led by Daniel Wu they aren’t just bored rich kids. No their bored richness (I assume this a thing) are pushed to the next level by making them into X-Games style sports and making video games about their cop killing exploits. It’s a delightfully over-the-top mix of MTV Sports and the Mean Street Posse.
We also have Nicholas Tse as Frank, the young detective assigned to help Jackie (which lets be honest, we’re all just going to call him). Used as comic relief Tse does quite well and has good chemistry with Chan. There are more name performers in the movie like Charlene Choi and Charlie Yeung but they don’t amount to much in all honesty. While a bit disappointing I’d be hard pressed to say that the movie improves greatly if they did have bigger roles. The attention is on Jackie and Tse which is totally fine.
While the supporting cast can be good the real highlight of the movie, like Police Story movies before, come from the action scenes. Unlike the other films the focus seems to be based a bit more on fighting instead of big stunts. It is a small difference that works out because of good fight choreography and clever locations. That isn’t to say that there were no big stunts. From climbing down a building to a double decker bus chase the stunts are just as exciting as the other movies. While not as death defying the then 50 year old Chan more than delivers. The compromise is not only understandable but leads to some great interaction between Chan and Tse. These moments are when the movie lives up to the Police Story legacy.
There are two ways to look at this movie. If you are looking for a traditional entry in the Police Story series you will be disappointed. While there is comedy and great action scenes the jokey tone of the originals is long gone. If you’re looking for an exhilarating action adventure with some overly melodramatic moments you won’t go wrong with New Police Story. Just be prepared for Jackie Chan crying a grip.