Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz! I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Jackie Chan” with a minor in “Death Defying Stunts”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
This week it’s the long lost Supercult speech for Police Story!
After an undercover sting to arrest crime lord Chu Tao (Chor Yuen), Police Inspector Chan “Kevin” Ka Kui (Jackie Chan) is ordered to protect Chu Tao’s secretary Selina Fong (Bridgett Lin) who plans to testify in court about Chu Tao’s illegal activities. Chu Tao has a plan of his own however, to kidnap Selina and frame Chan Ka Kui for the murder of a dirty cop! Now a fugitive cop killer, Ka Kui must clear his name and bring justice to Chu Tao, all while trying to convince his girlfriend May (Maggie Cheung) that he isn’t cheating on her with Selina! Get ready for the film that put Jackie Chan on the American radar: Police Story.
In 1980, Jackie Chan was virtually unknown to American audiences and was constantly being given supposedly ‘big introduction’ roles in Hollywood flops like “The Big Brawl” and “The Cannonball Run”. The worst of this trend was “The Protector” in 1985. Directed by James Glickenhaus who was then coming off of a different run of horrid films starting with the word ‘the’ (“The Astrologer”, “The Exterminator”, “The Soldier”, etc), “The Protector” featured tons of gratuitous nudity and violence such as a scene in a drug lab in which all the workers are topless women. Jackie Chan hated the film so much that he would later reshoot multiple scenes and replace entire chunks of the film for the Asian release.
Apparently after working on such a disaster Jackie said, “You know, this would be better if I just did it all myself.” So with an attitude that would later grant him everlasting fame among stuntmen and actors alike, Jackie went back to Hong Kong and did just that.
Written, Directed, and Starring Jackie Chan, Police Story is the first of what would become a six film series. The movie was given the title “Police Story” in order to defend against other Hong Kong studios creating copycat films like they did with Chan’s Drunken Master films. The title “Police Story” was so generic that none of the other studios could figure out what it was going to be about prior to it’s release.
Indeed the plot of Police Story seems almost inconsequential. Good cop busts drug lord who tries to frame good cop for death of bad cop so good cop has to clear his name all while saving his relationship with his girlfriend. But seriously, does it matter? It’s Jackie Chan doing what he does best: doing all his own stunts (and almost getting killed in the process) and kicking butt in literally the best gag fights ever put to film.
And when we say he almost died, well…we’re being dead serious. In one scene Jackie flips over a railing and falls through a glass and light display. After the shot ended and the crew made their way to him it was discovered that Jackie wasn’t breaking and he had to be rushed to the hospital. In another scene Jackie slides down a four story tall pole wrapped in electric lights in a shopping mall. Firstly the lights had heated the pole to a point that Jackie got second degree burns on his hands, and secondly when he landed he dislocated his pelvis and nearly fractured two vertebra in his back. Earlier in the film when Jackie’s character hangs off the back end of a moving bus with the curved handle of an umbrella, the prop umbrella had to be made of steel because the wooden umbrellas kept slipping and causing injury. As always with any Jackie Chan film the outtakes over the credits will make you cringe.
Released in 1985, Police Story would go on to make over HK $26 million at the Hong Kong box office and win both best picture and best action choreography at the Hong Kong Film Awards. American critics praised the film for its death-defying stunts and Chan’s overall performance. Even Michael Bay would later rip-off the shanty town chase scene in Bad Boys 2.
Police Story has a 7.6 on IMDB and an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes.
IMDB Reviewer Jack Yan calls Police Story, “Probably Jackie Chan’s best film in the 1980s, and the one that put him on the map.”
IMDB Reviewer David Slicer says, “Police Story is arguably one of the best works by the master of action himself. Compared to other action films, Police Story makes Schwarzenegger and Stallone look like beginners”
Jackie Chan himself said in his autobiography that he considers Police Story his best action film.
Well, fellow Supercultists, if it’s good enough for Jackie then it’s good enough for us, even if it doesn’t have gratuitous topless female drug lab workers!
The Supercult Show is proud to present Police Story!