Star-writer-director–stunt coordinator Jackie Chan’s characteristic eagerness to please is the superglue that holds together his frenetic 1985 action milestone Police Story. Chan’s dynamic set pieces are predictably impressive, especially the multistoried mall chase that only climaxes after he climbs to the top of a dizzying escalator, then slides down a metal pole — and right through an elaborate net of electrified Christmas lights. (In real life, Chan sustained second-degree burns.) But his Buster Keaton–level comic timing and athletic precision add dynamism to relatively sluggish comic scenes where Chan Ka-Kui (Chan), a beat cop tasked with protecting mob informer Selina (Brigitte Lin) testifies in court or fields questions at a press conference.
Chan seems to do everything he can think of to ingratiate himself with viewers. He takes multiple pies to the face, performs impromptu popping and breaking, and even simultaneously answers and (literally) juggles three different phone calls from police tipsters.
Chan applies the same kitchen-sink mentality to Police Story’s concluding strip mall fight scene, wherein he either throws or gets thrown through what amounts to an estimated 700 pounds of stunt-ready sugar glass. See Chan pick grown men up and body-slam them through bookshelves, shop windows, and even a fish tank. Gaze in horror as he rams one heavy through several consecutive sheets of display-case glass with a stolen motorbike. Gasp in awe as Chan ends this insane free-for-all with a blurry freeze-frame — of Ka-Kui being physically held back by two other cops — that practically screams: I’m just getting started.
Directed by Jackie Chan
Fortune Star Media
Opens March 9, Metrograph