The Good

Nobody does action like Jackie Chan.

The Bad

A little too much style over substance.

Jackie Chan kicks up a storm in Police Story 2. In this film he plays Chan, a police officer with some unorthodox ways of doing things which gets him in trouble with the top brass. When he is sent back to being a traffic officer, it seems like his life can't get any worse. He soon realizes that life can get a lot worse when a mob leader is released from prison and he wants Chan's head. He goes after Chan's girlfriend and if this wasn't enough to contend with Chan must foil a bomb plot all while bringing the mob boss and other criminals to justice.

As is usually the case with Jackie Chan's films, Police Story 2 features amazing stunts, fights, and the kind of slapstick antics that we are used to from this performer. While at times Police Story 2 seems to try and elevate itself in the name of seriousness, this film can't help but be the enjoyable buttkicking romp that it is.

Features

Commentary Track

Director Brett Ratner and Hong Kong film expert Bey Logan share the commentary duties here. They discuss their reverence for the logo that opens this film, and the banter between these two is actually quite quick all the way through. They also have a lot of laughs as they discuss the camera moves in the film, the use of reaction shots, and they both seem to play a small game of trying to keep up with one another in terms of anecdotes. Lastly, some of the more interesting moments are when they discuss the language of film, more specifically, explaining what that language means in terms of transitions and such.

Stunts Unlimited: The Legendary Police Story 2 Stunt Team

Rare Outtakes

I could be wrong but I think this might have been the credits for Police Story 2 when it was released in another form. It is a mix of on the set shots, with the actors working out their scenes, and a Chinese song plays over this footage. While I am sure if you are big fan of this film and you know it scene by scene, chances are you will really get something out of this. Sadly, to me, it was a mishmash of images that encapsulated the action moments from this film.

Location Guide

Bey Logan walks viewers through various locations in the movie. He points out what exteriors and interiors were used, and he also shows us what places in Hong Kong made it into the film. He then breaks down how these places related to the picture in a screen sense, and he even points out a cameo in the film by Jackie Chan's father. The supplemental features on this DVD are for the diehard fans. While I thought some of the extras were a tad overboard, if I was a rabid fan of this movie, I would love these things.

Video

Widescreen Version presented in a "Letterbox" widescreen format preserving the original "scope" aspect ration. Enhanced for widescreen TVs. This film is big in every way. Even the few scenes where there isn't a lot of action (though those are few), this movie is filled with size and scope. On DVD the transfer looked really sharp. When you watch the extra features you see footage that wasn't cleaned up. This isn't production footage, I believe it was taken from an earlier print of this film. I can only imagine how this movie might look in one of the next generation formats.

Audio

Languages: Cantonese 5.1, English 5.1, Original Cantonese Mono. Subtitled in English and Spanish. I hate to say this but since I watched this movie with the subtitles on, I really didn't get a chance to listen to the sound. Also, and this is probably because of my western sensibilities, I found that I don't like the soundtracks to Hong Kong films. When it's used in American movies it works for me, but usually I have a problem with it in films like this.

Package

Jackie Chan moves across this cover in mid-action stance with a gun drawn, ready for battle. Behind him there is either a lot of smoke or an explosion of some sort. The back features two small shots from this film, a brief description, a Special Features/technical specs listing and a cast list. There isn't too much that is special about this release, but it does have a certain eye-catching pizzaz about it.

Final Word

I will be honest, when I was given Police Story 2 to watch I wasn't that excited. The problem I have with Hong Kong action films is that a lot of times there is too much action. I know that that might seem odd, but I find that if things are too heightened I get worn out. I am big fan of American action films, even though those all seem to be done in a template-like fashion. It almost seems like the stories are set up and the action is interspersed where it is deemed most appropriate. In Police Story 2, this thing is wall to wall action with the character moments feeling a tad forced and false.

After viewing this movie, I thought that it was good, but it was still a tad too zany for my tastes. I think Brett Ratner really knows how to utilize Jackie Chan. He is able to get the best performances possible out of him because the Rush Hour films are not all action. Still, I know that legions of people are fans of these kinds of films, and while I can certainly see why, I much prefer a few more character moments mixed in amongst the action.

Police Story 2 was released August 13, 1988.