Time for a review of the second reboot in Jackie Chan’s Police Story franchise – Police Story 2013.
This film, much like ‘New Police Story’, is completely unrelated to the original cast and their universe, in a movie with a different feel and flow to the others. Also like the last movie, comedy is virtually non existent as a very serious tone of movie is presented.
In this film Jackie plays Detective Zhong who is visiting his daughter in a private room at a night club. Sounds weird meeting your daughter in a club right? Well she is introducing her douche club owner boyfriend to Zhong when things get a little crazy.
Zhong’s ‘future son in law’, Wu, turns bad guy pretty quickly. He starts by raking in a group of hostages and singling out Zhong and keeping him hostage in a room – having used his daughter to draw him in. From there Zhong escapes and does his best sort out the hostage situation, all while trying to figure out why Wu is after him in particular so he can better understand what is going on.
A Dark, Claustrophobic Thriller
This film doesn’t have the adventure and constantly changing locations of the others. The movie starts at the location of the whole scenario and stays there for more or less the entire film. They do try to get a little creative with the whole format by adding in flashbacks that allow some other bits and pieces of action to be thrown in to mix.
Despite the flashbacks the movie feels very claustrophobic – they’re inside a building with no windows for the majority of the film and the outside world is limited to flashbacks.
The films starts and ends with the first and final act being extremely short – Jackie arrives at the building and it takes 10 or 15 minutes for the hostage situation to take place and the end is very short also (I’m not giving anything way!).
This style of storytelling combined with the dark, closed-in environment definitely does the job in giving you that trapped feeling when relating to the characters.
Of course there’s some personal development going on as the relationship between Jackie Chan’s character Zhong and his daughter dealing with the death of her mother (Zhong’s wife), while he was off doing the whole police thing, adds a little extra character insight. Of course the issue of age as a much older man tries to deal with younger, more energetic enemies also adds a layer of difficulty to Zhong’s position.
The whole story is presented very well and very easily grabs your attention and keeps you ‘in the loop’ with whats going on…
In saying that, the film is without a doubt the weakest of the Police Story movies as this well put together film just drops the sense of adventure present in all those before it. Even the more serious ‘New Police Story’ had a lot happening whereas this movie seems more like a personal struggle in an impossible situation as Zhong is mentally, emotionally and physically tortured – trying to save the hostages and his daughter.
There’s a bit of action in this film, but very quick and unimpressive flashes of it considering Chan’s impressive career. This movie really is a Police ‘story’ in that the events and plot are first and foremost – but they did throw in one decent fight during the film when Zhong had to battle for the right to release a handful of hostages.
The fight between Zhong and young fighter illustrates the age theme perfectly as Zhong struggles to keep up with the younger and more athletic movements of his opponent. He does his best to box but quickly loses his steam as frequent punches and kicks are thrown from the younger fighter
But Chan resorts to some grappling and ground work to beat his opponent – a style which, in my opinion, is more suitable for older people. I gotta say that I loved seeing Jackie Chan using some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu briefly in this film! He’s still bringing new elements to his performances.
A decent film with a lower standard of ‘Chan’ action. It’s an entertaining thriller and delivers Jackie’s emotional performance very well. I’d check it out for sure but don’t expect the martial arts / stunt epics you’ve seen Jackie do in the past Police Story movies.
On Blu Ray –
Region A (US & Canada)
Police Story 2013
Region B (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe etc)
On DVD –
Region Free (US & Canada)
Police Story 2013 (Region Free)