Even with its flaws, “New Police Story” is an excellent action film that beats Chan’s Hollywood’s efforts in every way conceivable.
Released in 2004, Jackie Chan’s “New Police Story” is the tale of the fall, and rise of Inspector Wing (Chan) of the Hong Kong Police Force whose over-confidence is shattered when he loses his entire team to an assault by a group of 5 psychopath teenage killers hell-bent on robbing banks and then waiting around for the arriving police to kill police officers for kicks.
When his entire team is killed, Wing becomes a hapless drunk, feeling guilty for the deaths of his team and his friends, and unable to keep his relationship with his girlfriend, and ultimately sinks into depression until a young cocky “policeman” helps Chan get back on his feet, break the case, and ultimately arrest those responsible.
Although not related to the earlier “Police Story” movies, “New Police Story” is ultimately a tale of redemption, and to a lesser degree, the fear of the young. This movie is also much more darker and raw than Chan’s previous efforts. There is a distinct lack of humour and comedy — this movie intends to be serious, dark and bleak.
One could compare this to Chan’s 1993 movie, “Crime Story”, or perhaps Chan’s dark portrayal of Kevin Chan in “Police Story 2”, as the movie is very heavy on emotion, rather than comedy. Fortunately, the dark storyline is peppered with lots of stunts, action and excellent fight sequences.
Watching this movie could easily lead one to believe that this movie had the sub-title of “Jackie Chan sticks two fingers at Hollywood“, because it really just is a breath of fresh air compared to Chan’s latest Hollywood movies.
There are bucket loads of action sequences, including a sequence with a bus (a nod to Chan’s 1985 hit “Police Story”) as well as other sequences that are eye-popping, or just add a new dimension to this movie.
However, that’s not to say that “New Police Story” doesn’t have its flaws. The movie feels a bit too Hollywood in parts, there are parts that are, to a Western audience, clichéd, and the concept of Generation X “GTA”gamers turning into killers is perhaps a bit too far too far-fetched.
The movie also has a feel to it that its “Jackie Chan vs Generation X” with lots of fresh faces, something that plagued Hong Kong cinema between 2000-2003 where nearly every Generation X pop-star tried and failed his/her hand at the action cinema.
Even so, I believe that this movie is a breath of fresh air – sure the story is a bit too far-fetched, and it can be a bit clichéd at times, and perhaps the movie isn’t as good as Jackie Chan’s “Police Story”, but I really enjoyed this movie — it has plenty of stunts, a reasonable plot, good characterisations and a good soundtrack.
Overall, it gives Chan a chance to pass on the mantle to the new stars of Hong Kong cinema, and it shows Hollywood – that Chan can, if allowed to, can still entertain.