New Police Story (2004)
Director: Benny Chan
Cast: Jackie Chan, Nicholas Tse, Mak Bau
Synopsis: A hero cop accidentally leads his team into a trap from which he is the only survivor. Drowning his guilt in booze, he is eventually assigned a new younger partner who turns out to have his own secrets.
If we learn anything from watching New Police Story, it’s that director Benny Chan likes the way large panes of glass shatter on screen and that Lego provided a share of the financing. It’s a flashy, violent action flick aimed squarely at impressionable young men which gives it a remit to dispense with logic when it comes to plot and characters. Having said that, sometimes it’s good to just kick back and put your critical faculties on hold for a couple of hours, and when you do, New Police Story is the kind of movie you want to watch.
Jackie Chan plays Chan Kwok-Wing, a hotshot cop whose confident televised promise to capture the robbers of a bank within three hours backfires spectacularly when the robbers subsequently off all the members of his unit in one night. Even worse, they devise a number of trials guaranteed to ensure the burden of guilt (in terms of conscience, rather than being framed) rests heavily on Chan’s shoulders. One year later, at the end of a year’s sabbatical, he’s a hopeless drunk who shows no compunction either to return to work or to resume his relationship with long-suffering girlfriend Sun Ho Yee (Charlie Yeung). Only the intervention of his new partner, Frank (Nicholas Tse), eventually brings Chan to his senses, and together the new partnership renews the pursuit of the killers.
New Police Story contains all the ingredients of a typical Jackie Chan action picture. It has flashy direction from Benny Chan, a massive amount of gunplay and gimmicks, and some neat stunts, with Mr Chan scampering up and down walls like a human fly. The plot is so far-fetched it’s barely worth getting in to, with little attention paid to the characters or back stories of the ultra-cool criminals who are actually just a bunch of disaffected rich kids led by a boy who turns out to be the son of the Hong Kong police chief. But then we don’t watch Jackie Chan movies for the plot or characterisation, and everyone involved in this brash, breathless action-fest knows exactly which buttons they need to be pushing in order to please their target market.
(Reviewed 30th October 2014)