Police Story a.k.a. Ging chat goo si (1985): Breakdown by Rantbo
Jackie Chan is a cop, fights drug dealers.
The thing about Jackie Chan is, he is almost always playing the same character. Not to say that he can’t act, quite the contrary, but he does often end up playing a slightly stretched version of himself. Which, to be fair, could be said about most action heroes. But, with Jackie, it’s a little different. There’s a reason the most of his films released in America get dubbed and refer to his character as Jackie. And it’s not just because the movie studios releasing them are all fuck-ass retards. It’s because he rarely ever shows range outside of the lovable Buster Keaton-esque unassuming goofball. And don’t get me wrong, I love Jackie Chan for this reason, and I’ve only seen around 20 of his 100 or so movies. But judging by the last 20-25 years, I think my assumption is a safe one.
Anyways, I bring all this up, because POLICE STORY seems to be the most glaring exception to the rule-of-Chan. His role is much darker than most of his other flicks and subsequently makes (at least this entry of the series) a great stand-out feature.
The Action is top-notch and incredibly intense, exciting and brutal. And all for good reason–it’s fucking real. No wires, no stunt doubles* and no pussy-ass CG. Just Jackie Chan, his stunt team and a shitload of hospital visits. You know, the way it should be.
Jackie made this film right after completing his American “debut” failure, THE PROTECTOR. Rather than go into why you’ve probably never heard of it (I’ll leave that for it’s own breakdown), I’ll just say, Jackie was less than pleased with the outcome. So, he decided to film a celluloid ‘Fuck You!’ to the people responsible for managing to mess up a Jackie Chan action film. Something pretty hard to do when you have Jackie Chan as your star. So, yeah. POLICE STORY is great. The plot is simple, yet not stupid. The action is phenomenal. The sets are crazy detailed and highly destructible. And Jackie Chan is in his prime. Sure, his prime lasted 20 years, but still. I think that with this entry he began his golden era of an insane stretch of great movies. My only complaint with this one being a slapstick routine revolving around Jackie answering a bunch of phones that seemed out of place and WAY too long. I think it would have played great in a more light-hearted film, but here, it just seems wrong. But, it’s nothing 10 seconds of FF can’t fix. So, even if you’re not into Jackie, I recommend checking this one out. It’s an action classic and has been ripped off a ton by modern action directors (Brett Ratner, Michael Bay), so it will help you expose them further for the hacks they are.
*The scene in which Chan drives the motorcycle through the glass display cases, it’s not Jackie. But, only because Jackie wasn’t experienced in driving one.
[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]
Jackie Chan is Inspector Chan Ka Kui
I have a feeling that most of the [How Bad Ass…] sections of my Jackie Chan movie breakdowns are going to be pretty re-hashed and short. This is because Jackie is simply one of, if not THE, best action star. I can’t think of anyone who risked their ass more for the sake of action entertainment. The guy is a god damn marvel.
As for the character, Chan kicks the shit out of at least 30 guys. Dives a car literally THROUGH a village. Hangs off a speeding bus with an umbrella. He kidnaps his superior officer. Drives a motorcycle through a mall. And he jumps 8 feet out and 70 feet down an electrified pole. In my opinion, this is the most badass character Jackie has ever played, and will play 3 more times.
[THE BODY COUNT: SIX]
In the opening shootout, 5 cops are shot down and presumed dead. And one pants-pissing officer manages to score a single point for Team HK Police. Not impressive AT ALL–But, the sheer amount of asses kicked in this movie, not only make up for the dismal bodycount, it’s actually more satisfying. Watching a nameless goon get his ass handed to him by Jackie and then writhe around in agony on a pile of broken glass, is WAY better than if he had simply been shot and left for dead.
[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING]
In a scene that would give Dirty Harry a boner, Jackie unloads his frustrations on the main villain, his lawyer and his associate. Chan smashes the one guy’s glasses into his face. He uppercuts the lawyer’s balls, then his face sending him into a display case. And then he tenderizes the main villain’s mid-section with a fury of punches while his fellow officers hold the bastard in place. The stupid chief redeems himself by saying he saw nothing and Chan finishes the drug lord off by kicking him into a shopping cart and sending him through another display case. The film ends as Chan’s friends hold him back from fighting further.
[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]
Jackie is constantly talking and flirting with women, so no dice. He does show his ass, however. Enjoy.
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
Jackie Chan slaps a bitch. And then makes to spit in her face–but doesn’t, because he is a gentleman. Later, the same woman comes to his aid and is punished for it by getting body slammed into not one, but two glass display cases.
Jackie’s girlfriend also takes some licks, as she is shoved down a flight of stairs and then right afterward, kicked down another. And here’s what Chan had to say about her earlier on:
“She’s such a narrow-minded kid… If I cared to sweet-talk, I could have a hundred girls.”
Then a little bit later, me mocks a phone conversation with her, to save face in front of the female witness he’s guarding. Not knowing that she is actually in the room and listening to everything he’s saying:
“Stop crying. You should have behaved yourself. God forbid I ever guard a man. You’d think I was gay! Go reflect on your faults. You need to promise to control your temper and show me some respect in front of my friends.” Granted that last part was said as an act, but still, that’s some pretty chauvinistic shit.
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
This one needs to be seen.
[flashvideo filename=videos/JACKIE!.wmv.FLV /]
Police Story copyright held by Golden Harvest
[Jackie puts a shard of glass to the villain’s throat]
Fellow Cops: “Drop the weapon! We’ll take it from here. The law will take care of it!”
Chan: “THE LAW!? There is no justice! The law is on his side!”
Fellow Cop: “Don’t do anything foolish!”
Chan: “I could kill him right now and never bat an eye!
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
If there were 99 more Jackie Chans, there would be no crime in China.
[THE GIST OF JACKIE: 5 outta 5]
[X] Breaks Into Someplace Or Escapes By Way Of Acrobatics
[X] Has An Annoying Tag-Along Companion
[X] Makes The ‘OW!’ Face And/Or Rubs A Soar Spot
[X] Performs A Ridiculously Dangerous Stunt
[X] Uses A Random Object To Defend Himself
[THE CHECKLIST: 19 outta 25]
[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[ ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[ ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[ ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[ ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[ ] Manly Embrace(s)
[X] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[X] Tis The Season [Christmas]
[ ] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel [Police Story: Part II]
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice