Uncle Bill, Say Something Cheeful, Will You?
I was starting to get the feeling that today was a depressing and irritating day, so I decided I wanted to try to watch something that seemed like it might be fun and just hope that I would be able to fake some comedy for a review for the day. I looked everywhere for a movie that had that feeling to it. I tried my Netflix instant queue, I tried my recommendations, I tried the movies Netflix sent me, and I considered my own DVD collection. But none of these felt like they had anything of interest that had a chance to lighten my mood. Then I saw a movie that was an action comedy movie that starred one of my favorite martial arts actors and it just felt right. I’ve seen a great many of this actor’s movies, but I had not seen this one. I had to roll the dice on it because I couldn’t think of anything else that I would trust. And so I review Police Story 3: Supercop, written by Edward Tang, Ma Fibe, and Yee Lee Wai, directed by Stanley Tong, and starring Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Kenneth Tsang, Yuen Wah, Josephine Koo, Maggie Cheung, and Bill Tung.
Kevin Chan (Jackie Chan) is sent to Shanghai on assignment to go undercover and bust a drug lord named Chaibat (Kenneth Tsang). He meets his Interpol contact, Jessica Yang (Michelle Yeoh), and is briefed on his mission to first aid in the escape of a criminal named Panther (Yuen Wah) to gain his trust and use him to get in to Chaibat’s gang. He succeeds in the first part, helping Panther escape, but on the way to Hong Kong, the group passes through the town Kevin claims is his hometown, but is saved from revealing himself by not knowing his surroundings by Interpol having set up people in the town to act like they know him. They go to Kevin’s supposed house and meet his supposed sister, Hana, who is actually Jessica. Later, when the police recognize Panther and try to arrest him, Panther is saved by Hana and Kevin, and Hana pretends that she killed a police officer so that Panther would take her along as well. This gets them officially into Chaibat’s gang, but it also gets them in over their heads.
The combination of this movie and the beers I was drinking as I watched it have greatly improved my mood, so much so that I just mistyped “improved” a record of four times. This review is going to be fun, much like today’s movie. The story was basic and unimpressive – as one could say is fairly typical of a martial arts movie – but the action was fun. The premise of the movie is so common that I’m pretty sure I’ve already reviewed a Donnie Yen movie with the same premise. Cop infiltrates bad guys. Done and done. Also typical with such movies, he’ll get found out eventually. And, also typically, that will probably lead to bad times and a hostage situation with one of his loved ones. They attempt to separate themselves from the other 78% of all movies with this premise by making their movie a martial arts/action/comedy instead of an action/drama, or straight action movie, as they would typically be. We’ll get to the martial arts and the action, but the comedy did not do well with me. It wasn’t painful to watch, but they take the easy way out to attempt comedy and make most of it slapstick, which really hasn’t worked too well for me since I was 8 or so. It wasn’t bad, but it only ever really mustered amusement. I’m also getting the feeling that Jackie Chan may either be a pervert or just sex-starved since most of his movies that I can think of right now involve some form of him accidentally grabbing some girl’s boobs. Whether he’s trying to stop her from leaving or stop her from falling, he will find a way to grab a handful of boob, and usually will drop the girl when he realizes what he’s done. But I had no real big gripes about the story here beyond one thing: the boat they escaped the cops with. It had like 8 engines! Does more engines necessarily mean more fastness?
This is a Jackie Chan movie, so I would say it can be implied that the action in the movie is going to be exciting and fun. And Jackie is probably going to do his own stunts, ‘cause that’s what he does. I was slightly disappointed that Jackie didn’t do that much fighting in this movie – probably because he had to give Michelle Yeoh her screen time as well – but when he did it, it was still very enjoyable. A lot of the other stunts were also very exciting. The top of the excitement for me was, of course, at the climax of the movie. It just keeps amping up. It starts with Jackie running away from a truck with no brakes, to a fight on the rooftops, to him jumping from a building to the ladder hanging from a helicopter, to riding that ladder through billboards, to them landing the helicopter on the back of a moving train, and then fighting around the spinning blades of a helicopter on top of a moving train.
None of the actors really required that they do much by way of performance. The physical stuff was the most taxing for them, I would say. Jackie Chan was fun throughout the movie and great with the action. Michelle Yeoh also did a very good job with the action, but played it more serious as Jackie’s straight man of sorts. She did some great things in the movie, but for me the greatest thing she did was vag kick a lady she was fighting. Maggie Cheung got on my nerves a little bit as Jackie’s character’s girlfriend, but not from something she specifically did. It was more how she was written. When Jackie is undercover and runs into her, she won’t accept the fact that he’s undercover for a long time, even though she knows he’s a cop and was leaving on assignment. Once she finally figures it out, she completely blows it minutes later by discussing the secret operation her boyfriend is on, loudly and surrounded by strangers, in the elevator of the building where he’s on his assignment. Good work, bitch.
When I go into 90% of Jackie Chan movies, I expect the story to be pretty basic, but I expect the movie to be exciting and fun, and that’s what I found in Supercop. It’s a story that offers no surprises and the comedy is usually just slapstick, but the action and fighting in the movie is pretty great and lots of fun. I liked it. You can stream the movie on Netflix if you want to watch something as a fun lark. Supercop gets “You are a super cop” out of “Super cops are a dime a dozen in Hong Kong.”
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