Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
7 hrs ago
6 hrs ago
2 hrs ago
16 hrs ago
10 hrs ago
4 hrs ago
A police raid on a drug gang goes awry, and for detective Kevin Chan, nothing seems to go right from there. Even when the gang boss is brought to trial, he is acquitted when Kevin's evidence disappears from under his nose. His attempt to rescue a beautiful but reluctant key witness results in Kevin being wanted for murder and on the run from both the gang and his own squad. To bring the gang to justice he has to find the evidence and the witness--and stay alive long enough to convince his colleagues of his innocence.
For more about Police Story and the Police Story Blu-ray release, see Police Story Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on March 8, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, Kwok-Hung Lam, Bill Tung
Director: Jackie Chan
» See full cast & crew
Police Story Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, March 8, 2013
Note: This title is currently available only in this bundle: Jackie Chan: Police Story / Police Story 2.
Jackie Chan is one of the most recognizable international superstars of the past several decades, but as with many celebrities, that universal recognition didn't come easily. Chan had already been working in the Hong Kong film industry since he was a child, and eventually gaining some adult work as a stuntman (including in such legendary fare as the Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon ). But as odd as it may seem to us now, there really wasn't that huge of an international market for martial arts films back in the day (despite the success of the Bruce Lee outings), and Chan, once he matriculated into starring roles himself, found his career hobbled and he actually left the film industry for a brief time in the late seventies. Despite a couple of stellar opportunities (including a role in an early John Woo film, the brass ring seemed to be frustratingly out of reach, even in Chan's native land. That finally all changed with the release of Drunken Master in 1978, and that film became a formidable template for much of what was to follow in Chan's film career. Broad physical comedy mixed with over the top action sequences and some incredible stunt work (always performed by Chan himself) became the norm for many (maybe even most) Chan outings from then on, and the Police Story films are certainly no exception. 1985's Police Story, also co-written and directed by Chan, was Chan's intentional choice to mimic the high octane approach of American action films mixed with liberal doses of character based comedy (think Lethal Weapon with a Chinese accent). And what could be more American than a sequel to an incredibly successful franchise starter—hence Police Story 2.
There's more than a little retro quality to Police Story, and one needs to put the film in its proper context to have an understanding of where it falls in Chan's now well known oeuvre. For the most part, Chan was still unknown outside of Hong Kong when this film appeared, and he didn't yet command the larger budgets that would make many of his later films more technically accomplished and certainly nicer to look at. Police Story almost has an indie feel to it at times; it's haphazardly edited, not very well shot at times and kind of careens from manic set piece to manic set piece. But even with those issues, it remains an often very funny and very exciting film.
Chan plays a cop who is variously named in different versions (Police Story has a rather colorful history in terms of dubbing and edits). In the Cantonese version his name is Chan Ka-Kui, and while ostensibly his name in the English dub is Kevin, everyone calls him Jackie. Got that? In any case, the film opens with an over the top set piece where Chan and his police buddies are attempting to arrange a sting on a vicious drug lord Chu Tao (Yuen Chor). The sting goes horribly wrong, resulting in a cacophonous shootout (with lots of innocent bystanders running to and fro) and, ultimately, a crazy car chase through a shanty town and, finally, a knockout sequence with Chan hanging off the side of double decker bus.
Chan in fact does manage to catch Chu, though of course he ends up destroying half of Hong Kong in order to accomplish his task. That means he's seriously reprimanded in private back at the police station but lauded publicly at a press conference where's he held up as an example of sterling police work. Chan is then tasked with protecting Chu's comely secretary Selina (Bridget Lin) who is more or less blackmailed into testifying against her nefarious boss. That in turn creates a raft of new problems for Chan due to the fact that Selina is not especially enamored of him to begin with, and also due to the fact that her presence causes serious jealousy issues for Chan's girlfriend May (Maggie Cheung).
A series of escalating misadventures ensues which includes a number of tangents with Selina and then a rather surprising twist part way through the film where Chan gets framed for a crime he didn't commit. It all comes careening to a literally smashing finale in one of Chan's (Jackie that is) most legendary set pieces, a huge epic in a shopping mall that must have gone through tons of sugar glass. The hilarious thing is the film has been so hyperbolic that there's a certain irony in Chan's (the character) superiors telling him to restrain himself, only to watch helplessly as he totally loses it with the captive bad guys.
There's no denying that a lot of Police Story is pretty rough around the edges. Chan's direction is a bit wobbly at times, with inartfully framed sequences and way too much dependence on zoom lenses. And the performances tend to be rather cartoonish as well, though that's part of the ambience of the film. But Police Story put Chan on the map with an international audience, and it's not hard to see why. The film lacks any pretensions, which is perhaps its most salient saving grace. There's something to be said for basically mindless entertainment that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Police Story Blu-ray, Video Quality
Police Story is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Shout! Factory with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.33:1. The good news is that based solely on a comparison of screenshots with the Hong Kong release of this title reviewed by my colleague Dr. Svet Atanasov, this version boasts somewhat better saturated color, less noise and a perhaps relatively sharper image (I do not own the Hong Kong version and so cannot do a direct disc to disc comparison and so want to make clear this is done "unscientifically" by simply looking at screenshots). The bad news is, it's still pretty shoddy looking. According to Shout! Factory the HD masters for both of these films were provided by Fortune Star, and some have claimed that these are upscales (I'd be prone to believe it for this film, but Police Story 2 looks noticeably better). The film is downright fuzzy in midrange and wide shots, though to be fair things approach a decent if low grade high definition appearance in some close-ups (see the first and third screenshots accompanying this review for some examples). Overall, though, the bulk of this film is still very soft and pretty grainy looking. Some of this is obviously endemic to the source elements and should not be blamed solely on the transfer. Unfortunately it's fairly evident that some digital sharpening was employed to help overcome some of these issues and edge enhancement is pretty noticeable in some scenes, though it doesn't seem to rise quite to the level of that seen in the Hong Kong release (compare the screenshots of Chan and Lin in the hallway from the two versions to see what I mean). The elements have their fair share of issues as well, with fairly consistent specks and scratches cropping up.
Police Story Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Police Story features loss DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 mixes in both Cantonese and English. "Original" language purists might be a little disappointed with the Cantonese mix, since it's patently obvious that large swaths of this language were dubbed just like the English mix. That means in both of these tracks there are significant quasi-sync issues where lip movements don't quite match the sounds emanating from them. One rather interesting thing is how much louder the dialogue is mixed in the Cantonese track—it's actually kind of startling if you toggle between the tracks. Both of these tracks are pretty resolutely front heavy in their 5.1 versions, though some of the big action set pieces do fitfully engage the surround channels. There are a number of excellent sound effects which help give the film a rather wide dynamic range. Fidelity is very good, though the film's underscore is kind of grating and some might wish it had been mixed a bit softer.
Police Story Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Police Story Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Police Story is a bumpy ride at times, but it's still a lot of fun. Chan has an instantly ingratiating style that helps the film to overcome its rougher moments. This Blu-ray offers a marginally better image quality than the Hong Kong version, and perhaps this is as good as we're likely to get from a film that was made for a relative pittance and may not have been curated especially effectively through the years. There are some okay if kind of underwhelming supplements on this disc, and the audio is fine (if not spectacular), so this is going to be one of those "glass half full, half empty" scenarios where an individual's love for the film may have to compensate for some of the technical shortcomings of the actual disc.
Blu-ray bundles with Police Story (1 bundle)
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Police Story. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Police Story in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
Police Story Blu-ray, News and Updates
No related news posts for Police Story Blu-ray yet.
Police Story Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Police Story Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Police Story Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.