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Police Story II(1988)
His personal war against crime has earned Kevin Chan a demotion from detective to traffic cop just as Hong Kong is hit with a wave of bomb scares. Chan unofficially follows up his own leads and tracks down the bombers, but not before his girlfriend is abducted.
For more about Police Story II and the Police Story II Blu-ray release, see Police Story II Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on December 25, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.0 out of 5.
Starring: Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung, Kwok-Hung Lam
Director: Jackie Chan
» See full cast & crew
Police Story II Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, December 25, 2009
Jackie Chan's "Police Story II" (1988) arrives on Blu-ray Hong Kong-based distributors Kam & Ronson Enterprises. The only supplemental features on the disc are: an interview with Benny Lai, a longtime member of Jackie Chan's stunt team; trailer and photo gallery. English-friendly. Region-A "locked".
The second film in Jackie Chan's Police Story trilogy begins exactly where the first one ended - after his clash with Chu Tao's men, Chan Ka-Kui (Chan) is demoted to a traffic cop; May (Maggie Cheung, Days of Being Wild) has forgiven him and this is all that matters to him. Hoping to further improve their relationship and finally spend some time alone, the two decide to leave the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong for a few weeks.
Before Ka-Kui and May manage to leave, however, Chu Tao's goons appear and begin harassing them. Later on, they also humiliate May's mother. Ka-Kui decides that enough is enough and openly confronts them. After a violent scuffle with Tao's men, he is summoned by his bosses (Lam Kwok-Hung and Bill Tung), and ordered to forget about them.
Things become complicated again when Ka-Kui is asked to assist with a serious blackmail case, and May ends up alone and without a passport on a plane to Bali. Later on, the two are kidnapped, and Ka-Kui is nearly killed after a serious altercation with a group of traffickers. May finally decides to part ways with Ka-Kui, realizing that he is never going to change.
If you liked the original Police Story then you would love Police Story II. Though not as charming as Police Story, this film has double the amount of action seen in the first film, while Chan looks a lot more relaxed in front of the camera. As expected, though, its story is rather straightforward.
The success of Police Story guaranteed that its sequel would have a decent budget, and Chan and his team certainly took advantage of it - in Police Story II the explosions are bigger, the stunts a lot more complex and the camerawork better. The supporting cast is also of higher caliber.
Still, a lot of the same issues from the original film that bothered the critics are again on display here - the character development is unsatisfactory, editing problematic, and soundtrack incongruous with the film's tone. Nowadays, Police Story II also looks dated, but it is certainly not as charming as the original film.
This may not matter much to Chan fans, however, as they have never held him to the same standards the critics have. As long as he delivered more of the same breathtaking action that made him a star, success was guaranteed. Unsurprisingly, this is exactly the type of film Police Story II is - a more elaborate, and expensive, version of the original film meant to please Chan's fans.
Cheung's contribution to Police Story II is a lot more impressive. She is awarded substantially more time in front of the camera and even asked to do a couple of very challenging stunts resulting in her suffering a major head injury (see the outtakes at the end of the film). Like Chan, she also appears a lot more relaxed.
Benny Lai (The Legendary Tai Fei), a longtime member of Chan's stunt team, gives a surprisingly expressive and memorable performance as a deaf criminal with exceptional fighting skills. The final scene where he faces Ka-Kui at the large warehouse is amongst the best in the film.
Police Story II Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Jackie Chan's Police Story II arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Hong Kong-based distributors Kam & Ronson Enterprises.
The transfer for Police Story II is underwhelming. It looks slightly better than the transfer for Police Story, but there are still a number of serious issues with it. Detail ranges from average to poor (the close-ups, in particular, look extremely weak), clarity is very inconsistent and contrast levels problematic throughout the entire film. The color-scheme is also unconvincing; reds, blues, greens, yellows and especially blacks look pale. As it was the case with Police Story, this transfer is plagued by heavy macroblocking. Some occasional frame transition issues are also very easy to spot. Finally, I noticed a number of flecks and tiny scratches while viewing the film. All in all, while Police Story II looks slightly better than Police Story, it is nowhere near as convincing as many probably hoped it would be. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free player in order to access its content).
Police Story II Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are three audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Mandarin Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and Thai Dolby Digital EX 6.1. I opted for the Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track.
Once again, we have a very front-heavy mix. Even during the final twenty or so minutes, when Jackie Chan deals with the gangsters at the large warehouse and there are plenty of explosions, the surround activity isn't overly impressive. Again, the bass appears to have been boosted, though not as much as it is in Police Story. The music is also slightly uneven. Generally speaking, the dialog is easy to follow, but there is some mild background hiss that might annoy the more sensitive amongst you. Strong pops and cracks, however, are not present. For the record, Kam & Ronson Enterprises have provided optional English, Traditional Chinese and Thai subtitles for the main feature. When turned on, they appear inside the image frame.
Police Story II Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Interview - stuntman Benny Lai talks about his collaboration with Jackie Chan and the type of work the star's stuntmen had to do during the years. With optional Traditional Chinese, English and Thai subtitles. (16 min, 480/60i).
Trailer - not subtitled. (2 min, 480/60i).
Photo Gallery -
Police Story II Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Even though Jackie Chan's Police Story II looks slightly better than the original film, it is still not up to the standards we have come to expect from Blu-ray. Let's hope that in the future these films are given the type of treatment they deserve.
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