Ging chaat goo si 3: Chiu kap ging chaat
- The Myth (2005)
- China Strike Force (2000)
- Rumble in the Bronx (1995)
- 100 Action films from both Hong Kong and US
- Babylon A.D. (2008)
- Sunshine (2007)
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Available on Region 1 DVD from all good retailers.
With "Supercop" from 1992 - also known as "Police Story 3" - we're back in familiar Jackie Chan territory. We meet up with maverick Hong Kong cop Ka Kui (Chan) as he overhears his superiors discussing a dangerous mission. Interpol needs help infiltrating the organisation of the drug dealer Panther (Yuen Wah), who's currently being held in a Chinese prison camp. Naturally Ka Kui volunteers, bids a quick farewell to his girlfriend and the next moment he's knee-deep in international police work. Working closely with Interpol agent Yang (the stunning Michelle Yeoh) Ka Kui must bust Panther out of jail, make friends with him and be invited to join his crew. Naturally nothing goes according to plan and soon Yang is forced to go under cover as well, while Ka Kui's girlfriend is also thrown into the mix.
It seems that action movies these days are nothing but a blur of computer effects and hardware. All fire, no soul. That's why it's so nice to pick up one of these old school films. Jackie Chan made a name for himself doing crazy stunts. Without the aid of visual effects or stunts-doubles he regularly puts his own life on the line to get the shot, which pays off in a major way in an action film like this, because everything feels real, and even the most fantastic or ridiculous moments work, because of that sense of realism.
"Supercop" opens with a very quaint credit sequence, which looks like a YouTube mashup of clips from the '70s featuring Chan and his co-stars, but soon we're on the move with Chan and Yeoh, and from that point on it's rock 'n roll till the credits roll. We get bar brawls, shootouts, car chases, even a boat chase, and an insane fight on top of a speeding train, involving a helicopter!
There's little new under the sun for Chan's character, but that's okay. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Chan pulls out all his old tricks. By Western standards he may not be leading man material, but there's no denying he's found the perfect niche combining his unique martial art abilities with that signature boyish charm.
Once again Chan mixes the action scenes with some great comedy moments. Like the sequence where Panther insists they all visit Ka Kui's relatives as they are close to his hometown. Unfortunately since his entire back story is a fabrication, Ka Kui doesn't know the town at all, much less any of its residents. So imagine his surprise when a kid comes up to him on the street, calls him uncle and pulls him over to a house populated by people who greet Ka Kui as their long lost son. One relative after another crawls out of the woodwork with a heartfelt greeting, and Panther is invited to join them all for tea. The penny only drops when Agent Yang is introduced as his sister. It's an absolutely hilarious sequence, the look on Chan's face is worth the price of admission and wait till you see who they got to play his mother! Here's a hint: We've seen him earlier in the film!
Praise also have to go to Michelle Yeoh who is simply fantastic. She can easily hold her own when it comes to the fighting, that's for sure, but when she turns on her feminine charm she's really got Chan in the ropes. I also have to quickly mention Maggie Cheung, who stars as Chan's girlfriend. A year after this film she appeared in the classic "The Heroic Trio", which was one of the very first Hong Kong action movies I ever saw. She's a small, but crucial, part of the plot in "Supercop", and she's always a joy to watch.
As is the case with most Jackie Chan films "Supercop" ends with a montage of outtakes - always my favorite moment - while Chan sings a cheesy pop song on the soundtrack. Oh man, is there ANY better way to end a movie?
Usually we only write about the film on these pages, not the DVD, but since the good folks at Genius has seen fit to provide us with the disc for this review we thought the new Ultimate Edition deserved a few words.
This release marks the first appearance of "Supercop" in the States in a decent version. It was previously only available in a dubbed Americanized version from Buena Vista. This Dragon Dynasty version comes with the proper Cantonese audio track and the original music. This is the 91 minute version of the film. Purists will probably want to get a hold of the slightly longer Hong Kong version as well, but I doubt it looks anywhere near as good as this, besides this version has a nice flow and I didn't miss anything along the way. I do wish, though, that the Cantonese track had been presented in 5.1 like the dubbed track, but I guess the original material didn't support such an upgrade.
There aren't that many extras on this 2-disc set. The crown jewel is Hong Kong expert Bey Logan's Audio Commentary. He's one of the best commentators these days and his tracks are always worth checking out. They are packed to the brim with production details and trivia, and he always takes the time to explain those Asian idiosyncrasies which can be lost on us foreigners.
Disc 2 contains four interviews each running about 20 minutes. They're mostly talking heads interviews. Informative, absolutely, but not very sexy. I guess very little "behind the scenes" material have survived from the old days, so this'll do nicely. All in all a good package, well worth checking out.
"Supercop" is a great ride for Chan fans and would also serve well as an introduction to those who know him from his American films, and want to sample some of his Hong Kong stuff.
You really can't go wrong with one of these classic Jackie Chan movie from the '80s or early '90s. They're fast, fun and it's never anything less than impressive to watch Chan do his thing. Though it does beg the question: How the hell can he still be alive?
NOTE: Thanx to Gwen from Special Ops Media for making this review possible.