This new Eureka Blu-ray set puts Jackie Chan’s first two Police Story films together in one new release that comes with a 4K restoration of the films and a bundle of extras.
The original Police Story was released in 1985 and is probably still the best display of Chan’s genre-blending mix of often bone-breaking action and slapstick humour. Chan stars as police officer Ka-Kui who apprehends drug baron Chu Tao in the film’s opening action sequence. When he is released on bail, Ka-Kui is given the task of protecting Chu Tao’s secretary Selina until she can testify in court to bring down the criminal empire. That’s more or less it for the plot, as what follows is Ka-Kui trying to balance his private life and girlfriend May against a series of attempts on Selina’s life and a frame-job on Ka-Kui himself.
Chan uses this straightforward template to give us a number of incredibly well-executed action sequences and fights and a no-less intricate set of comedy vignettes, usually involving the professionally accomplished but personally hapless detective making life complicated for himself. It’s a great film, and Chan deftly balances the two disparate genres remarkably well.
Three years later, Police Story 2 arrived as the darker, more complicated sequel. Here Ka-Kui struggles to keep those he loves safe when the villains from the first film try to get revenge, while at the same time he leads a special unit working to apprehend a gang of blackmailing bombers. It’s still run through with that trademark Chan humour but it's a heavier film and as such isn’t quite the good time the original was. However, it’s still entertaining enough and continues to show why Chan is a singular talent.
This set includes three different versions of each film (Hong Kong, Japanese and American cuts) that vary considerably in length. The first film comes with an archival interview with Chan as well as a number of deleted and extended scenes and outtakes. The second film has an optional commentary on the HK version, and as well as some outtakes there’s a 40-minute episode of The Incredibly Strange Film Show from 1989 that focuses on Chan. There’s nothing recent included, which might be a disappointment to those hoping for more.
However, the major hook for this set is those new 4K restorations and they are of a generally very good standard. For the most part, Chan focuses on stunt work and comedy so directorial flourishes are few and far between, but the uncut films are vibrantly presented here in a way that compliments what Chan worked to achieve. It’s an easy recommendation for fans.
POLICE STORY 1 & 2 / DIRECTOR: JACKIE CHAN / SCREENPLAY: JACKIE CHAN, EDWARD TANG / STARRING: JACKIE CHAN, MAGGIE CHEUNG, CHARLIE CHO, CHOR YUEN / CERT: 15 / RELEASE DATE: 20TH AUGUST 2018