Police Story (1985)
Directed by Jackie Chan

Artistic Value: * *
Entertainment Value: * * *

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Chan Ka Kui (Jackie Chan), a Hong Kong police detective, arrests a crime boss operating a drug ring, but the only witness he has to convict this person is the boss' secretary (Brigitte Lin), who is less than cooperative. To prevent her from being threatened by her former employer, Chan is assigned to protect her at all times, despite her hostility towards him. Wisely thinking that she will be less resistant to his help if she realizes the danger she is in, Chan has one of his friends attack the woman in her home so that he can defend her. After the "home invasion" episode, the witness agrees to return to Chan's own flat. There, she is, however, discovered by his girlfriend (Maggie Cheung), who believes Chan is being unfaithful to her. These events inevitably lead to a variety of complications with which the remainder of the movie deals.

Jackie Chan's Police Story, despite its reputation, is not one of the performer's more entertaining efforts. In fact, the movie ranges from maudlin to juvenile to just improbable. The action sequences are, as always, enjoyable, but the remainder of the film is frankly pretty bad.

The puerile humor is particularly dreadful. In one scene depicting court proceedings, for example, an audio recording played of Chan and the secretary speaking in his flat gives the impression that they are discussing his genitals and a sexual encounter between them, much to Chan's discomfort. The movie's other comic sketches are on about the same level.

Fortunately, the action sequences included in the film are genuinely entertaining. The concluding fight sequence, set in a shopping mall, is especially well done, even if some viewers may be annoyed by the general helplessness of Chan's girlfriend.

The faults of Police Story are the same as those of virtually every other Jackie Chan film, just more pronounced, and its virtues are the same as well. Because these faults are more noticeable, however, the movie is not as entertaining as are many of Chan's other efforts, although it is still enjoyable as an action film.

Review by Keith Allen

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