Police Story 2
(Ging chaat goo si juk jaap) (1988)
Directed by Jackie Chan

Artistic Value: * * ½
Entertainment Value: * * * ½

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Shortly after the events depicted in Police Story, Hong Kong policeman Chan Ka Kui (Jackie Chan) is forced to deal with a bomber attempting to extort money from a large corporation, the threats made against him and his ever beleaguered girlfriend May (Maggie Cheung) by the drug dealer he arrested in the previous movie, and the hostility of his superiors.

Unlike many of Jackie Chan's films, Police Story 2 actually presents the viewer with a comprehensible narrative. The story of Chan's investigation of the bomber structures the movie, instead of merely providing excuses for the fight scenes, and Chan's troubles with his girlfriend and his superiors are nicely woven into it. Rather than interrupting the central narrative for annoying comic moments, the two secondary strands both affect the main story and interest the viewer.

Admittedly, the movie does include a number of maudlin moments and a few inept attempts at comedy, but these are not as prominent or as irritating as are those in Police Story. Furthermore, the decent plot and the frequent, exciting fight scenes keep the film enjoyable. Chan's struggles with his antagonists from the first movie in a playground and his final confrontation with the gang of blackmailers in a fireworks factory are particularly rousing.

Moreover, Jackie Chan is as likeable and entertaining as he always is and proves, once again, his talent for performing elaborately choreographed action sequences. While he is not a particularly accomplished actor, he is consistently enjoyable to watch. Some of the other actors can, however, distract the viewer with their less than competent performances.

Police Story 2 is not a great movie, but it is an entertaining, genuinely pleasant diversion.

Review by Keith Allen

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