Police Captain Zhong Wen (Jackie Chan) knows all about sacrifice. He’s always been too busy chasing bad guys to be a father to his daughter Miao (Jing Tian).
Tonight, he’s seeing her for the first time in years – and meeting her fiance, club owner Wu Jiang (Liu Ye). But Wu knows Zhong. And his plans for the evening include taking Miao, Zhong, and the entire club hostage.
Zhong knows about sacrifice. What will he give up to save his daughter?
It’s been a few years since director Ding Sheng and action star Jackie Chan landed in the cinemas with Police Story 2013. Plenty of people have seen it in its previous iteration and its definitely drawn my curiousity having not seen it until opening night, especially with so many mixed reactions by fans.
The film definitely sits apart from Chan‘s more popular Police Story franchise dating back to the 80’s and mid-90’s; Chan‘s New Police Story in 2005 tries to incorporate some of those darker, moodier elements while essentially keeping the film family friendly, but Sheng‘s contribution here truly pushes that film into less colorful, more edgier territory. The film is moody, darkly lit amid its neon backdrop and plays out like a mystery crime drama more than anything, while bringing some action sequences to help embody the story more as an action picture to the fanbase.
Much of the little action that takes place does hold its own with Chan still physically able to do what he does without going crazy. The fight sequences are hard-hitting and brutal, with our principal actor in a much more aged performance that what fans might be used to, and unfortunately a lot of those action sequences are sold short in many portions, while dazzled here and there with high-speed camera work for slow-mo close ups (my guess is it was for the 3D at the time).
Actor Liu Ye, who I absolutely enjoyed in Curse Of The Golden Flower in 2006, does a phenomenal job as the revenge-driven villain in this one, and although he doesn’t quite fit as a formidable screenfighter in this particular go-around, but he holds his own from time to time. The same goes for Jing Tian who plays Chan‘s distant daughter and several of the other supporting actors. At the end though, the film is more of an embodient of Chan‘s evolving post-Hollywood career with much of his filmwork more heavily-infused with drama than anything.
Some of the suspense toward the third act gets a little mediocre as the movie finally pieces its intentions together and only a few of the supporting characters tend to be annoying from time to time which does take a little away from the tonal engagement of the film. All in all, though, Sheng does a tremendous job in constructing a much more different kind of Chan film with some exciting moments of compelling internal family drama, poignant performances and heightened intensity layered with explosive action in a few parts where it’s needed.
More importantly though, it’s Chan‘s film. He puts his best acting foot (and singing voice) forward in this one, and it’s worthy enough to lend at least one theatrical viewing for the experience of watching Chan on screen. It’s not for everyone and does bring an acquired taste.
Speaking of, Police Story: Lockdown releases this weekend in limited theaters, so head over to Well Go USA for the correct listings!