Police Story III - Supercop
The male and female action gods of HK action –
Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh - team up to create simply one of the best
and most entertaining action films ever to grace the silver screen. In
a film that goes from HK to China to Thailand to Malaysia, there is a near
non-stop torrent of action and stunts.
This film has a much bigger feel to it and
a more international flavor than any of Jackie’s previous films do. One
almost senses that Jackie was trying to send a message to Hollywood – I
can do a Hollywood styled film too – but do it the right way. Even though
the film is fast and furious it never loses its sense of fun and it never
gets so big that the actors get lost. The wonderful chemistry between Jackie
and Michelle is in fact what really drives this film.
This was Michelle’s comeback film. She had
retired in 1987 to marry Dickson Poon, but after divorcing him she was
looking for the right vehicle to come back with. Stanley Tong the director
and a good friend of hers and Jackie Chan invited her aboard. Chan is known
for not giving women a lot to do in his films besides looking helpless
much of the time, but that was certainly not going to be the case here.
Considering the fact that this is a Jackie Chan film, he is amazingly generous
in allowing Michelle lots of opportunities to display her astounding skills.
I don’t know if it was his intention, but in many ways she actually overshadows
him in this film. Her stunts are palpitating and her action fight scenes
are beautifully choreographed and remarkably graceful. Not that Jackie
is sitting around watching Michelle – he does some pretty amazing stuff
as well. It’s incredible though that after five years in retirement, Michelle
looks better than ever. More graceful, stronger, more mature as an actress,
lovelier and a real charisma about her that was not nearly so evident in
her earlier films.
Jackie – playing of course the same character
as in the two previous films – gets assigned to help the Mainland police
track down a drug gang. His partner – looking very spiffy in her military
uniform is Michelle Yeoh. Their plan is to go undercover and break the
brother – Yuen Wah – of the head of the gang (Kenneth Tsang) out of jail.
They succeed in this and later have to escape
from the Chinese security. This scene was Michelle’s big – hello I’m back
– as she frees Jackie and Yuen with a beautiful display of leg kicks and
Soon they are on there way to HK and then
on to Thailand where there is a great shoot out.
This has all been tame though compared to what
happens in Kuala Lumpur where the action goes into hyperdrive. First Jackie,
Michelle and the bad guys run into Jackie’s girlfriend, Maggie Cheung,
who accidentally blows their cover. In the next twenty-minute blur of action
there are three amazing stunts that have you holding your breath.
In the first Michelle leaps onto a moving truck
and holds on to the sides as it goes whizzing through traffic. She eventually
is able to flip on to the top of the truck upon which the bad guys inside
start machine gunning the roof. This forces her to leap backwards – falling
off the truck and on to the top of the car driven by Jackie behind her.
There is a great outtake of this at the end.
Next it is Jackie’s turn – and he admits that
he had to come up with something big to compete with Michelle – so he jumps
on a rope ladder dangling from a helicopter and is taken on the ride of
his life above Kuala Lumpur. He crashes through billboards and skims tree
tops until he finally jumps on a moving train.
The final stunt is performed again by Michelle.
It is amazing in it’s own right – but in particular when you realize that
she had never ridden a motorcycle before this film. So she first had to
learn how to ride a motorcycle and then in the stunt drive it up an incline
– jump 20 feet into space – land it on the same moving train – and stop
the motorcycle before it flew off the train. It’s probably not as easy
as it sounds! Again in the outtakes, a few miscues are shown.
This is just a terrific film and a wonderful introduction
to people who are unfamiliar with HK action. The stunts, the action, the
performances from Jackie and Michelle should win anyone with a beating
heart over to HK films.
As a note it should be mentioned that this
was Jackie’s first movie that was filmed with synch sound. This meaning
that the sound was recorded at the same time as the filming was going on.
All of his previous films were dubbed at a later date – but not by Jackie!
So this is the first time in which the audience actually heard Jackie’s
My rating for this film: 9.0