Jackie Chan is back at it again! He looks older than I'm used to seeing him (and in the cover image above I barely recognize him), he doesn't fight as much, but for his age he is still fairly athletic... and that furrowed appearance he's starting to gain works really well in movies like this.
Compared to the previous Police Story flicks this one doesn't focus so much on martial arts aspects. Compared to the last one, there's considerably less, and for this I was considerably disappointed for a while. But the longer you keep watching, the more the new style gains appeal. Jackie's not a bad actor at all, nor are any of the other actors. The sceneries are detailed, the plot elaborate and as far as criminal drama goes this is one of the best ones I've seen in a long time now. Most of the movie takes place in a single building, and that goes to show how good the movie is, managing to stay captivating despite this surprisingly un-obvious lack of scenery. The intrigue lies in the personalities of the different characters, and as the story moves we keep learning more and more about them.
Jackie Chan plays with the sympathy of the audience, both within the movie and outside it, and the movie delivers a very strong message: the law should be just. It almost makes me believe. The main character is as big a hero as anyone would ever expect him to, and no doubt his intention - these morals of morale seep through. They show hope for humanity, for the element of good within every individual that you sometimes just can't kill. It's just a movie, of course, but it leaves me feeling happy and inspired, more so than the last Police Story.
In truth, this and the Police Story movies of the past are very different movies, with no transition period between them. The last one was probably the last real martial arts movie of the series, and this is (I hope) the re-birth of a great series, a new form of thriller that focuses more on crime and psychology than on the fights and chases, because no matter how much we would like it (I'm sure he would too) Jackie can't keep doing death-defying stunts and expect to keep surviving, or hone is skills to the point he is as quick and flexible as forty years ago. But he does what he can, and I can picture him as some kind of Kung-Fu master in a ton of movies to come, just showing off and not wasting momentum... not necessarily jumping between rooftops or swinging around a ladder. That metal wire stunt was real btw, you know... just look at those bruises! :O
rated 4/5: fo shizzle