Writer: Casey ChongWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Crime Story” and “Shinjuku Incident”.
After martial-art superstar Jackie Chan had publicly announced his "retirement" from performing death-defying stunts in last year's "Chinese Zodiac", (most) fans around the world were in great shock. After all, the world of action movies will never be the same again without Jackie Chan doing what he does best. However, fans can be (at least) rejoiced as Jackie Chan isn't really done making action movies yet and this year he's back in "Police Story 2013"... with a difference.
In this sixth but unrelated instalment of the "Police Story" movies (just so to know that only the first three "Police Story" movies were related to each other), Jackie Chan plays Mainland police officer Zhong Wen who is, along with his rebellious daughter Miao Miao (Jing Tian) and some other patrons are being held hostages by a mysterious bar owner Wu Jiang (Liu Ye) inside an enormous bar. Apparently Wu Jiang demands a prisoner to be released, and soon the case is more than just a kidnapping situation but also something has to do with a certain vengeance.
From the synopsis above, it is clear that "Police Story 2013" isn't your typical stunt-driven action movie that characterized the previous "Police Story" movies. For one, this is the first time a "Police Story" movie is aimed squarely for Mainland China viewers (hence the reason to why Jackie Chan's role of being a Mainland police officer). Plus, unlike the previous instalments, "Police Story 2013" is significantly grittier and more sombre in tone (think "Crime Story" or even "Shinjuku Incident" and you'll get the picture) - which is actually an interesting change of pace from the usual Jackie Chan's lighthearted action movies.
Directing "Police Story 2013" is Ding Sheng, who previously collaborated with Jackie Chan in "Little Big Soldier", who has some potential on weaving a complex plot inside out during the course of the movie. It was interesting at first, but Ding Sheng isn't quite sure how to sustain most of the momentum because he tends to go heavy-handed with the subject matter.
Meanwhile, fans should keep their expectations low because the action sequences here are more grounded and restrained than the elaborate stunts usually associated in all previous five "Police Story" movies. Still, there's one particular action sequence worth checking out for - the MMA (mixed martial arts)-inspired cage fight scene between Zhong Wen and one of Wu's Thai fighters. After all, it's refreshing to see Jackie Chan adapts a different kind of martial arts technique that favors more into close-combat brutality rather than his usual acrobatic kungfu trademark often seen in his action movies.
As an emotionally-conflicted police officer, Jackie Chan fits the role quite well. Liu Ye, in the meantime, delivers a fairly engaging performance as Wu Jiang, while Jing Tian - last seen in "Special ID" - is sadly reduced as a damsel-in-distress.
No doubt "Police Story 2013" is rough on the edges but nevertheless, it's a fairly worthwhile effort especially for those viewers who are game enough to watch Jackie Chan in a more thinking man's kind of action drama.Cinema Online, 19 December 2013