Police Story 2 (1988)

Chan does his stunts and comedy with aplomb, but this sequel is let down by a wafer-thin plot and poor pacing.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Review #2,224

Dir. Jackie Chan
1988 | Hong Kong | Action/Comedy/Crime | 122 mins | 2.35:1 | Cantonese

PG (passed clean) for violence, pervasive martial arts action and some nudity

Cast: Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung, Lam Kwok-Hung, Bill Tung, Lai Keung-Kuen
Plot: A gangster vows revenge on Inspector Chan, now demoted to a traffic cop as a reprimand for his reckless actions in the line of duty. As the vendetta escalates, a new menace arises, and Chan must stop extortionists threatening public buildings.
Awards: Won Best Art Direction & Nom. for Best Feature Film (Golden Horse)
Source: Fortune Star

Accessibility Index
Subject Matter: Moderate
Narrative Style: Straightforward
Pace: Slightly Slow
Audience Type: Mainstream

Viewed: Criterion Blu-ray
Spoilers: No

While Police Story (1985) is one of the greatest action films ever made and arguably Jackie Chan’s finest hour as an artist and entertainer, the sequel pales in comparison. 

Chan is still fantastic—his extraordinary stuntwork and action directing remain unparalleled, though it is less intense—and perhaps less spectacular—here than it was in the first movie, huge fiery explosions notwithstanding. 

The main problem, however, is a conflation of two issues.  One, it has a wafer-thin plot that gets stretched even thinner by the movie’s poor pacing, which is the second issue. 

At two hours long, Police Story 2 is a good half-hour too lengthy (the first movie was at a spritely 100 minutes), with too many scenes of surveillance involving a great deal of waiting and tailing that don’t seem to amount to anything substantial apart from a perfunctory advancement of the plot. 

“Don’t come near me!”

The gaps between action sequences are also larger, particularly in the second half, making the movie less engaging than it should, though its climax set in a warehouse-cum-factory is a noteworthy execution of comic timing amidst death-defying stunts.  

Chan reprises his role as Ka Kui, a cop tasked to investigate a case of blackmailing bombers who take things into their own hands when they fail to get what they want, leaving the supercop to save the day. 

There is nothing especially memorable in terms of action set-pieces, unlike the first film’s incredible opening or the stunning climax in a shopping mall.  But it does feature possibly one of the funniest moments in a Jackie Chan movie, involving a men’s public restroom and an angsty Maggie Cheung.  

Grade: B-



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s