7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Flawed DVD presentation mars popular Jackie Chan sequel,
This review is from: Police Story 2 [DVD] (DVD)
POLICE STORY PART II
[Jing Cha Gu Shi Xu Ji]
(Hong Kong - 1988)
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Technovision)
Theatrical soundtrack: Mono
A disappointing sequel, POLICE STORY PART II finds police officer Jackie Chan once again at loggerheads with his superiors when he investigates an extortion racket following a series of bomb attacks on various high-profile locations owned by a group of wealthy property developers. While the action sequences are as spectacular as ever - most notably an eye-popping fight in a children's park, and the climactic showdown in an abandoned factory - the script (credited to Wai Wing-pin Kek Cho) is weak and uninvolving, and the characters are basically stick-figures, broadly played by an otherwise talented cast whose collective hamminess serves merely to dilute the impact of some pretty violent set-pieces. The stuntwork is first-rate, but the movie is ultimately as inconsequential as the plot.
Clearly growing in confidence as a director, however, Chan accomplishes a number of genuinely striking visual flourishes (the child's ball in the bomb-rigged shopping complex; the slow fade from day to night whilst Chan and girlfriend Maggie Cheung Man-yuk remain seated at screen-left, contemplating their relationship in silence, etc.), demonstrating a level of maturity that would culminate the following year in his bravura Capraesque comedy-drama MR CANTON AND LADY ROSE (1989, released on DVD in the UK as MIRACLES). Here, as ever, the fight scenes are lively, creative, beautifully staged, and very, VERY fast - blink, and you'll probably miss several kicks and dozens of punches!
Of the cast, Chan has charisma and charm to spare but not much range as an actor, and Cheung is mere decoration, demonstrating little of the talent that would distinguish her subsequent career (FULL MOON IN NEW YORK, CENTRE STAGE, etc.). Bill Tung Biu is rather wasted as Chan's lovable superior, and there are cameo appearances by Chor Yuen (a longime Shaw Brothers director, and chief villain in the first POLICE STORY), industry veteran Wu Ma (most famous for his recurring role in A CHINESE GHOST STORY and sequels), future heartthrob Ken Lo Wai-kwong (THE RED WOLF), and an early appearance by Lau Ching-wan, now widely recognized as one of HK's finest actors. And watch out for stuntman Benny Lai Keung-kuen as a deaf-mute villain who steals the show with his superb fighting skills, particularly during his climactic showdown with Chan. Production values are solid, as usual, with typically expansive scope photography by Cheung Yiu-jo and expertly-crafted editing by Peter Cheung Yiu-chung, both having performed similar duties on the original POLICE STORY in 1985.