slapstick comedy at its best. Jackie Chan is a Buster Keaton stripped of its modernist agenda (we are in the 80s after all); nevertheless here the distancing effect, achieved through acrobatics but also overlapping of film cliches, strips the cliche itself to the bones, showing its emptiness and overuse in postmodern cinema
It's all in the title - a skeletal idea, prefaced with an intro designed to delineate the goodies and baddies, enough for an action film. Everything in the straight world (court, bureaucracy) an affront to Chan's 'Police and all those scenes are a shambles. As if, like us, the film goes stir crazy when Chan isn't in motion. Better to use those 10 mins of plot on Chan answering phones then.
Action comedy perfection. Punch lines (PUN HA!), intricate fight choreography, and campy goodness. I read the City Hunter manga series before watching this and I need more of this aesthetic in my life. Did you know over 60,000 lbs of glass was broken in the filming of this picture?* *this is untrue but quite possible to be honest.
With Police Story, Chan proves himself not just a fearless & charismatic screen presence, but a genuine master of cinema. While it doesn't reinvent the wheel as far as basic storytelling is concerned the film does redefine the possibilities of contemporary action cinema; with Chan's experiments with camera speeds, static framing & complex editing of shots to create rhythm showing a true innovation within the form.
Is Jackie Chan the last of the silent comics? His heroes have a physical grace, comic awkwardness, and knack for bad luck to match Chaplin or Keaton. Granted, there are moments here that are hammier than anything the 3 Stooges would touch. But the action is hilarious and deliriously exciting, and you get a baby-faced Maggie Cheung waiting for her turn. It's possible no film in cinema history hates glass windows more.
Whether it's dangling from a speeding bus or sliding down a 100 foot pole covered in lights, Jackie was determined to thrill audiences by pushing his body to the limits in this memorable action comedy. This is not just a 108 minute long compilation of the actor trying to kill himself though, Police Story tells an engaging story and contains moments of great comedy. Be prepared to ignore some poor sound design though.
The glass work was amazing (including the still here where he spins the guy through the corner-glass like a figure skater, but the best stunt has to be the pole slide through 5 stories of christmas lights onto the top of a wooden mall kiosk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZDXyiisZ50. He nearly died.