Police Story II

Three years after the huge success of the first film in this series, Jackie Chan comes out with a sequel that is nearly as good, but in a different way. The first one depended on some amazing action and incredible death defying stunts to capture the viewer’s imagination, while this one relies much more on a taut suspenseful story with action interspersed. Until the finale, none of the action – though good – really stood out – but the intensity and seriousness of the film makes it a standout.

Jackie begins the film as a traffic cop – demoted because of his actions in the first film – and soon finds out that his nemesis Koo is out of jail and is promising revenge. Koo’s right hand man Charlie Cho has a confrontation with May, Maggie Cheung, which sets Jackie off to destroy a restaurant almost single-handedly. This doesn’t sit too well with his superiors and in a fit of anger Jackie resigns from the force.

Soon though he is brought back to solve a series of bombings by extortionists. At this point in the story it turns into a very good police procedural story as Jackie and his men follow up on leads to track down the bombers. For a good part of the film there really is not a lot of action going on – at least compared to Police Story I.
There is a fight at the restaurant with Jackie taking on a group of about seven bad guys, a very nice fight again with Jackie going up against Koo’s men in a playground. In this fight there is one great stunt in which Jackie is forced into a dead end alley and a van tries to run him down. At literally the last micro-second, Jackie leaps up onto the van as it crashes into the wall behind him. If the timing had been wrong for that one – ow! Later Jackie and Mars have an interesting fight against one of the bombers – who also has these exploding toy trucks. All good stuff, but nothing we have not seen before.
Then it kicks in for the last twenty-five minutes and the adrenaline rush is on. The bombers capture and torture May with little exploding fireballs. This is not a smart thing to do needless to say as Jackie goes on a rampage. I can’t think of a film of his where he gets so into the character and displays his emotions so viscerally.
The last fight is incredibly involving as Jackie fights through pain and exhaustion and fireballs – only will power keeping him going. And unlike many of his films in which the villains are basically stick figures that you don’t really care about one way or the other – here you want him to badly hurt these guys. And he does.
By the way Maggie actually does take quite a bang on the head - and this is shown in the outtakes and keep an eye out for a quick appearance by a very young Lau Ching-Wan and Michael Chow.

My rating for this film: 8.5