Police Story 3: Supercop (1992)
Police Story 3: Supercop (1992)

Genre: Action Comedy and Martial Arts Running Time: 1 hr. 31 min.

Release Date: July 4th, 1992 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Stanley Tong Actors: Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung, Michelle Yeoh, Ken Tsang, Wah Yuen, Bill Tung, Josephine Koo, Wong Siu, Philip Chan, Lowei Kwong

 


 

A

t the police headquarters in Hong Kong, the Chief brings a very special mission, insisted upon by Interpol. They need diplomat “Uncle” Bill to find a supercop capable of going undercover in a mainland reform camp for a month – a particularly dangerous mission with long odds for success. Bill doesn’t want his protege Chen Ka-Kui (Jackie Chan) to be involved; instead, he’d prefer to have the young man take an Inspector position in Sha Tau Kok. But it’s actually a reverse psychology ruse to get Chen to take up the task.

“Let’s get James Bond to do it.” Once at the military base, Chen is assigned a new name and position: Lam Fuk-Sang, a machinery plant merchandiser. And he’s to report to the beautiful but stern Chinese Inspector Yang (Michelle Yeoh in a star-turning, kick-ass role). Immediately, he’s met with skepticism from his superiors and contempt from fellow soldiers – pitted against trainees in a test of skill and an opportunity to infuse some martial arts combat into an otherwise routine setup. Once he’s implanted into the Hsaokuan Prison Camp, he is to gather information on Brother Panther – who is destined to be broken free by cohort “Big Brother” Chaibat – and then infiltrate Panther’s criminal organization.

It starts with flashy opening title credits, desperately – but not convincingly – attempting to emulate a Hollywood picture. They instead look like something from an early ’90s video game. Fortunately, however, the graphics aren’t integral to anything about Jackie Chan’s projects; in fact, his refusal to use CG and wirework only makes the stunts and action (here choreographed by director Stanley Tong) more realistic and impressive. And “Supercop” takes every opportunity to showcase just such endeavors – from run-ins with uninformed local authorities to boat chases on the high seas to an explosive raid on a Cambodian compound to numerous fistfights in all sorts of battlegrounds (makeshift or elegantly arranged). There’s actually an exceptional amount of gunplay here for a Jackie Chan picture.

Plus, as with nearly all of Chan’s films, “Supercop” boasts a comic quirk to the adventure – even something of a Chaplin-esque quality to the slapstick havoc. Several moments exist purely for comedy relief, including accidentally crossing paths with Chen’s girlfriend May (Maggie Cheung) and staging an extended family reunion of roleplaying Interpol agents. And even when the scenarios become more serious (much of the plot is merely framework around which to orchestrate action sequences), such as threatening to uncover Chen’s identity, there’s a lessening in severity to allow for lighter levels of combat and destruction. Nevertheless, the stunts are exhilarating, from high-octane car chases to motorcycle daredevilry to helicopter feats that, thanks to the blooper reel at the end, are grander when the risk and bodily harm are even more apparent.

– Mike Massie

  • 8/10