Supercop 2 (1993)
Supercop 2 (1993)

Genre: Action and Martial Arts Running Time: 1 hr. 44 min.

Release Date: October 21st, 1993 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Stanley Tong Actors: Michelle Yeoh, Yu Rong Guang, Emil Chau, Athena Chu, Fan Sui Wong, Bill Tung, Jackie Chan

 


 

“I

‘m a cop. That’s my life.” Disguised as a nurse, Inspector Jessica Yang (Michelle Yeoh) infiltrates a high-stakes scenario in which the financial minister and his staff have been taken hostage. With the threat of executing one hostage per hour, time is of the essence. In lightning-quick fashion, Yang enters the building, rescues the official, and sets about destroying a great deal of the scenery. Annoyingly, however, the action is broken up by the opening credits, which is a terrible shame, since this introduction features some spectacular stunts.

Jessica is honored with a medal for her heroism, putting her on track to become a colonel. But her career successes don’t sit well with boyfriend David Chang (Yu Rong Guang), who wishes to start a life in Hong Kong – a path that proves unfriendly to Jessica’s rise up the ladder. With the help of old army pal George (Bowie Lam), David departs, narrowly missing a last-minute, remorseful goodbye from his girl. Six months later in Hong Kong, as Amy Lee (Chu Yan), along with sweetheart Alan (Fan Sui Wong), and brother Martin (Emil Chau) and Uncle Bill (Bill Tung), celebrates her 21st birthday, heavily-armed men dressed as pest control services storm the Central Hong Kong Banking Corporation division, in which the party takes place. The police rapidly arrive on the scene, engaging in a massive shootout. Even civilians appear to join in on the fracas (though it’s eventually revealed that Martin and Alan are, in fact, cops).

Despite the love story at the beginning, “Supercop 2” (also known as “Police Story IV”) doesn’t waste much time developing characters. With an easy coincidence, mainland China sends Jessica as an advisor for the Hong Kong debacle (“You’re here to provide information, not to participate in the action”), creating yet another simple romance, since Martin has been longing for a suitable female counterpart. But there isn’t much time for flirting (or a nice fish lunch, which is over before the food arrives); shady players must be tracked and a major criminal operation must be uncovered. And, along the way, lots of elaborate kung fu skirmishes must be staged.

There’s a running theme about the underestimated female Inspector and her perceived inability to handle herself, which is continually debunked when Jessica proves herself even more capable than her male peers. It’s not an original premise, but it’s nevertheless fun to see Yeoh as a believable, confident, skilled combatant, giving hell to her opponents. She takes some heavy hits, but she unleashes powerful punches and kicks to match. As with many of these Jackie Chan-styled actioners, the protagonists aren’t invincible; they must absorb a certain amount of physical harm for the sake of marginal realism.

Also in line with standard ’90s Hong Kong martial arts pictures are plenty of light comedy and blithe situations, including awkward conversations and slapstick interactions (as well as a rather silly moment for drag costumes, featuring Jackie Chan in a cameo – and in a dress). Although there is death and destruction, blood is minimal; the purpose is primarily to showcase exceptional fight choreography, with Yeoh’s athleticism at the forefront. Unfortunately, the action is spaced out too thinly; car chases and hand-to-hand duels are interrupted by clandestine meetings and heist plans, preventing any one fight sequence from being jaw-droppingly long – or even all that memorable. The extensive bank robbery at the climax similarly has a considerable amount of downtime between fast-fisted tussles, though a matchup between Yeoh and an impossibly large goon is one of the highlights.

– Mike Massie

  • 3/10