Police Story

Police Story ★★★★

Jackie Chan, as an actor, gets compared *a lot* to Buster Keaton. Keaton and Chan both did death-defying stunts in the name of their craft. However, when it comes to physical comedy, and the creation of a character through non-verbal mannerisms, Chan also owes an equal amount to Charlie Chaplin, and we see a lot of that in Police Story.

In this film, Chan (who co-wrote and directed the film) plays Chan Ka-Kui (or, if you're watching the dub, "Jackie"). He's a Sergeant in the Hong Kong Police Force, whose fairly simple and unassuming, and at the start of the film happens to be at the right place at the right time to bring down a businessman and drug lord by the name of Chu Tao. This ends up thrusting Chan into the spotlight, and also ends up getting him made reluctant bodyguard to Selena Fong, Tao's secretary.

Aside from the inspired fight choreography and action sequences, where Chan gets at his most Chaplin is at a scene in the middle of the film, where Ka-Kui has managed to embarass his superiors and has ultimately been shuffled off to a police station at the ass end of Hong Kong. He ends up stepping in cow dung and ends up doing an impromptu dance number to scrape the manure off. He ends up being the only person in the office and has to answer 6 phones at once while his lunch cooks, and finally, after getting a moment's peace, he ends up having to eat his lunch with improvised chopsticks made from pencils, and ends up chewing on the erasers. It's a string of small physical misadventures and acts of mischievousness that would fit in perfectly with The Little Tramp, were he to ever end up a constable.

That said, the film has very little in what I'd describe social commentary or narrative depth - this is a pretty by the numbers cop film, albeit one with fantastic physical comedy and wonderfully put together action sequences. The villain is one who has the system bent enough that he's practically untouchable, to a degree that Ka-Kui is forced to go outside the system to bring him down, and if that's a spoiler then you've never watched a cop film in the history of ever. However, if you'd ever like to see Jackie Chan's take on the cop film, this is a good film to watch.