Police Story II (1988)

November 17, 2003 • Film, Reviews

AKA: Police Force II; Kowloon’s Eye
Literally: Police Story Sequel
Director: Jackie Chan (Sing Lung)
Producer: Leonard Ho Koon-Cheung
Writer: Jackie Chan (Sing Lung), Edward Tang King-Sun
Action Director: Jackie Chan’s Stuntman Association

Cast: Jackie Chan (Sing Lung), Bill Tung Piu, Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk, Lam Kwok-Hung, Crystal Kwok Kam-Yan, Angile Leung Wan-Yui, Chor Yuen, Kenny Ho Kar-King, Lam Kwok-Bun, Charlie Cho Cha-Lei, Ann Mui Oi-Fong, Benny Lai, Mars Cameo Appearance: Wu Ma, Lau Siu-Ming, Lau Ching-Wan, Michael Chow Man-Kin, Yip Sun, Alvina Kong Yan-Yin, Ken Lo Wai-Kwong

Running Time: 90 min 133 min film

Plot: Jackie Chan’s one-man war on a criminal gang has earned him a reprimand and a demotion from detective to traffic cop, not to mention continual harassment by the gang. He decides to take a long-overdue vacation but his leave is cancelled when Hong Kong is hit with a wave of bomb scares. Jackie unofficially follows up some leads of his own and tracks down the suspected gang. Knowing that Jackie is close on their heels, the gang kidnaps his girlfriend in order to force Jackie to turn against the police. In a spectacular climax rivaling that of the record-breaking original, Jackie rescues the girl and brings the gang unceremoniously to justice.

In reference to her years of what was basically stuntwork acting in Jackie Chan movies, Maggie Cheung has been pretty droll.

“I think he saw me and said, “there’s a girl who won’t mind when I push her down these stairs,” she said in an interview, and indeed, Maggie has been pushed down stairs, punched in the face, dropped from helicopters onto the pavement, pushed back-first into pools, violently kidnapped, and just about everything else that is possibly painful — all for the audiences’ “entertainment.”

In The Heroic Trio and some of her other films, where Maggie took punishment and dished it out as well, this didn’t seem to bother me. But since this one’s a Jackie Chan movie, nobody but Jackie and the villains are allowed to deal out punishment (the one exception is Michelle Yoeh in Supercop). So Maggie gets the hell kicked out of her.

The worst part is in the outtakes, where they show us an incredibly scary gaff in which Maggie runs through a tunnel of falling metal and gets clipped by a metal pole. You can see the stunt guys rushing in to stop the bleeding from a gory gash in her head. It’s the one scary thing that happens in the whole movie.

While the first Police Story concentrated on Jackie trying to take down some triads, this one is mostly focused on Jackie and his girlfriend, aka “problem woman.” She gets in the way all the time, so that Jackie has to fight a lot. A lot of it is just watching Maggie being made a fool and Jackie doing a lot of acrobatics while yelling at her. It’s a pretty misogynist excuse for entertainment.

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