Project A: Part 2
HONG KONG LEGENDS
 
Starring:
Directed By:
Jackie Chan
Year:
1988
Run Time:
100 mins
Producer: Hong Kong Legends
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Languages:
CANTONESE 5.1, English 5.1
Subtitles:
English, Dutch
W/S Subtitles:
Yes
Ratio:
2.35:1 Anamorphic
Region:
2 & 4 PAL
Genre:
Action / Comedy - 18 (UK)
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MOVIE
7/10

Taking over from a corrupt officer, Dragon Ma is placed in charge of the ramshackle Chow-Tau district Police Station following his successful return from the South China Seas.
To make matters worse, San-Pao's last remaining hatchetmen are also bent on revenge, having witnessed the destruction of their leader at the hands of Ma.
Life is never easy for the early 20th century super-cop, and with a group of revolutionaries also plotting to use Ma for their own gain, things come to a head in a finale where double-crossing is the name of the game.

Eschewing the talents of Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, Jackie Chan decided to go it alone for his follow up to the hugely successful Project A.
Trying to top the brilliance of Project A was never going to be easy, but casting aside the main focus of that production - the Chan, Biao and Hung relationship - was a fatal mistake.
Sadly, in his attempt to become the main attraction, Chan overcomplicates the plot and underplays the martial artistry.
Aside from the superb battle with Chan Wai-Man, gone are the tightly choreographed set-pieces of Part 1, leaving Chan to keep the audience entertained with his stunts and comedy routines.
Whilst this is no bad thing, it does become frustrating to constantly see Chan prefer to play the fall-guy, instead of using his renowned fighting ability.

The film, containing a plethora of cameos, is bolstered by the star turn of Bill Tung.
However, the majority of the cast are criminally under-used, flitting in and out of the picture.
Maggie Cheung and Rosamund Kwan are both reduced to the "Rescue Me" roles that Chan seems to adore, and both deserve far better.

As a whole, the film is a fun, light-hearted action-comedy, with just enough of both to still keep it entertaining after all these years.

PICTURE
7/10

To my eyes, the transfer seems to be vertically squashed ever so slightly, resulting in all of the actors appearing rather squat. I've tried to compare this with the Theatrical Trailer, and that has only bolstered my feelings.
It's not enough to make it glaringly obvious, but I certainly was aware of it after the first few minutes.

Transfer-wise, this is an at times impressive and at others very disappointing image which may be due to the source materials provided to HKL than anything else.
Many scenes feature a grainy, hazy effect with a soft-looking image, whilst others offer a crisp and highly detailed picture.
This wouldn't be quite so intrusive if it weren't for the fact that these extremes display themselves from one scene to another.
The same must be said for the black levels - a washed out bluey colour at times, whilst at others deep and solid. Colour reproduction is similarly schizophrenic.

Regardless of whether these inconsistencies are down to HKL or the source print, it really makes no difference at the end of the day - The picture quality is good throughout, but nothing more.


SOUND
5/10

Very little separation and a few muffled sound effects are the only downsides to this almost totally centre-focused soundtrack.
As with Mega Star's DVD, the score which accompanies the final credits is incomplete, with an instrumental section replacing Chan's singing.
The English soundtrack is also NOT the original dub.

SUBTITLES
7/10

Sadly, a number of very obvious mistranlations appear within the first 10 minutes, and while the general standard of subbing is good, basic errors are still disheartening to see.

MENUS
6/10

Rather standard, and fairly unimaginative, menus are seen throughout.
At times, it can also be difficult to see which option you're highlighting.

EXTRAS
7/10

Trailer Gallery
UK Promo
Trailer
Original Theatrical Trailer - Working like a mini behind-the-scenes feature, the theatrical trailer is well worth a few minutes of your time.

Interview Gallery

Chan Wai-Man
This 20 minute interview offers many interesting insights and stories.
Whilst giving little information pertaining to the film itself, Wai-Man is still a fascinating interviewee, speaking of his admiration for Bruce Lee among other things.

Warriors Two

A welcome change from HKL's interviews, sees Bey Logan dissect the films stunt work with the help of Jackie's long-standing stuntman Ga Si-Fung.
Whilst the depth of the interview could be greater, it does give some interesting behind the scenes information.

Commentary

A commentary featuring Bey's usual jokes, huge depth of knowledge and intelligent observations.

CONCLUSION
7/10

Following their superb Platinum release of Project A was never going to be an easy task for HKL, particularly as its sequel is a far weaker film. Unfortunately, so is their DVD.
A required rental, yes, but HKL's latest Project deserves no better than a C+.

MOVIE 7/10
PICTURE
7/10
SOUND
5/10
SUBTITLES
7/10
EXTRAS
7/10
MENUS
6/10
PACKAGING
7/10
OVERALL 7/10