many, Jackie Chan's 1988 sequel to the highly acclaimed Police Story
came as a disappointment.
Whilst the plotting and characterisation was far in advance of its
predecessor, Police Story 2 lacked the same all-out fight finale
which many expected.
Demoted, following the events in the shopping mall in Police Story,
Ka-Kui (Chan) is sent back onto the streets as a traffic cop.
May, Ka-Kui's long suffering girlfriend, is pleased at the outcome
as she yearns for a more peaceful life for the couple. Gangster
Chu Tu, however, has other ideas, having been released from prison
on the grounds of diminished health.
The impulsiveness which cost Ka-Kui so dearly in the past raises
its ugly head again as he reacts badly to an incident involving
May. Ka-Kui is given yet another dressing-down at the hands of his
superior, and decides enough is enough...so he quits.
Unfortunately, whilst Ka-Kui gives himself some time off, Chu Tu
is still bent on revenge. Added to this is the emergence of a group
of terrorists who'll stop at nothing to get what they want. Namely,
HK$20 million from a wealthy company. True to form Ka-Kui becomes
embroiled in the situation - but this time his brain must be engaged
before his brawn.
Structurally, the plot is a million miles away from the first in
the series. Jackie instead opts for a far more sombre tone which
the storyline demands. Although moments of comedy are inserted,
the overriding atmosphere is one far removed from many of Chan's
Whereas Police Story presented Ka-Kui as a skin and bones super-cop,
Police Story 2 opts for a more mature approach. Many of the events
in the film revolve around Ka-Kui's hot-headed temperament, and
the results it produces.
Maggie Cheung is also given something resembling a leading role,
as she constantly battles with her frustration with, and love for
Ask anyone what the most memorable scene in Police Story is and
they'll probably answer "The shopping mall fight". Here, the answer
would probably be "the playground fight".
It's a superb piece of action, directed with skill and imagination,
but may not be enough to sway the feelings of disappointment for
some fans. The quantity of martial arts action has been toned down
in favour of more dramatic content, and whilst I welcomed this shift,
many people, expecting the level of action from Police Story, will
feel let down.
the impressive presentation afforded to Ninja In The Dragon's Den,
a film some 6 years older than this production, I was expecting
At first sight, things seem good, but it soon becomes apparent that
this 2.35:1 movie is cropped and zoomed to 2.28:1. Whilst this seems
insignificant, the cropping soon becomes all the more obvious as
the film progresses. Fight sequences, in particular the playground
battle, seem "tightly" framed, and characters at times disappear
Had the transfer been of a higher standard this cropping may not
have been quite so disappointing, but due to a massive amount of
grain, that chance goes out the window.
The drab nature of the print doesn't help matters, but the largely
soft picture, and dark-grey black levels are the real soul-destroyers.
The aforementioned grain plays havoc with the film's presentation
and barely a scene goes by without the background shimmering and
* A far more in-depth explanation of the cropping is available Here
thanks to the work of Cinedie. *
dialogue is at times muffled, this 5.1 remix is a competent and
well-mixed effort. Music is spread across the speakers smoothly,
and the overall sound-steering is good.
An improvement on Police Story's poor subtitles, Police Story 2's
translations are generally close to their origins.
As is almost expected now, a number of lines have been reworked
but this is rarely as bad as in HKL's previous DVD. Strangely, certain
swearwords are left unsubbed, whilst others are added to scenes,
but by and large I was pleased with this aspect of the disc.
overall menu design is reasonable, but it doesn't quite live up
to the high standard of discs gone by. HKL's worst Special Features
menu makes it particularly difficult to see which option you are
Giving Bey Logan a well deserved rest, and replacing him with HK
film critic Miles Wood and actor/stuntmen Jude Poyer, produces mixed
At first, both men sound as though they're reading from a script,
with little of the spontaneity which permeates Logan's commentaries.
However, after a few minutes it becomes clear that Jude Poyer's
somewhat stilted delivery is more a trait of his speaking style
than evidence of him utilising a script.
I soon began to enjoy the new elements Poyer brought to the commentary,
as he conveyed some of behind-the-scenes filming techniques used
by Jackie in many of his movies.
Whilst the two critics inject the odd piece of humour, it's rarely
funny. Miles Wood's dull and dreary tone does nothing to further
his cause for a recall, and he adds little more than geographical
information regarding Hong Kong.
Personally, I feel Logan's break from commentating was much needed,
and in Jude Poyer, HKL have found someone
who makes an able stand-in.
Apart from being able to view the out-takes without the credits
on screen, and in 2.35:1 so you can see how much has been cropped,
there is nothing to recommend this pointless rehash of the film's
Chan: King Of Action
Utilising previous HKL interviews with leading lights Sammo Hung,
Ng See-Yuen and Ridley Tsui, this specially commissioned feature
makes for interesting, if brief, entertainment.
The main subject, as you can guess, is Chan himself, with many actors
and directors giving their thoughts and opinions on his pulling-power.
For those that have previous HKL DVDs, a large percentage of the
material will be of no interest as the reused footage features prominently.
However, overall this is a worthwhile little extra.
This HKL interview with the film's deaf-mute villain is edited together
with footage from the film, and of Lai on his rooftop, proving he
can still bust-a-move.
The most frustrating aspect of this piece is that LAi is never questioned
over the moment when he accidentally sliced open Maggie Cheung's
scalp during the finale of the film, yet he is asked everything
else - his character, his kicking and his career.
A real missed opportunity, but still a good interview.
UK Promo Trailer
Original Theatrical Trailer (Cropped to 1.85:1 Anamorphic)
Ninja In The Dragon's Den
Mr.Vampire Naked Killer Police Assassins
Red Wolf Hong Kong:1941
Once Upon A Time In China 3
City Hunter Miracles
Iron Fisted Monk
I had hoped that HKL's previous aspect ratio
problems had finally been resolved, but Police Story 2 shows that
there is still much for them to do.
Added to this disappointing visual presentation are some very average
extras, and I find it hard to recommend what would otherwise be
a must-own movie.
A rental just about does this DVD justice, but this release will
be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure for some time to come...