- POSTED: 23 Dec 2013 17:09
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"Police Story 2013" is much darker than its predecessors, and may not sit well with fans of the light-hearted action found in previous instalments in the series.
SINGAPORE: “Police Story 2013” sees Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan play Zhong Wen, a veteran cop that gets held hostage in a club with his daughter Miao Miao (Jing Tian), along with a number of other patrons.
Zhong has to figure out how to escape from the clutches of Wu Jiang (Liu Ye), who has trapped them in his club, and discover just what drove him to commit such a crime.
Set in China, “Police Story 2013” is darker than any of the previous films in the “Police Story” series and it’s virtually devoid of comedy.
It also spends much more time building dramatic tension than on the kinetic action sequences Chan is known for.
“Police Story 2013” is simply very different from its predecessors, with Chan perhaps the only thing they have in common.
In fact, it is so different that it is a little puzzling why the film even has “Police Story” in its title, beyond purely marketing reasons.
Even so, while having the words “Police Story” in its name will likely draw people to see it, the film could also disappoint cinema-goers who go in expecting the comedic action found in previous instalments in the series.
The real story
There is really no need for the film to rely on the reputation of the “Police Story” franchise.
Helmed by Chinese director Ding Sheng, “Police Story 2013” is not a bad film.
Ding, who had worked with Chan on “Little Big Soldier”, actually does a respectable job bringing the story to life, and fleshed out Chan’s character through judicious use of flashbacks, though the first half of the film moves rather slowly.
The action sequences are also passable.
While they may not be quite as epic as those found in previous “Police Story” films, they have a certain ‘rawness’ which suits the film’s darker tone nicely, such as one sequence where an opponent smashes Zhong’s head through glass, and breaks his finger.
There is also an interesting scene towards the end, where the entire mystery surrounding Wu’s motivations is slowly revealed through the accounts of many different people.
This culminated in an emotional scene in a drab subway tunnel that sees Zhong grapple with his guilt and inner conflicts.
“Police Story 2013” may be significantly different from its predecessors, but it is still an entertaining movie that is worth a look, though it may not appeal to those who prefer Chan's more comedic brand of action in say "CZ12".
It shows audiences a seldom-seen side of Jackie Chan, who turns in a surprisingly nuanced performance in the film.
“Police Story 2013” opens December 24.