director Stanley Tong
It’s been a long time, Jackie Chan, since we’ve met in a movie.
There was a time, mainly the 1990’s, I guess, where Hong Kong film inspired and took over a lot of my time and attention, and of course, HK’s great Jackie Chan was the king of an era. It was in the 1990’s that Chan’s push (along with a lot of other HK talents) into Hollywood began in successful earnest.
It was the 1996 American release, redubbed (literally in two ways) Supercop, with the accompanying movie poster above. At the time, Police Story 3: Super Cop was already several years old and had become considered one of Chan’s best movies.
I thought it would be worth giving it a spin with the kids. Felix was familiar with Jackie Chan, though I’m not sure in what context exactly. For all the movie-watching we’ve done, there has been virtually no “kung fu” or martial arts-oriented fare. While Supercop isn’t a pure martial arts film, but one of big action, possibly with reasonable contemporary American analogues, it is first and foremost a Jackie Chan movie.
It’s funny and fast-paced, and ultimately the big scenes and big stunts are the ones that stand out. Like Chan hanging from a rope ladder below a helicopter, flying over Kuala Lumpur. Or Michelle Yeoh (the absolutely beautiful and amazing Michelle Yeoh) jumping a motorcycle onto a moving train. And of course, the Chan name of the game is that the stunts are done by the real stars, especially Chan and Yeoh. And the outtakes and bloopers at the end of the film, showing how real and dangerous, and funny the reality is behind the film and its big moments.
That said, this American dub, in which Chan did his own voice, is a bit of a muddle of a story and a lot less exciting in its downtime moments. The kids enjoyed it okay. Neither seemed overly taken with it, though they liked the big ending and the outtakes.
Me, I guess I was a little disappointed this time around. I’d remembered enjoying it a lot back in the day, but it seems less a classic to me now. Michelle Yeoh almost steals the show, she’s so good and so physical, matching Chan stunt for stunt. She’s awesome.
But so it Jackie Chan.