Supercop (1992)
March 1, 2023 11:08 PM - Subscribe

A Hong Kong detective teams up with his female Red Chinese counterpart to stop a Chinese drug czar.

To infiltrate a drug cartel, police Inspector Chan Ka Kui (Jackie Chan) goes undercover in a Chinese prison. There, he earns the trust of Panther (Yuen Wah), a cartel member, by breaking him out of prison. With the help of another undercover agent (Michelle Yeoh), they travel to Hong Kong and join up with Panther's gang. Ka Kui is accepted by the gang's leader (Ken Tsang), but his operation is jeopardized when Ka Kui's girlfriend (Maggie Cheung) accidentally reveals his true identity.

Rita Kempley: After that, the plot is a web of trust and betrayal. There are more explosions and gunfights than in most Chan features, but the best moments are the hand-to-hand-to-neck-to-groin combat scenes. Usually, Chan starts out in a defensive posture -- he loves to make opponents miss -- before moving into his trademark super-speedy attack mode.

Chan seems to have met his soul mate in Khan, Asia's top female action star. Like Chan, Khan does her own fighting and stunts. Unlike the Hollywood action contingent, Chan and Khan don't rely on cinematic trickery. Theirs are not special effects, just spectacular ones. Connoisseurs will find Chan's helicopter-train chase far riskier, more exciting and more believable than its mates in "Mission Impossible" and "The Living Daylights."

Both stars carry off the comic relief as frenetic fun, particularly after Chan's girlfriend (Maggie Cheung) shows up in Kuala Lumpur and threatens to blow his cover. It's in the Malaysian capital that the action escalates into public spectacle both on the ground and in the air (no trapeze artist ever worked so high without a net). It may not be great art, but it's great fun.

Jamie Havlin: Some hardcore martial arts fans felt that Police Story III lacked enough kung fu action although there’s a great match-up lined up by Yang to test Ka-Kui’s abilities against Wong, the musclebound Chief Coach of the Military Police and then a kinetic confrontation in a restaurant where Michelle Yeoh shines. The Malaysian born actress possesses a glorious balletic style of kung fu far more convincing than just about any CGI assisted female action hero in cinema today.

If the movie had to be defined by a genre then that genre would be the action film. There’s one explosive shootout that strays into John Woo territory and chase sequences on land, sea and air. The action in the third act is utterly dazzling. In a Sky Movies featurette, Quentin Tarantino’s Favourite Movies from 1992 to 2009, the director speculated that they are likely the greatest stunts ever filmed. I wouldn’t disagree.

Many of these stunts would be unlikely to be sanctioned by any studio today – health and safety in East Asian cinema was certainly lax back then. Jackie’s finest moment would be leaping onto the rope ladder of Chaibat’s private helicopter from a tall building and dangling from it as it soars high above the skyscrapers and highways of Kuala Lumpur, while its pilot attempts to dislodge him by rapidly wobbling the chopper from one direction to another.

Like Jackie, Michelle Yeoh’s willingness to perform her own stunts is admirable, even if perhaps ill-advised on occasion. Though she maybe exaggerates her claim to have performed all of them herself, she did, however, hang from the side of fast moving van and also fall from that van onto the front of car racing through city traffic – watch the end credit outtakes too see the real risks involved. Best of all is when she rides a motorbike and jumps it from a hill onto the top of a train in motion.

Manfred Selzer: The true highlight is the fight on a driving train and how Chan is flying through the town hanging on a ladder of a helicopter. As in the former parts of the series Chan once again suffered a serious injury when he was hit by the helicopter that was on the passing train. Therefore, as always there has been lot of hard work, blood and bones being involved in the movie's development and you can see it when watching the impressive stunts.
Chan and Yeoh work good as a team, the action is just great at any time, the stunts are breathtaking as always and the movie also doesn't lack the humour. In terms of quality, as it is often the case, the movies might have become worse a bit with every additional installment, but this does by no means include the statement, that the end product is bad at all. On the contrary, "Police Story 3" is a very good action flick, that made a successful jump into the 90s.

posted by Carillon (3 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Definitely a tonal shift from the first one, a lot less silliness like with the phones, and less cringey girls are like this comedy. More gun work, but man the stunts really are pretty amazing. Michelle Yeoh more than holds her own against Jackie Chan, she really is a phenom here.
posted by Carillon at 11:14 PM on March 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

This clip begins with Michelle Yeoh discussing her stunts in this film.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:09 AM on March 2, 2023

lol oh man, the days when her western last name is Khan just because she's Malaysian.
posted by cendawanita at 3:03 AM on March 6, 2023

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