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The Police Story Trilogy (4K Review)

4 min read

Three genre defying, blockbuster action films from acclaimed actor/director/writer/singer/stunt performer (he does them all here) get the 4K HD upgrade!

From 1985 to 1992, Chan delivered a trilogy of explosive, bone-crunching action comedies. The trilogy incorporated the dark underworld of organised crime and the brave law enforcers taking them on. The films feature tongue-in-cheek humour alongside groundbreaking action choreography and stunt work from leading names alongside Chan himself such as , , , and . The trilogy defined 80s Eastern action cinema and inspired many Western films that followed.

Police Story (1985)

One of the biggest box-office successes in Hong Kong and Jackie Chan's career. Police Story was a response to the laboured American production he experienced in films such as The Big Brawl and The Protector. This was the crime story Chan wanted to make under his own creative direction. What follows was a showcase of humour and action that proves how much a talent both he and his team are.

The action is relentless and awe inducing. An opening shanty town shoot-out. A double decker bus fight. A high-level apartment complex confrontation. The “glass factory” shopping mall finale. No wires, no CGI, no substitutes. Chan's trademark action revolves around the sets and props, looking and feeling as natural and dangerous and un-planned as possible.

A solid support cast lend assistance with the simple story of cops taking down crime lords. Chan doesn't skimp on the humour that harkens back to his influences of Buster Keaton and silent films. Yet it's the action and stunt work here that rippled across Hollywood and put Chan on the domestic superstar radar.

Police Story II (1988)

A sequel to Chan's 1985 hit , he once again helms full creative control for his everyday cop up against the odds. While never attempting to go bigger and better (except in terms of explosions), this outing seems darker and more emotional than the previous. He drops some of the comedy routines to allow time for he and co-star Cheung to work some character development. Their relationship really takes some emotional twists and turns here, and it resonates thanks to their acting skills, often hidden behind the action.

returns as our criminal kingpin and forces the story along at a reckless pace. He targets our heroes in a dark revenge plot including kidnapping, harassment and violent attacks. This allows Chan to flex his creative fingers in the fight sequences that are fewer in number compared to the first, but just as brutal as ever. Standout sequences include a bone breaking playground fight and deserted factory climax battle with bomb wielding terrorists.

With stellar support from the likes of Bill Tung, Mars, Lam Kwok-Hung and Charlie Cho from the first film, Police Story II is a solid continuation of a cop up against the odds not just in terms of fighting criminals, but also in terms of drama.

Police Story III (1992)

Remember Nick Frost in Hot Fuzz checking out a bargain DVD with the tagline “Meet the cop who can't be stopped.”? Well, Police Story III contains that very cop.

For the third outing of Jackie Chan's crime trilogy, he hands over directing duties to Stanley Tong allowing him to focus on the martial arts choreography and action sequences. It also meant he had the chance to bring in the mighty Michelle Yeoh as his ass-kicking partner with sparkling screen chemistry.

Chan adapts the franchise out of the 1980s and into the 90s which action aplenty and a story featuring dangerous undercover operations and barnstorming stunts. From a daring prison break-out to a thrilling finale atop both a moving helicopter and train, the stakes are as high as ever. Even during the outtakes, we see both Chan and Yeoh taking beatings and bruises all in the name of entertainment. They truly risk their lives for the perfect shot, be it falling off moving car bonnets or being hit by helicopters.

The story is simple, using the danger of going undercover into a dangerous narcotics gang to bring them down from the inside by any means necessary. Throw in usual light-hearted flippancy from franchise sweetheart Maggie Cheung and veteran cop Bill Tung. It doesn't fail to deliver just what you'd expect from these powerhouses of Eastern action cinema.

Trilogy special features:

  • 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentations of all three films across three Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
  • 100 page collector's book featuring essays by LA film critic James Oliver on each film, as well as archival materials and imagery
  • Domestic, international and extended cuts of all three films
  • Dubbed and original Cantonese audio
  • Audio commentaries
  • Archive interviews with cast and crew
  • New ‘on-location' filming retrospectives
  • Jackie Chan featurettes
  • Alternate and deleted scenes
  • Trailers

limited edition 3-Disc 4K Ultra HD set is out now via