Daily New Review

'Supercop' Is a Big Kick

A 'Police' kung-fu comedy? Yeah, that's the ticket as Jackie Chan chops, socks his way into U.S. market

*** SUPERCOP. Jackie Chan, Michelle Khan. Directed by Stanley Tong. A Chinese language film dubbed in English. At theaters. Running time: 90 mins.
By Dave Kehr(New York Daily News)

ASIAN SUPERSTAR Jackie Chan waited a very long time before "Rumble in the Bronx" gave him his American break-through. But there's a huge backlog of Chan films that have not been seen outside Chinese theaters - among them "Supercop," which Miramax is releasing today in a dubbed and rescored version.
The movie played Chinatown in 1993, and was subsequently seen in one of Peter Chow's Hong Kong programs at the Cinema Village, under the title Police Story III."
It's a good film - far better than "Rumble in the Bronx - and one of the more lavishly produced and well-paced of the Chan vehicles, though, like "Rumble," it gives short shrift to Chan's comic abilities and martial arts skills.
Chan again plays Kevin Chan the eager-to-please, suicidaliy courageous Hong Kong police inspector he invented for "Police Story" in 1985. This time, he's assigned by his crusty, avuncular superior (Chan regular Bill Tung) to infiltrate a gang of heroin smugglers. To gain the trust of a kingpin named Panther (Yuen Wah), Kevin is slipped into a mainland China prison camp, where he helps Panther to escape. Joining him as he delves into the drug operation is police chief Hana Yang, played by Asia's most popular female action star, Michelle Khan. Director Stanley Tong respects the "Police Story" formula, which is to insert bits of highly stylized physical comedy in the midst of otherwise conventionally "realistic" action scenes. An epic shootout in the camp of a drug lord on the Thai-Cambodian border is punctuated by the graceful flips and pratfalls performed by Chan and Khan, adding a level of ballet-like elegance and serenity amid the exploissons and machine-gun fire.
"Supercop" concludes in Kuala Lumpur, where Jackie ends up dangling from a rope ladder tied to a helicopter as it spins around the city's office towers. It's a heart-in-mouth sequence, precisely because it rejects the digital technology that supports a similar scene in "Mission Impossible" in favor of just doing it with real people in a real place.
Khan is appropriately stern and dignified in support -a Chinese Ninotchka- and fights alongside Chan without making a big feminist deal of it. She has her mad moment,too -jumping a motorcycle from an embankment onto a moving train. Too much.

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