Super Cop revie

Jackie Chan Tries Recycling

*** SUPERCOP. (U) Hong Kong's man of action, Jackie Chan, goes undercover and out of control. Dubbed in English, Directed by Stanley Tong. At area theaters.
By John Anderson(NewsDay)
STAFF WRITER

"WHAT WE NEED is a supercop", says a Hong Kong police official. What we get is a superstar. Jackie Chan, of the furious fists and quizzical grimace, has been a huge draw in Hong Kong action films for a long time and, as one might expect, his "Police Story III: Supercop" of 1992 opened some time ago-in Chinatown. Today, this big-budget ($10 million) feature opens nationally with a shorter title, and should win Chan some more of the mainstream attention he was bidding hard for in last year's "Rumble in the Bronx."

In the early '80s, an attempt to Americanize Chan, whose movies include "The Big Brawl" and "Armor of God," led to his ill-advised appearance in "Cannonball Run." But "Supercop" lets Chan be Chan. As police detective Kevin Chan, he befriends Panther (Yuen Wah), who unwittingly helps him infiltrate the crime organization of drug lord Chaibat (Tsang Kong). He receives a little gender reeducation on the mainland from female Det. Yang (Michelle Khan), engages in horrific firefights all over Southeast Asia, goes mono o mono with some huge and frightening people and flies across town, swinging from a rope attached to a helicopter.

Director Stanley Tong doesn't have the elegant instincts of a John Wu, but then, a Jackie Chan film isn't an exercise in esthetics. It's about action, and comedy: Chan's bemused mugging when things don't go his way are as much a part of his films as the flying back-kicks and automatic-weapons fire. He's going for laughs, regardless of whether they're the result of slapstick, plastique or Det. Yang dangling from a speeding bus.

"Supercop" also resorts to situation comedy, chiefly when: Det. Chan tries to avoid his girlfriend, May (Maggie Cheung), who happens to show up at the same hotel where he's working undercover with Yang. It's harmless, formulaic stuff, meant to serve as filler, and an opportunity to catch your breath.


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