May 14, 2014

Review: Jing cha gu shi 2013 [Police Story 2013] (2013)

Jackie Chan is back again in a new installment in the Police Story series. Like New Police Story though, it's a complete reboot with no relation to previous movies. It plays out like a drama with some sprinklings of action here and there. It falls dangerously close to being a Die Hard clone but somewhat escapes that designation. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed with Police Story 2013 though.

Jackie Chan looks the part of a mainland police officer and he can do drama fine as was evidenced in New Police Story. This is important because there is absolutely no humour on his part this time. I'm doubtful if he even cracks a smile in this movie. New Police Story has a smidgeon of comedy from Jackie but there's literally zero this time around. It still takes a little getting used to but Jackie Chan does just fine.


Genre: action, crime, drama
Directed by: Sheng Ding
Produced by: Yang Du, Zhang Wang
Written by: Sheng Ding
Music by: Zai Lao
Running time: 110 minutes
Production company: China Film Co., China Vision Group, Wanda Media Co.
Distributed by: Broadmedia Studios, Clover Films, MegaVision, etc.
Country: China, Hong Kong
Language: Mandarin
Budget: N/A
Box office: $94,249,025 (Worldwide)

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Jackie Chan, Ye Liu, Tian Jing, Tao Yin, Yiwei Liu, Wei Na, Xiaoou Zhou, Rongguang Yu, Peiqi Liu, Hailong Liu, Zha Ka, Lu Cai, Fu Hai, Zou Yizheng, Tong Chenjie, Guli Nazha, Lei Zhang



Police Story 2013 finds Jackie Chan as Zhong Wen going to meet his daughter Miao at a club. They have a difficult history together, especially since Wen's wife died leaving him as Miao's only parent. Her boyfriend turns out to be the owner of the club they're in, upsetting her father given the bad company he keeps. Wen is suddenly attacked, Miao is taken away and a hostage situation arises.


The story can't hide its blatant unoriginality. That wouldn't be too bad except that the story hops around too much with a heavy reliance on flashbacks to explain goings on and the editing comes off as way too busy. The club set is pretty cool though and makes for a nice setting.

There's less action like I said compared to other Jackie Chan movies in general. It's not particularly well filmed either which is really disappointing. The beautiful choreography from other Police Story installments is absent and it's poorly captured. The camera doesn't stay focused for long enough and that's obviously done to hide its deficiencies. There are a couple of occasions where the action is pretty cool but that's not very often. For an action movie that's a big failure.

There's also way too much slow motion that comes off as really cheesy. I can't help but like a slow-mo scene at times but not when it's as overabundant as it is in Police Story 2013. A lot of the time this is done to show drama but it doesn't work. Poor CGI is also pretty apparent and made me think back fondly on the glorious real explosions of Police Story movies of the past.

Jackie Chan is still a hero and Police Story 2013 can't take that away from him. He's done his part in playing his role properly and he clearly can take his acting in new directions. The blame for this lackluster movie is director Sheng Ding. There's nothing wrong with a cop drama but Ding's borrowed too heavily from action movie classics without doing anything worthwhile.

Police Story is still an awesome series and this new chapter doesn't ruin it. The worst movie of the series is still Jackie Chan's First Strike if you ask me. It's nice seeing Jackie still in the business of making movies and I had heard that he was courted hard by Sylvestor Stallone to be in The Expendables 3. Jackie doesn't need to do an ensemble cast movie and as much as The Expendables is a huge guilty pleasure of mine, I'm glad he went in his own direction. Let's hope he's got more in the tank because he'll always be a beloved figure and I want more of him.



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