Jun 8, 2014

Review: Chao ji ji hua [Supercop 2] (1993)

Stanley Tong and Michelle Yeoh return in this spinoff of Supercop which featured some pretty memorable high-flying action setpieces. Yeoh was particularly good, arguably even out-hustling and out-muscling Jackie Chan, which is just insanity. It has to be said that Stanley Tong also directed my least favourite entry of the Police Story saga, Jackie Chan's First Strike which was released in '96. My question is, are we getting the Supercop Stanley Tong? Or are we getting the Jackie Chan's First Strike Stanley Tong?

Following up a Jackie Chan movie is a pretty tall order. Fights will be choreographed without his expertise which is like playing hockey without your goalie. Jackie does however have a small cameo in this film which looks like it was exploited for the DVD release of Supercop 2. Some covers in certain countries featured Jackie Chan prominently, when really he was in the film for probably no longer than three minutes. Oh well, that's marketing for you.

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Genre: action, comedy, crime
Directed by: Stanley Tong
Produced by: So Hau Leung, Barbie Tung, Leonard Ho, etc.
Written by: Mok Tang Han, Sui Lai Kang, Stanley Tong
Music by: Michael Wandmacher
Running time: 104 minutes
Production company: Golden Harvest Company, Golden Way Films Ltd., Top Stunt
Distributed by: Rim, Buena Vista Home Video, Argentina Video Home, etc.
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Budget: N/A
Box office: $9,337,853 HK (Hong Kong) / $16,270,600 (United States)

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Rongguang Yu, Emil Chau, Athena Chu, Siu-Wong Fan, Jackie Chan, Bill Tung, Eric Tsang, Dick Wei, Bowie Lam, Alain Guernier

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Synopsis


Jessica Yang (Michelle Yeoh) is asked to return to Hong Kong as an adviser in an ongoing case. She of course doesn't take this adviser thing seriously and become crucial in stopping a group of criminals from robbing prominent businesses. Things get personal quick and Jessica has to figure out where her loyalties lie.

Review


I'm going to say straight off the bat that the Jackie Chan cameo is immensely disappointing and just plain dumb. He appears in drag as an undercover cop in an attempt at some comedy. It's a total failure and it's a great example of what not to do with a cameo. Watch it for yourself if you feel courageous but I'm just going to go ahead and try to forget about it.

There are some other attempts at comedy throughout Supercop 2 but nothing works in that department. Although it isn't as littered with jokes as Jackie Chan's First Strike is, it doesn't have Jackie Chan who can make most things that aren't very funny at least half funny. There's no one with that kind of talent in Supercop 2 and it shows.

The comedy doesn't work, but what about the actual action? Overall it's just flat. There's maybe one or two stunts that garner a half gasp and non of the fight scenes are particularly exciting. They just seem to go on for too long which is a bad sign. If a fight is exciting it hardly matters how long it goes on for but that really wasn't the case for Supercop 2.

It's pretty clear that Supercop 2 isn't going for any film awards but there are at times some pretty good examples of overacting, mostly from the minor characters though. There are also a couple of scenes with characters speaking some awful English which is always good for a laugh even if it wasn't on purpose.

Michelle Yeoh comes out OK through this mess though which clearly isn't her fault. The script isn't anything special and the ending is pure hokey terribleness.. I feel bad for Yeoh who had to try and lift this movie on her shoulders and I'm embarrassed for Jackie Chan who had to be in one of the worst cameos I've seen in a while. I really can't believe that this movie made $16 million at the US box office which seems pretty good for a foreign release.

Rating


5/10