The Jackie Chan franchise continues to expand in America. Riding on the success of last year’s Rumble in the Bronx, Chan returns to U.S. screens with the release of Supercop.
Relying on the three pillars of Chandom — blazingly fast fights, awesome stunts, and bad dubbing — Chan once again turns out a crowd pleaser full of karate chops and busted skulls. Basically a continuation of Chan’s Police Story series, fans of this genre will find themselves in familiar territory.
The plot, as close as I can tell is this: Jackie Chan is a Supercop.
Okay, there’s a bit about him infiltrating a Hong Kong heroin cartel and, with some serious help from his associate (Michelle Yeoh), pretty much kicks everyone’s butt. (How the studio justifies advertising Chan as "single-handedly" kicking said butt is a mystery to me.)
So on top of a watery James Bond plot are fights so fast you can’t tell whose limbs are whose, Chan’s unique brand of humor, and, as I said, lots of really, really bad dubbing. At some level, one begins to wonder whether this is intentional or not – if this is just another aspect of the comedy or if it’s really the best they can do. (About half the Asian characters have British accents.)
But who cares? You don’t see a Jackie Chan movie for the sound quality any more than you watch a Pauly Shore movie for poignant and witty observations about life. What you see it for is some huge-ass explosions, Chan and Yeoh beating the living crap out of everyone in sight, and a helicopter-meets-train finale that makes Mission: Impossible look like an episode of Sesame Street. Then again, that plot gets in the way an awful lot, slowing down the film unbearably at times… but overall, the picture manages to keep moving along.
Special kudos for Michelle Yeoh, who plays, without a doubt, the strongest female character I’ve ever seen in film. And, as always, don’t forget to stay through the final credits for Chan’s twisted version of bloopers, most of which involve a painful injury of some sort… in case you hadn’t gotten enough of that in the prior 90 minutes.
Aka Jing cha gu shi III: Chao ji jing cha.
Whatever you do, don’t let go.
Review by Christopher Null © 1996 filmcritic.com