A 2004 reboot of the successful Police Story
series starring Jackie Chan
and Nicholas Tse. The movie focuses on Jackie Chan's character, Chan Kwok Wing hunting down a group of young bank robbers, who managed to kill his entire team when they attempted to apprehend them. A year later, Chan is informed by his new partner, Frank Cheng (Nicholas Tse) that they are going to strike again, and only Chan can stop them.
Much darker than the past Police Story
movies, and indeed one of the darker movies by Chan in general. Much lower in terms of slapstick and the fights, while very well choreographed, lack many of Chan's signature elements
, shooting instead for more straightforward, well-done action.
This film contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: According to a flashback, Joe's old man is an asshole who treats his son like "trash".
- Anachronic Order: The opening sequence takes place a year after the following action scene, then the movie catches up.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: The antagonists are all the children of wealthy, high ranking families.
- Bad Boss: Joe Kwan shoots 3/4 of his teammates over the course of the movie. Though one was more of a Mercy Kill than anything else.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Frank's whole reason for helping Chen is because, when Frank was a boy, Chen comforted him moments after Frank's father—a homeless man who just wanted to feed his kid—got run over by a truck immediately following his robbery of an all-night convenience store. The jacket Frank wears throughout the movie was previously Chen's, from that incident.
- Blood Knight: The antagonists, though they primarily focus their hatred towards cops.
- Bottomless Magazines: Joe fires approximately 30 rounds from a pistol into a dummy when venting.
- Bulletproof Vest: Played With: Early in the film, Jackie takes a shot point-blank to center-of-mass and shrugs it off, taking down the bad guy. One of the other cops tells him he was lucky that he wears another vest under his vest or he could have been killed at that range.
- Catch Phrase: Frank's "You're my man!" in Gratuitous English.
- Cop Killer: Chan Kwok Wing hunts down a group of heavily armed robbers who don't give a second thought about gunning down police officers. The main bad guy, Joe, is motivated to do this because he was physically abused as a child by his police officer father, who had gained a high-ranking position by the time the movie begins.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: While Joe Kwan falls before many villainous trappings, he revels in misdirection and playing expectations: most notably putting an obvious but fake trigger on the bomb, and hiding the real trigger.
- Darker and Edgier
- Deadfoot Leadfoot: Taken to a ridiculous degree as the bus keeps driving as somehow the driver's foot is apparently on the gas, blocking the brakes, and somehow blatantly turning to maximize damage.
- Death Trap: The warehouse where Chan's team is killed in the prologue.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Chan in the year between the flashback and movie proper.
- No One Gets Left Behind: As the building he is in prepares to blow up, Jackie Chan desperately tries to carry his entire dead police squad out of the building. He fails.
- Extreme Sport Excuse Plot: The villains are all extreme sports enthusiasts, culminating in a confrontation at a rooftop skate park.
- Failed a Spot Check: Invoked by the entire police department when they're trying to allow Chan and Frank to escape, despite them completely failing at stealth.
- Five-Bad Band
- Freudian Excuse: Of the Five-Bad Band, the Big Bad is the only one whose reason for doing what he does is explicitly shown—as a child, he was frequently locked in handcuffs and beaten by his abusive cop dad, and as a teen he was still berated by the older man. Joe eventually grew to resent him, especially when his father would go on TV and declare that a police officer's behavior for the public should mirror his behavior at home.
- Gun Stripping: Joe challenges Jackie to see who can assemble and load their handgun faster. If Jackie wins, his men will be spared. Jackie loses the first time, and when they have a rematch, this time for Nicholas's life, Jackie gets ahead of Joe by popping a round into the chamber while he is still assembling the gun.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Attempted by Ho Yee when she attempts to detonate the bomb attached to her when Chan is out of the room. Subverted when she failed to actually set the bomb off.
- Hope Spot: Ho Yee cuts the wires on the bomb on her lap while Chan is out of the room. Despite theories to the contrary, the bomb stops. Chan returns, they embrace and then leave ... turns out the real trigger was a barely perceptible tag activated by Ho Yee walking away from the bomb.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Nicholas Tse's character Frank begins as this, but as Chan wakes up from his Heroic BSOD he overshadows Frank by a long shot.
- Kick the Dog: Joe shoots a teammate for surrendering when the cops bring his parents to confront them.
- Murder Simulators: The bank robbers plan their heists and traps using computer games.
- My Greatest Failure: The death of his team (including his brother-in-law) at the hands of the antagonists is this for Chan.
- Outrun the Fireball: Surprisingly averted. Chan and his love interest escape the fireball easily, but the shockwave still knocks her out and causes severe bleeding from the ears.
- Police Are Useless: Averted, but the villains certainly think so.
- Product Placement: One fight scene happens at the LEGO stand of a department store.
- Shoot the Dog: Joe shoots Sue after she is wounded in the chase sequence
- Sole Survivor: Chan, of his team.
- Stepping Out for a Quick Cup of Coffee: The entire police department, in order to allow Jackie and Frank to "escape" and face the bad guys.
- Strapped to a Bomb: Jackie Chan's girlfriend gets strapped to a bomb. In an attempted Heroic Sacrifice, she removes the bomb to set it off while Jackie leaves the room to spare him... and nothing happens. The real trigger was hidden and the bomb went off when she got up later.
- Suicide by Cop: The Big Bad chooses to go out this way. Bonus points for doing it while Chan was there and knew he had no bullets, and for doing it in front of his father, also a cop.
- Unwilling Suspension: Jackie's team during the intro. Frank during the end.