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Film / New Police Story

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A 2004 reboot of the successful Police Story series starring Jackie Chan, Nicholas Tse and Daniel Wu. 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: Joe's old man is an asshole who treats his son like "trash", and according to a flashback, he has been doing so since Joe was a child. His mother is quite the opposite, but her only solution to her son's very blatant mental scars seems to be to just give Joe money to take his mind off of his home life.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: It is never stated, but Joe's flashbacks and reactions to his father's presence indicate he has a nasty PTSD going due to his abuse. His neglecting of his day job, troubled sleep habits, overdependence on high-risk stimulation and emotionless demeanor when at home also imply he has clinical depression, which often comes together with PTSD in real life.
  • Anachronic Order: The opening sequence takes place a year after the following action scene, then the movie catches up.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Max is actually shown to have some mild scruples before the final confrontation, expressing unease at the possibility of firing upon civilians. Then he decides to surrender outright after he sees his parents and realizes how far he's gone. Before he can come close to meeting them, he's gunned down by Joe. The last time we see him, his parents are wailing over his corpse.
    • Joe, despite being an utterly ruthless cop-hating gang boss who gleefully murders Chan's entire squad and would even shoot his own team mates, goes out by committing Suicide by Cop after being confronted by his father. Even Chan tries to get the snipers to not shoot him since he was holding an unloaded gun, only to fail as Joe gets shot a second time and his father falls to his knees, horrified.
  • 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.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Actually slightly averted with Ho Yee. After she's discharged from the hospital, it seems like she recovered from being caught in an explosion's blast radius without any permanent physical damage. Then, when Chan proposes to her, the camera moves to reveal that the back half of the right side of her face is covered with burn scars.
  • 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.
  • Berserk Button: Joe's gang all make of game of killing cops, but Joe is the only one who actually seems to legitimately see red whenever he happens across one, likely due to him associating them with his abusive father.
  • Blood Knight: The antagonists are adrenaline addicts who get their fix from committing dangerous robberies and killing cops.
  • Book Dumb: Frank is revealed to have failed his police exam. Given that he is shown to be pretty athletic and with good smarts, it is implied it was the studying part of the exam what took him down. Indeed, having a homeless father who could probably not get Frank schooled as a child is not the best recipe for a future student.
  • Book Ends: Chan's first and final confrontation with Joe involves them trying to assemble a gun while Chan's ally (his whole police squad in the first, Frank in the last) is being held hostage via suspension.
  • 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.
  • Cassandra Truth: After Frank is exposed as a fake police officer, Chan initally refuses to believe his story about his father being a poor man who died trying to steal food for his son.
  • Catchphrase: Frank's "You're my man!" in Gratuitous English.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Joe is a lighter, less overtly sexualized version of this. As part of his way of dealing with the stress of his horrible father, he has his own men beat him bloody. He even tastes a bit of his own blood gleefully afterwards.
  • Cop Hater: Joe's gang makes a sport of killing cops, but Joe in particular makes it known how much he despises them, as he was physically abused as a child by his police officer father.
  • 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.
  • Darker and Edgier: The slapstick is very toned down compared to the previous movies and straightforward gun fights are more frequent and fairly brutal. The execution of Chan's team at the hands of Joe's gang in the first 30 minutes stands out as being far more horrific than the crimes committed by the villains in the previous movie.
  • 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.
  • Dirty Cop: Sam, albeit for sympathetic reasons. He took some of the stolen money Joe's gang left behind in order to pay off his loan sharks. Then Joe's gang tracked him down and blackmailed him into revealing Chan's planned raid, which leads to the death of Chan's team. Joe quit the force shortly afterwards out of guilt.
  • Domestic Abuse: Joe's father is not kind to either his son or wife. Joe gets both physically and verbally abused, while Joe's mother is constantly berated.
  • Downer Beginning: The film's first scene is a flashback depicting how Chan's entire team was massacred by Joe and his gang in an arrest attempt that screws up badly.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Chan in the year between the flashback and movie proper.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Chan has gone through a lot; watching his squad died in gruesome ways with his very own eyes. Not only does he blame himself but he is also blamed by his fellow cops that he binged-drink almost-to-death for years and briefly quit as a cop. When he slowly moves on and goes back as a cop, he almost loses his girlfriend at the hand of the same enemy. After going through so much, with the help of Frank Cheng (who owes his kindness when he was a kid), he finally earns his happiness; winning a race to assemble a semi-automatic pistol (which he lost earlier that caused his squad's deaths) as well as successfully saving Frank from death and could eventually get together for good with his girlfriend after she accepts his dramatic-yet-heartwarming proposal.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Max attempts to surrender after his parents are brought into the building Joe's gang is robbing, only for Joe to shoot and kill him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: During the buildup to the climax, Max nervously asks Joe if they're really going to open fire in a crowded building full of civilians.
  • Extreme Sports Plot: The villains are all extreme sports enthusiasts. There's even 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.
  • Freudian Excuse: Joe is the only villain 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.
  • Gratuitous English: Plenty of times by the villains.
  • 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.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: Unfortunately, putting a bullet in the chamber of a handgun during assembly would only ensure that the bullet would fly out after the slide is pulled back, meaning Chan's tactic against Joe wouldn't have worked.
  • Heel Realization: Chiu initially treats Chan with contempt, believing his overconfidence was responsible for the death of his team. Then he finds out that Chan's team didn't die because Chan was careless but rather that Sam was blackmailed by Joe's gang into revealing Chan's raid, leading him to sit back with a look of silent shame. He makes up for it in the end by looking the other way when Chan and Frank "escape" their cells to catch Joe's gang.
  • Heroic BSoD: Chan's in a state of this at the start of the film after losing his entire team to Joe's gang in the Downer Beginning. Frank's aim at the start is to pull him out of this so that Chan can pursue Joe's gang again.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Attempted by Frank, who commandeers a lorry and puts it right in the path of the runaway bus. He gets rammed off the pier, but miraculously survives.
    • 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:
    • When Chan fails to save his fellow cop mates who were held hostage by Joe, the last one, Rocky, Ho Yee's younger brother, survives his fall. Chan tries to grab a cart to get him and the rest of the bodies to safety, only to see Rocky dead shortly after.
    • 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: Frank begins as this, but as Chan wakes up from his Heroic BSoD he overshadows Frank by a long shot.
  • Implied Love Interest: Frank and Sa Sa are occasionally seen flirting through the film, and their last scene has them joking about marrying due to Chan's oncoming marriage, implying they will start their own relationship.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: One of the crooks distracts Chan by shooting the driver of a moving bus, causing it to veer out of control. To clarify, not the tires, the driver. Of a MOVING BUS.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Frank turns out to be lying about being a police officer, as he failed the police exams. However, his ruse is near-perfect for a police academy washout, considering nobody in the station seemed to realize until Chan's former chief says he never sent PC 138 to retrieve him. It is implied Sa Sa had found about it at some point, though.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: The movie has both a dramatic and comedic example of this. Chan completely falling apart as Joe's gang kill his team off two or three at a time is heart-wrenching. Two purse snatchers crying their eyes out in the police station (to the extent that Frank has to request tissues for them) after getting their butts handed to them by Chan and Frank is decidedly not.
  • Justified Criminal: Frank's father was a homeless man who robbed a store to get food for his starving son. Unfortunately, his one desperate crime resulted in his death almost immediately, as he was run over by a truck while attempting to cross the street.
  • Kick the Dog: Joe shoots Max for surrendering when the cops bring his parents to confront them.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Tin Tin agrees to discard his gun in favor of fisticuffs during his final confrontation with Chan after Chan brings up that their previous fist fight ended in a draw. Tin Tin does pull a gun on Chan after he is accidentally shot by Joe, but he drops it after Chan pleads with the police to send him to a hospital.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Joe's gang wears colorful clown masks that cover half their face whenever they're committing crimes.
  • Murder Simulators: The bank robbers plan their heists and traps using computer games.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Joe's father falls to his knees in horror after Joe opts to commit Suicide by Cop right in front of him, indicating that it's begun to sink in what his abuse has done to his son.
  • My Greatest Failure: The death of his team (including his brother-in-law) at the hands of the antagonists is this for Chan.
  • Mythology Gag: Several callbacks are given to the first two Police Story films:
    • Jackie begrudgingly singing Happy Birthday to You to Ho Yee seems to be a dramatic take on a running gag from the first Police Story, although since this film isn't exactly a comedy, nobody gets a cake in the face.
    • Jackie holding on for dear life to a moving bus once again.
    • Jackie's girlfriend being used by the villains as leverage. In Police Story 2, Jackie gets strapped to a bomb, but here it's given to Ho Yee instead.
    • The fight in the department store references the climax of the original Police Story, which had a much more elaborate melee in a shopping mall.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Deconstructed; Chan is given a Glock 17 after escaping the police department and stores it in his waistband since he doesn't have a holster; later, he has to climb up a structure in the mall to chase after the gang members and the gun falls out due to his rapid movements while climbing, leaving him unarmed. Then, during a fight with a gang member, Chan ends the fight by grabbing at the thug's own Glock tucked in his pants and then firing the gun, which wounds the guy in the leg.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted, but the villains certainly think so. The fact that their leader's father is a high-ranking police officer who has gotten away with abusing his son for years likely colored their views.
  • Product Placement: One fight scene happens at the LEGO stand of a department store.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Joe's gang are addicted to high-risk stimulation, which they get from gleefully committing robberies and killing police officers. They even keep score of their crimes like they're players in a video game.
  • Redemption Rejection: Chan tries to get Joe to stand down after losing pretty much his whole gang and is cornered at the roof of the mall. Joe instead shouts at Chan to shut up and challenges him to re-assemble a gun while Frank's life is on stake so he can earn himself another victory. When his father arrives on the scene, he attempts Suicide by Cop, right in front of him.
  • Rich Idiot With No Day Job: Frank considers Joe's gang to be this, as they all come from privileged backgrounds. Deconstructed to a degree as Frank also believes that they're aware of how empty their lives are as a result of being born into wealth. Joe does have the additional excuse of being horribly abused by his father, but the whole gang's dangerous thrill-seeking seems to come from their general misery over being directionless due to their wealth.
  • Shoot the Dog: Joe shoots Sue after she is wounded in the chase sequence
  • Sole Survivor: Chan, of his team.
    • Survivor Guilt: And this drives him to alcoholism in the opening sequence.
  • Spoiled Brat: Joe's gang all come from wealthy backgrounds. While Joe has an abusive upbringing to explain his behavior, it's left ambiguous if the other members also have difficult home lives or if they're just rebellious thrill seekers severely lacking empathy.
  • 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: Joe 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.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Chan, while still bitter about the deaths of his police squad, learns that Joe and his gang are just rebellious children of rich parents, arranges for them to meet up at a mall to get them to face the realization on how far they've gone.
    • After defeating Tin Tin in combat and Joe accidentally shoots him, Tin Tin grabs a gun and aims it at Chan but drops it after Chan pleads to the police to get him sent to the hospital.
    • Chan does this again with Joe, where he confronts him to get him to stand down and later tries to get the snipers to not shoot him when he commits Suicide by Cop since he's holding an unloaded gun.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Jackie's team during the intro. Frank during the end.