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PopGap #06: Police Story 2 (1988)

PopGap #06: Police Story 2 (1988)

Written by dorrk
17 June 2015

June 2015's Kung Fu Movies: #04/20

Police Story 2 and Police Story 3: Supercop both suffer from similar problems: too much plot. For whatever reason — perhaps Chan thought this was a step in his evolution from a parochial kung-fu star to a major Hollywood-style action brand — both of these sequels trim away as much of Chan's special hand-to-hand combat as possible in favor of laborious plot machinations and generic action set-pieces with big explosions. Both movies, however, make up for this dispiriting deviation with spectacular finales.

In Police Story 2 (again directed by Chan), Ka Kui is quite rightly chastised for all of the incidental destruction he has caused during his pursuit of villain Chu Tao, and much of the movie is spent with his supervisors (again, Bill Tung and Lam Kwok-Hung) attempting to reign him in, even after Chu Tao is immediately released from prison for health reasons and one of his heavies (played by the delightfully slimy Charlie Cho) beats up the feistier, but still beleaguered May (Maggie Cheung). Ka Kui kicks some righteous ass and then quits the police force — but sensing that perhaps he hadn't subjected May to quite enough abuse or danger, he ditches her at the airport to hunt down a bomber.

So much of Police Story 2 is spent developing a completely forgettable boilerplate plot, that I would have gladly taken a little bit of the original's sophomoric silliness in exchange for cutting 30 minutes of boredom. Police Story 2 ends with a fantastic fight scene inside a giant warehouse, but it takes nearly two hours to get there, with shockingly little Chan-worthy excitement before then.

Both Tung and Cho are amusing in their negligible roles, but the scene-stealer is Cheung, who in one scene transforms history's most patient girlfriend into a three-dimensional heart(and body)-broken figure of tragedy, whose accrued burden of sorrow during the first two movies should recommend her for sainthood.

PopGap #06: Police Story 2 (1988)

Trailer for Police Story 2 (1988)