A policer officer finds himself in the middle of a hostage situation.
Another collaboration between director Ding Sheng and Jackie Chan, working together again several years after Little Big Soldier on a project different on every level. No more buddy movie set in a feudal China divided by wars, here, the story takes place in the dark streets of modern China for what was presented as… an action thriller?
A MARKETING STUNT?
Police Story 2013 is far from the eponymous film series in which Jackie Chan used to entertain us with an incredible show through the streets of Hong Kong, offering serious and funny scenes as well, always trying to surprise the audience. This new film marks a complete new direction, it’s so different one can wonder why they choose this title…
Some elements are reminiscent of the previous films — especially Benny Chan’s New Police Story with these annoying youngsters — but overall, this film looks like a non-spectacular character-driven drama slowly turning into some kind of whodunit.
UNDER THE FLAG OF CHINA
With Jackie Chan playing a humble, modest Chinese police officer who made some mistakes in the past. A dramatic, down-to-earth role that confirms the actor’s will to avoid doing anymore big action sequences. Even though the film features some short fight sequences — with some MMA moves. But, it’s still a drama, and this 50-year-old cop is facing young people.
Don’t expect much stunning physical stunts, the film relies much more on the spirit of this flic trying to do good — and obviously, there’s nothing to tarnish the police, it’s a highly respectable institution, upholding the law with integrity & humanity. Remember Johnnie To’s Drug War?
Set in the colorful world of the night, the story takes place in the middle of an old factory turning into a hype night-club. The colours, the original architecture of this place will be brieftly used during the film — the place appears right from the beginning as a prison, it’s filled with red-blue-orange colours underlining the nightmarish experience of these characters looking for redemption, the architecture will serve as the playground for a (short) hide and seek session…
Besides some nice ideas, the film doesn’t really take off — it offers some action sequences mostly forced into the narrative, the final 30-min are somewhat engaging. Moreover, the story is stuck on the serious mode, only to deliver a small human drama with a loose plot & weird dramatic choices — best way to stay incognito? taking a photo with flash!
IN THE END…
Police Story 2013 is disappointing precisely because it’s no Police Story, there’s no explosive, nothing spectacular, nothing light or funny. It’s a seriously dull drama starring grumpy Jackie Chan — hopefully, one can still enjoy the bloopers at the end. The film is watchable, harmless and satisfied with conformity, avoiding as much as possible any moral ambiguity. And, like many Chinese blockbusters, the music is awful.