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With: Jackie Chan, Michelle Khan (a.k.a. Michelle Yeoh), Maggie Cheung, Yuen Wah, Bill Tung, Ken Tsang
Written by: Edward Tang, Fibe Ma, Lee Wai Yee
Directed by: Stanley Tong
MPAA Rating: R for some violence
Language: Cantonese with English subtitles/English dubbed
Running Time: 95
Date: 07/04/1992

Supercop (1996)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

'Cop' Gun

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Supercop is an American retooling of the 1992 Hong Kong film Supercop: Police Story 3. I imagine the U.S. distributors didn't want the audience to know they were watching the third part of a trilogy, and to tell the truth, if you don't know, you can't tell. The Hong Kong import played here at the Roxie in 1993, where I saw it twice. It's not my favorite Jackie Chan film, but it's still a good one. I remember when I saw it the first time I noticed that Chan, then pushing 40, seemed a little tired or bored in the movie. It wasn't until 2 years later when Drunken Master II was released that I saw the real, vital Chan again. Which isn't to say that Supercop is dull; it's not. It's just more of a James Bond movie with lots of plot, as opposed to the more non-stop action of his other films.

This new American release has a band new, high-tech title sequence, and brand new dubbing, with Jackie dubbing his own voice, thankfully. It also has a new cheesy American pop music soundtrack, to replace the old cheesy Hong Kong pop soundtrack, featuring covers of "Stayin' Alive" and "Kung Fu Fighting" as well as a new title tune by Devo. I'm told the film was edited from the original release, but to tell the truth, I couldn't tell.

In the movie, Jackie plays Kevin Chan, a Hong Kong supercop (I'm not kidding) who goes undercover to catch a ring of drug lords. He is aided by the incredible Michelle Khan (a.k.a. Michelle Yeoh), a stuntwoman whose skills almost rival Chan's. (Apparently, this film was Khan's big comeback in Hong Kong and Jackie was jealous of the attention she was getting, so he invented the spectacular train chase to compensate for his own little ego.) The beautiful and funny Maggie Cheung is back as Jackie's girlfriend, but only in two paltry scenes. (She played virtually the same part not only in the first two Police Story movies, but also in both Project A movies.)

Anyway, Jackie and Michelle find themselves shuttled deeper and deeper into the underworld, until their cover is finally blown and, blah, blah, blah, what do you care what the plot is? There are lots of fights and explosions and kung fu and so on. I'm really happy that Jackie Chan has been given a real shot in America. It was a nice feeling to plop down my money for a summer action movie that I knew would deliver. I'm told that Mirimax is giving Drunken Master II and 1993's Crime Story the big-screen treatment, and I'm hoping that means subtitles.

DVD Details: Dragon Dynasty released a new 2009 two-disc DVD set, with a much brighter, clearer picture, interviews with the director and stars and the requisite commentary track by Bey Logan. It offers both the original Chinese audio track with Jackie and Michelle's voices, plus the 1996 dubbed audio track that was released in American theaters. Oddly, the DVD also presents the 91-minute, edited version of the film with the new title sequence from the American release. And there are no "deleted" scenes to show what the cut footage was (none of it was really essential, but still...)

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