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Review New Police Story a.k.a. San ging chaat goo si (2004): Pretty dark and serious outing for Chan!

genre: action, crime, martial arts

For whatever reason Jackie Chan chose the Police Story franchise to start with the new style Jackie Chan who is devoid of comedy and slapstick. He is super serious all the time and even manages to put in in some heavy and sweet romantic elements into this pretty dark adventure. Whether it is the desire to show more of his acting skills or whether he realizes that he won't be able to do certain stunts any more because of his old age, it does raise the following question. Is new style Jackie Chan worth watching?

The way Chan has presented himself in this film it certainly is worth your time. However you will have to endure some cheesy but effective melodrama before you get to enjoy the kick ass action you normally get from Chan. Action wise you will get your fix for sure. There are some completely insane stunts featured in New Police Story that prove that Chan was still very capable of dazzling stunts and acrobatics at the time. Most of the combat consists of gun play and a fight or two. The first time I watched this it bothered me heavily that this film was so low on martial arts action. Having watched it for the second time I think I can appreciate it more. Especially if you compare this to the atrocious Police Story 2013

Even the plot is pretty thrilling and compelling. Daniel Wu and co are certainly interesting villains. The addition of mysterious and wacky Nicolas Tse who provided the little comic relief was very welcome. So then what is left to be critical about. The tone. New Police Story is too dark for it's own good. The first three in the Police Story franchise were much lighter films that were filled with goofiness. Police Story 2 was a good example of how goofy it could be next to being dead serious. It was one of the main elements that gave the franchise it's charm. New Police Story is quite depressing as it paints a very bleak picture of the world Jackie Chan resides in. It is something you will have get to used to since Jackie Chan took it upon himself to be on the path of seriousness with very varying results. In this case tough it worked out as New Police Story certainly packs a punch. 

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