Undercover policeman Chan (Jackie Chan) is appointed to protect a property tycoon after a kindapping attempt fails. Though his charge, Wong, is clearly a shady character, Chan approaches the assignment with characteristic determination.

Then a second kidnap attempt succeeds, with a policeman being killed in the resultant chase.

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As Chan investigates the case, he soon comes to realise that his fellow investigating officer - and well-regarded superior - Detective Hung (Kent Cheng) is a member of the kidnap gang, placing both his loyalties and life in danger...

Though it sounds like (and was promoted as) another entry in Jackie Chan's Police Story series, Crime Story differs in a number of key regards.

First, it's a Category III film - i.e. one that's intended for an adult, rather than a general audience.

Second, rather than being one of the Chan's personal projects, the film was originally slated as a Jet Li vehicle. Chan only stepped on board at the 11th hour and, indeed, continued to work on other projects - City Hunter, Drunken Master 2 - during the production.

Third, rather than being a work of fiction, it's based on a true story. Inevitably some dramatic license has been taken.

As a result, Crime Story is a Jackie Chan film which may well surprise audiences. It could appeal to those who wouldn't usually consider themselves fans - more gunplay - but may also disappoint those who favour the star's more typical work - less comedy kung fu.

On the plus side, Chan gets a rare chance to show what a good dramatic actor he can be. On the minus side, there are few moments to laugh at in what is, by anyone's standards, a pretty downbeat, serious actioner - an impression reinforced by the noticeable absence of outtakes and bloopers from the end credits.

With both Kirk Wong and (an uncredited) Chan taking a hand in the direction and having different ideas and styles, Crime Story could easily have been a disjointed mess. That it manages to retain a degree of unity is a testament to the professionalism of cinematographer Arthur Wong and editor Peter Cheung.

All told, Police Story is neither better, nor worse, than the typical Chan film, just different.

Reviewed on: 18 Apr 2003
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Crime Story packshot
Jackie Chan takes a serious role as undercover cop in true Hong Kong kidnap drama.
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Director: Kirk Wong, Jackie Chan

Writer: Teddy Chen, Man Keung Chan, Chi-Sing Cheung, Lai Ling Cheung, Tin Nam Chun

Starring: Jackie Chan, Kent Cheng, Fat Chung, Christine Ng, Law Hang Kang, Sau Leung Ko, Au Yeung Pui Shan

Year: 1993

Runtime: 103 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: Hong Kong


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