Police Story 3

Year: 1992
Studio: Golden Harvest Company
Director: Stanley Tong
Writer: Fibe Ma/Lee Wai Yee
Cast: Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Wah Yuen, Bill Tung

Before Jackie Chan got a new lease on life when classic Kung Fu movies finally hit the big time with world audiences and moved away from the yellowed action section of the video shop, this was one of the last of his true Hong Kong cop thrillers directed by longtime collaborator Stanley Tong, and all the usual elements are there.

He plays inspector Chan, an unstoppable (while curiously goofy) Hong Kong detective sent on secondment to the Chinese authorities to crack a notorious drug dealer's operation and bring him down.

Teaming up with the no-nonsense Interpol Inspector Yang (Michelle Yeoh, on the cusp of similar international stardom just a few years hence), he befriends the bad guy's brother, Panther (Wah Yuen), he and Yang posing as simple rural siblings who help him bust out of a prison camp so he'll lead them to their main quarry.

In the classic Stanley Tong/Golden Harvest style, it has as many scenes of high comedy as it does blistering action. Just watch for the scene where Chan and Yang come to the house they supposedly grew up in, maintaining their act for Panther and his goons with Chan's commander from Hong Kong (Bill Tung) dressed up as their elderly mother to complete the illusion.

After piercing the inner circle of the drug lord's palatial mansion and winning everyone's confidence, it all goes pear shaped in the end when Chan's clueless girlfriend stumbles into the picture at the resort where she's staying and where Chan, Yang and Panther are finalising a deal. It culminates in a train and helicopter chase across the city that stops traffic in more ways than one.

Fans of Chan as a fighter might be a little bit disappointed as it doesn't have quite as much of the kinetic chop socky he's known for – it's more an action movie than a martial arts movie.

But as always, it's fun to see how different international tastes are. Just like a a celebratory dance number will interrupt a dark Bollywood action thriller, director Tong (and the script) thinks nothing of including scenes of absurdist comedy among the carnage and destruction.

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