Police Story 3: Super Cop

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"Supercop" redirects here. For the Cleveland patrolman, see James Simone.
For the 2011 Kannada film, see Police Story 3 (2011 film).
Police Story 3: Super Cop
Policestory poster.jpg
Film poster
Traditional 警察故事3超級警察
Simplified 警察故事3超级警察
Mandarin Jǐngchá Gùshì Sān Chāojí Jǐngchá
Cantonese Ging2 Chaat3 Gu3 Si6 Saam1 Ciu1 Kap1 Ging2 Chaat3
Directed by Stanley Tong
Produced by Willie Chan
Edward Tang
Jackie Chan
Leonard Ho
Written by Edward Tang
Ma Fibe
Yee Lee Wai
Starring Jackie Chan
Michelle Yeoh
Maggie Cheung
Yuen Wah
Music by Mac Chew
Jenny Chinn
Jonathan Lee
Joel McNeely
Cinematography Ardy Lam
Edited by Cheung Ka-Fai
Peter Cheung
Distributed by Media Asia
Golden Harvest
Golden Way Films Co. Ltd.
Release date(s)
  • 4 July 1992 (1992-07-04)
Running time 95 minutes
91 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese
Mandarin
English
Box office Hong Kong:
HK $32,609,783
United States:
US $16,270,600

Police Story 3: Super Cop (Chinese: 警察故事3超級警察; Cantonese Yale: Jing cha gu shi III: Chao ji jing cha), also known as Super Cop in North America, is a 1992 Hong Kong action film starring Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh. Jackie reprises his "Kevin" Chan Ka-Kui character, a Hong Kong cop from Police Story and Police Story 2. It is the first in the series not to be directed by Jackie, with Stanley Tong taking over the helm. It is also the last appearance in the series for Maggie Cheung as Jackie's girlfriend, May. Another significant aspect of this film is that it was the first Jackie Chan film from Hong Kong to use sync sound, allowing all the actors' voices to be recorded as they spoke on scene, rather than dubbed over by different actors later.[1]

Plot[edit]

In Shanghai, Ka-Kui is introduced to the military police force's Interpol director, Jessica Yang (Michelle Yeoh), who briefs him on his next assignment. The target of the mission is a drug lord named Chaibat. In order to infiltrate Chaibat's organization, the plan is to get close to Chaibat's henchman Panther, who is being held in a Chinese prison labor camp. Ka-Kui, posing as a petty criminal, is able to help Panther escape with the aid of Chinese military police, who eliminate Panther's men in the prison. Panther then meets up with some of his other men, and Ka-Kui helps them escape to Hong Kong.

En route to Hong Kong, Ka-Kui, along with Panther and his men pass through the supposed home-village of Ka-Kui's undercover role. Panther insists that Ka-Kui visit his family there. Realizing he does not actually know anyone in the village, Ka-Kui is apprehensive but is pleasantly relieved to be greeted by undercover military police posing as his family, with Yang as his sister. After a fight with other police officers at a restaurant, Yang and the Chinese military police help them win Panther's trust by faking the murder of a policeman.

In Hong Kong, Ka-Kui, Yang and Panther go to Chaibat's luxurious hide out. Ka-Kui and Yang succeed in winning Chaibat's trust, especially after helping his men destroy a fortified drug production lab in Thailand, somewhere in the Golden Triangle, when Chaibat betrays a number of other drug lords who are conducting a heroin deal with him.

The action then shifts to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where Chaibat's wife, Chen Wen-Shi is being held in prison and facing the death penalty for an unspecified crime. However, Chaibat needs to keep her alive because she knows the secret codes to his Swiss bank account and will not reveal them to anyone but him.

More difficulties arise when Ka-Kui runs into his girlfriend May at a Malaysian resort hotel during an undercover mission. She confronts Ka-Kui, and the situation turns into a misunderstanding with Panther believing that Ka-Kui was trying to proposition a prostitute. Later, Ka-Kui is able to corner May and explain the situation, and she finally calms down. At one point, May even manages to keep Ka-Kui from inadvertently blowing his own cover. But then, in an elevator May tells a co-worker about Ka-Kui,and one of Panther's men overhears her. May is taken hostage, and Ka-Kui and Yang – their cover now blown – are forced to help Chaibat free Chen.

Chaibat's scheme is successful and May is released, as per their agreement. However, the exchange turns sour when Chaibat pushes May from his helicopter. Furious, Ka-Kui and Yang refuse to let Chaibat and his men escape. An elaborate stunt-filled action sequence begins that covers the roads, rooftops (where Ka-Kui and Yang manage to defeat Panther and his partner), and skies of Kuala Lumpur, finally reaching its climax aboard a speeding train, where Chaibat is killed after his helicopter collides with a bridge and lands on him. Yang and Ka-Kui finally succeed in apprehending Chen. Since her husband is dead, she decides to tell Yang and Ka-Kui the password to Chaibat's bank account and the two partners get into an argument over whether Hong Kong or China will take possession of it.

Cast[edit]

Jessica Yang and Ka-Kui in the gun battle at the jungle drug lab.

Production[edit]

Exterior scenes were filmed in Hong Kong Island, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur. Interior scenes were shot in Kuala Lumpur.

According to his book I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action, Chan dislocated his cheekbone during a stunt scene.[2]

Filming locations[edit]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Police Story 3 grossed HK $32,609,783 in its Hong Kong theatrical run.

After the North American success of Rumble in the Bronx, Police Story 3 was released in North America on 25 July 1996 under the shorter title, Supercop. Opening at 1,406 theatres, it grossed US $5,503,176 ($3,914 per screen), on its way to a total gross of US $16,270,600.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The North American release by Dimension was well received.

James Berardinelli of website ReelViews wrote: "As is usual in a Chan film, the end credits (which show out-takes of failed stunts) are one of Supercop's highlights. There are more laughs in this hilarious three-minute sequence than in the whole of Kingpin. I can't think of a better reason to stay through the entire movie. Ultimately, the closing montage points out one of the chief differences between Chan's stylized, fast-paced films and those of his American counterparts: this is action with a smile, not a grimace."[3]

In the Washington Post, Richard Harrington said: "Chan seems to have met his soul mate in Khan [Yeoh's credited name], Asia's top female action star. Like Chan, Khan does her own fighting and stunts. Unlike the Hollywood action contingent, Chan and Khan don't rely on cinematic trickery. Theirs are not special effects, just spectacular ones. Connoisseurs will find Chan's helicopter-train chase far riskier, more exciting and more believable than its mates in Mission: Impossible and The Living Daylights."[4]

The U.S. version of the film received a rating of 95% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

Furthermore, in 2009, director Quentin Tarantino named Police Story III as one of his favorite films of the past seventeen years.[5] He stated that Supercop features the "greatest stunts ever filmed in any movie ever."[6]

Dimension version[edit]

The Dimension Films version, which was distributed theatrically in North America in 1996, was retitled Supercop, and was dubbed into American English with the participation of Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh.

Among the changes was the addition of a new score. Tom Jones' rendition of "Kung Fu Fighting" plays over the end credits, followed by a song specially written and performed for the film by the band Devo, entitled "Supercop".

This release was cut by approximately 10 minutes. These cuts include:

  • Scenes of the police superiors getting a briefing about drug-related crimes.
  • The police superiors discussing a plan to send Jackie Chan's character on an undercover mission.
  • A scene where Yeoh tries to teach Chan about Mainland China.
  • A longer version of the meeting with Chaibat in which the sexy women lounging about his mansion are revealed as drug addicts.

DVD releases[edit]

  • The film was given a theatrical and VHS release in the United Kingdom, but has never been released on DVD in the United Kingdom.
  • In January 1998, Dimension Films released their Supercop version.
  • In Hong Kong, the film was initially released by Megastar and later, Deltamac. In 2004, it was re-released by IVL. This version was contained within a Police Story trilogy DVD boxset (Region 0 NTSC). All Hong Kong DVDs contain the original cut.
  • In January 2009, the film was re-released in the west by Dragon Dynasty and the Weinstein Company. Although it has the original Hong Kong Cantonese soundtrack, it is cut to fit the visuals of the included Dimension Supercop version. It does not contain any of the scenes specific to the Hong Kong version.
  • Hong Kong based company Kam & Ronsom Enterprise announced that they would release the first three Police Story films on Blu-ray Disc in June 2009.[7]

Spinoff[edit]

Main article: Once a Cop

Michelle Yeoh went on to star in a 1993 spin-off called Once a Cop or Project S. Though it features a cameo appearance by Jackie Chan and Bill Tung reprises his role as "Uncle" Bill, this film is not a proper part of the Police Story series. Confusingly, some releases of this film were also entitled Supercop or Supercop 2. In most Asian territories it was called Project S, under which title the most comprehensive DVD was released by MIA.

Soundtrack[edit]

Main article: Supercop (soundtrack)

A soundtrack containing alternative rock and hip hop was released on 30 July 1996 by Interscope Records. It peaked at #133 on the Billboard 200.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]