Supercop

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Police Story 3: Supercop
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
MandarinJǐngchá Gùshì Sān Chāojí Jǐngchá
CantoneseGing2 Chaat3 Gu3 Si6 Saam1 Ciu1 Kap1 Ging2 Chaat3
Directed byStanley Tong
Written byEdward Tang
Ma Fibe
Yee Lee Wai
Produced byWillie Chan
Edward Tang
Jackie Chan
Leonard Ho
Starring
CinematographyArdy Lam
Edited byCheung Ka-Fai
Peter Cheung
Music byMac Chew
Jenny Chinn
Jonathan Lee
Joel McNeely (U.S)
Distributed byMedia Asia
Golden Harvest
Golden Way Films Co. Ltd.
Dimension Films
Miramax (U.S)
Release date
  • 4 July 1992 (1992-07-04)
Running time
95 minutes
91 minutes (U.S)
CountryHong Kong
LanguagesCantonese
Mandarin
English
Malay
Budget$900,000
Box officeUS$34.4 million (est.)

Police Story 3: Supercop (Chinese: 警察故事3超級警察; Cantonese Yale: gíng chaat gu sih sāam: Chīu kāp gíng chaat), released as Supercop in the US, 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 third installment of the Police Story series, as well as first in Police Story franchise 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.[1]

Plot[edit]

Ka-Kui is the "supercop" of the Hong Kong police with amazing martial arts skills. He is sent to Guangzhou, where the Chinese police force's Interpol director, Inspector Jessica Yang (Michelle Yeoh), briefs him on his next assignment. The target is Chaibat, a drug lord based in Hong Kong. To infiltrate Chaibat's organization, Ka-Kui is to get close to Chaibat's henchman Panther, who is in a Chinese prison. Ka-Kui, posing as a petty criminal prisoner, manages Panther's escape with the connivance of the guards. Grateful, Panther invites Ka-Kui to go with him to Hong Kong and join Chaibat's gang. Panther meets up with some of his other men, and vouches for Ka-Kui. The group heads for Hong Kong.

On the way, they pass through Ka-Kui's supposed home village, and Panther insists that Ka-Kui visit his family there. He does not actually know anyone in the village, but is pleasantly relieved to be greeted by undercover police posing as his family, with Yang as his sister. The local police pretend to arrest Ka-Kui in a restaurant, but Ka-Kui and Yang (also a martial-arts expert) escape after a big fight, which concludes with the faked killing of a policeman. This confirms Panther's trust in them.

In Hong Kong, Chaibat welcomes Ka-Kui and Yang to his luxurious hide-out. He takes them with him to a big opium grower's fortified compound in the Golden Triangle military camp of Thailand, for a meeting of big-time heroin traffickers. During the meeting, Chaibat's gang attack from outside while Ka-Kui and Yang protect him inside. In a huge gun battle, Chaibat's gang kill the rival traffickers and their guards, and smash up the compound. The grower survives, but will now sell only to Chaibat at Chaibat's price.

The action then shifts to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where Chaibat's wife, Chen Wen-Shi, is in prison, facing the death penalty for an unspecified crime. Chaibat needs to get her out of prison, because only she knows the secret codes to his Swiss bank account, and will not reveal them to him unless freed. Chaibat brings his gang, now including Ka-Kui and Yang, to Kuala Lumpur to stage a jailbreak.

A new difficulty arises when Ka-Kui sees his girlfriend May, a tour guide, in Kuala Lumpur leading a party of Hong Kong tourists. He has told her he's on assignment. Ka-Kui evades May at first, but she sees him at the luxurious hotel where Chaibat's gang are staying, with the beautiful Yang, and confronts him in a jealous rage. This nearly blows Ka-Kui's cover, but Panther is persuaded that May is angry because Ka-Kui tried to proposition her as a prostitute. Later, Ka-Kui gets May alone and explains 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 is overheard by one of Panther's men. Chaibat takes May hostage, and forces Ka-Kui and Yang – their cover now blown – to help 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, though she survives. Furious, Ka-Kui and Yang pursue Chaibat and his men over the roads, rooftops (where Ka-Kui and Yang defeat Panther and his partner), and skies of Kuala Lumpur. In the climax on top of a speeding train, Chaibat is killed after his helicopter collides with a bridge and lands on him. Yang and Ka-Kui also recapture Chen. Since her husband is dead, she decides to tell Yang and Ka-Kui the password to Chaibat's bank account. The two partners argue whether Hong Kong or China will get the money.

Cast[edit]

  • Jackie Chan as RHKP Inspector "Kevin" Chan Ka-Kui / Chen Chia-Chu / Lin Fu Sheng
  • Michelle Yeoh (billed as "Michelle Khan") as Interpol Inspector "Jessica" Yang Chien-Hua / Hannah Lin
  • Maggie Cheung as May, Kevin's girlfriend
  • Bill Tung as "Uncle" Bill Wong, RHKP deputy commissioner and Kevin's boss
  • Philip Chan as RHKP Commissioner Y.K. Chen
  • Yuen Wah as Panther, Chaibat's top lieutenant
  • Kenneth Tsang (as Ken Tsang) as Khun Chaibat, narcotics kingpin in Hong Kong
  • Josephine Koo as Chen Wen-Shi, Chaibat's wife
  • Lo Lieh (as Lit Law) as Thai General, warlord and Golden Triangle drug supplier
    • Burt Kwouk provided the voice in the English version (uncredited)
  • Kelvin Wong (as Wong Siu) as Peter / Pierre, Chaibat's henchman
  • Ken Lo (as Lowei Kwong) as one of Chaibat's henchman (uncredited)
  • Allen Sit as one of Chaibat's henchman (uncredited)
  • Mars as Hsiung, one of Panther's henchman (uncredited)
  • Wai Man Tam (as Wei-min Tan) as Scar Chiang, one of Panther's henchman
  • Ming-Sing Wong as PRC Chief Coach Wang (uncredited)
  • Wai Shum as Drug Lord #1 at Meeting (uncredited)
  • Yi-Sheng Han (as Yee Sang Hon) as Drug Lord #2 at Meeting (uncredited)
  • Kim Maree Penn as Blonde Gunwoman (uncredited)

Production[edit]

A 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.

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]

Dimension version[edit]

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

Among the changes was the addition of a new score composed and conducted by composer Joel McNeely. 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.

Home media[edit]

The film was given a theatrical and VHS release in the United Kingdom.

DVD releases[edit]

  • In January 1998, Dimension Films released their Supercop version.
  • In Hong Kong, the film was initially released by Mega Star Video Distribution (Megastar), and later Deltamac. In 2004, it was re-released by Intercontinental Video Limited (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 released the first three Police Story films on Blu-ray Disc in June 2009.[3]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Police Story 3 grossed HK$32,609,783 (US$4,212,833) in its Hong Kong theatrical run.[4] In Taiwan, it grossed NT$64,576,200[5] (US$2,607,187).[6] In Japan, it earned ¥763 million (US$6.95 million) at the box office.[7] In South Korea, it grossed US$3.71 million,[8] adding up to US$17,530,020 grossed in East Asia.

In the United States, the film was screened in 1993 at the Hogg Memorial Auditorium in Austin, Texas, along with the original Police Story, with both films well-received among Austin audiences at the time.[9] After the North American success of Rumble in the Bronx, Police Story 3 received a wide release in North America on 25 July 1996. 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[10] from 3.7 million ticket sales.[11]

In France, the film sold 61,402 tickets in 1994,[12] equivalent to an estimated 276,309 (US$328,670) in gross revenue.[13] In Italy, the film sold 2,385 tickets in 1997,[14] equivalent to an estimated 11,925 (US$13,523) in gross revenue.[13] In Spain (released 1999),[11] it sold 61,402 tickets,[15] and 1,100 tickets in Romania,[16] equivalent to an estimated 233,328[13] (US$248,681) in gross revenue.

Combined, the film grossed an estimated US$34,391,494 (equivalent to $66,000,000 in 2021) from the worldwide box office.

Home media[edit]

In the United States, the home video release grossed US$14,430,000 (equivalent to $24,000,000 in 2021) in video rental revenue during 1997, making it the year's second highest-grossing Dimension rental video (after Scream).[17] This adds up to an estimated US$48,821,494 (equivalent to $94,000,000 in 2021) grossed from the box office and US video rentals.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The North American release by Dimension was well received. The U.S. version of the film holds a "Certified Fresh" rating of 94% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes from 50 reviews.[18]

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 Police Story 3'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".[19]

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".[20]

Furthermore, in 2009, director Quentin Tarantino named Police Story 3 as one of his favorite films of the past seventeen years.[21] He said that Supercop features the "greatest stunts ever filmed in any movie ever".[22] In 2016 during a roundtable discussion, when asked which movie scene he would love to save for the last of humanity to see, he named the final scene of the movie as his choice.[23] In 2014, Time Out polled several film critics, directors, actors and stunt actors to list their top action films.[24] Supercop was listed at 75th place on this list.[25]

Spin-off[edit]

Michelle Yeoh went on to star in a 1993 spin-off called Supercop 2 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.

Popular culture[edit]

The film inspired two missions in the 2004 videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, both of which were taken from the film's final scenes. The game's last mission, "End of the Line", in which C.J must chase a firetruck with a red open-top car and catch Sean "Sweet" Johnson, was taken from the scene in which Jackie must chase a van using a red open-top car to catch Jessica Yang (Michelle Yeoh).

The mission "Wrong Side of the Tracks", in which the player must follow a train from a dirt bike, was taken from the scene in which Jessica Yang (Michelle Yeoh) follows the train on a similar dirt bike.

The film briefly appears in a scene in British police comedy film Hot Fuzz in which Danny Butterman sees the film in a supermarket's bargain bin and reads it while Nicholas Angel pursues a shoplifter.

Music[edit]

Two songs "I Have My Way" (我有我路向) sung by Jackie Chan and "I Just Want You to Understand" (我只想你懂) sung by Taiwanese musician Jonathan Lee, both lyricized by Hong Kong songwriter James Wong and composed by Lee,[26] are featured as theme songs for the Asian versions of the film.

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas, Kevin (26 July 1996). "Supercop Gets Kicks From Footloose Style". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  2. ^ Jackie Chan. "Jackie's Aches and Pains: It Only Hurts When I'm Not Laughing". Random House. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  3. ^ Bruce Lee hits Blu-ray Disc
  4. ^ "Police Story III Super Cop (1992)". Hong Kong Movie DataBase. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  5. ^ "1992 Taiwan Box Office". National Chengchi University. 19 February 2001. Archived from the original on 19 February 2001. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Historical currency converter with official exchange rates (TWD)". fxtop.com. July 1992. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  7. ^ "【ジャッキーチェン興行成績】 第12回:日本での興行収入". KungFu Tube (in Japanese). 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  8. ^ "【ジャッキーチェン興行成績】 第10回:韓国での興行収入". KungFu Tube (in Japanese). 5 September 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  9. ^ Zey, Michael (2 August 1993). "Action, physical comedy power 'Story'". The Daily Texan. p. 7. Retrieved 22 April 2022 – via NewspaperArchive.
  10. ^ Supercop (1996) at Box Office Mojo
  11. ^ a b "«Полицейская история 3: Суперполицейский» (Ging chaat goo si III: Chiu kup ging chaat, 1992)". KinoPoisk (in Russian). Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Jing cha gu shi III: Chao ji jing cha (Supercop) (1996)". JP's Box-Office (in French). Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  13. ^ a b c "Cinema market". Cinema, TV and radio in the EU: Statistics on audiovisual services (Data 1980-2002). Europa (2003 ed.). Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. 2003. pp. 31–64 (61). ISBN 92-894-5709-0. ISSN 1725-4515. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Jing cha gu shi III: Chao ji jing cha (Supercop) (1996) – Infos Cles Italie". JP's Box-Office (in French). Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  15. ^ Soyer, Renaud (4 February 2014). "Jackie Chan Box Office". Box Office Story (in French). Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  16. ^ "Jing cha gu shi III: Chao ji jing cha". LUMIERE. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  17. ^ "VidTrac's Top 100 Renting Video Titles for 1997". Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA). Archived from the original on 13 June 1998. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  18. ^ Supercop at Rotten Tomatoes
  19. ^ Berardinelli, James. "Supercop (aka Police Story 3): A Film Review by James Berardinelli". Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  20. ^ "More Kicks From Jackie Chan". The Washington Post. 18 March 1997.
  21. ^ "Quentin Tarantino's Top 20 Films of the Past 17 Years". Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  22. ^ "Quentin Tarantino's Top 20 Favorite Films". Retrieved 5 September 2009.
  23. ^ "TheHollywoodReporter Roundtable Interview With Directors". YouTube. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  24. ^ "The 100 best action movies". Time Out. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  25. ^ "The 100 best action movies: 80-71". Time Out. Archived from the original on 16 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  26. ^ Wang, Zhu (February 2016). 唱我逍遙調:黃霑的歌影江湖. Guizho Publishing (贵州人民出版社). ISBN 978-7-221-12800-3.

External links[edit]