With no shortage of column inches being dedicated these days to a revival of practical FX and good old-fashioned stuntwork, especially when applied to the likes of Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible — Fallout, this is clearly the time to reevaluate and give appreciation to some of the pioneers of the stunt industry. There are a whole lot of coordinators and nameless stuntmen out there who deserve credit, but as far as A-list stars go, there’s really never been anyone else quite like Jackie Chan. Willing to do damn near anything to appease his fans, especially during his pre-Hollywood cinema heyday, the stories of the injuries suffered by Chan while shooting his films are legendary. And now, you’ll get to see some of his grandest stunts in beautiful 4K resolution.
According to a new announcement from Polygon, Chan’s classic duo of Police Story (1985) and Police Story 2 (1988) are getting upcoming Criterion Collection releases. As such, they’ve recently been restored in 4K by Fortune Star at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, which you can see via the new trailer and poster. But most exciting is the fact that audiences will also be able to see Police Story in theaters, where it will head for a limited release.
Back in his 1998 autobiography I Am Jackie Chan, the actor cited Police Story as the finest synthesis of his directorial and action chops, and we’re not exactly going to debate the guy—although Rumble in the Bronx and Drunken Master 2 are also pretty incredible. Police Story, though, is just a pure action movie through and through, pitting Chan’s Hong Kong police officer Chan Ka-Kui against a massive criminal conspiracy in a series of eye-popping action stunts. All of the trademarks of Chan’s style are present: Improvised weaponry, comedy pratfalls, ridiculous falls and bone-breaking impacts. The same goes for Police Story 2, which contains much more of the same.
POLICE STORY & POLICE STORY 2 from Janus Films on Vimeo.
In each film, a blooper reel during the credits reminds audiences of just how dangerous (and injury prone) such work really is. It can be especially disconcerting to watch these “bloopers” today, as any of the injuries Chan suffered in them would be major news in the current media cycle, if they happened to an A-list star on the set of a Marvel movie. In Chan’s world, though, these were just the hazards of going to work each day.
It’s not clear when exactly the 4K version of Police Story will be arriving via The Criterion Collection, but we do have dates for the theatrical screenings. To quote Polygon:
Police Story and Police Story 2 will be screening in weeklong engagements at the Alamo Drafthouse (Downtown Brooklyn), the Alamo New Mission (San Francisco), and the Music Box (Chicago) beginning Feb. 1, as well as at the Los Angeles NuArt (March 8-14), the Coolidge Corner Cinema (Boston, Feb. 1-2), Landmark’s Ken (San Dieg, Feb 1-2), the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz (Austin, Feb 2-3), the Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers (Feb. 4), the Alamo Drafthouse Littleton (Denver, Feb 6), SIFF Cinema (Seattle, Feb 8), the Hollywood (Portland, Feb. 16-23), the Alamo Drafthouse LaCenterra (Katy, Feb. 19), the Charles (Baltimore, Feb. 28), and the DIA (Detroit, May 26-28).