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4K UHD Review: 88 Films’ Police Story 3: Supercop (Collector’s Edition) 

Police Story III: Supercop

Police Story 3: Supercop is one of the best action movies ever made, long unavailable, returns to home video in a beautiful 4K UHD edition by 88 Films

The Film 

Police Story III: Supercop in its US incarnation was the second Jackie Chan film I’d seen in the theater.  The first was Rumble in the Bronx.  Before then at home on my 27-inch Sony Trinitron was the only way to see the balletic movement and beauty of Chan and his Stunt team’s work.  There was something always lost until that time.  It was the first time I could remember the difference in the scale of the big screen meant.  It was with Police Story III: Supercop that I never missed a Jackie Chan film released in the theater, making sure that I was five rows from the front, dead center to take in the purely cinematic experience of his work. 

The story continues the Police Story series/brand as Chan Ka-Kui (Chan) is “tasked” to bust up a drug ring that only a “Supercop” could take down.  The case will take him to Mainland China to work with Yang Chien-Hua (Yeoh) as they attempt to win the favor of Panther (Yuen Wah) in the hopes of getting to Big Boss Chaibat (Kenneth Tsang).  Of course, complications do arise and continue to arise and come to a head when May (Maggie Cheung) Ka-Kui’s long-suffering girlfriend unexpectedly is thrown into the mix.  

Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh are in top form.  There’s a tension between the two that works fantastically throughout as each rubs against their differences. Rather than make the tension sexual in nature its professional and cultural differences (Chan’s character being from HK and Yeoh being from Mainland). The refreshing take makes all the difference and really pushes Yeoh as co-lead rather than a supporting part.  

Most importantly, Jackie Chan’s Stunt team appears to be the best they ever were with not just inspired stunt work, but action set pieces that rival the best work of Chan’s stunt team.  The film has inspired everyone from The Wachowskis, Every James Bond Production, and of course Tom Cruise and his work on the Mission Impossible films (from Ghost Protocol on).  There are so many set pieces that Cruise has been inspired from that Chan and Co. should have been paid residuals and gotten credit.   

Police Story III: Supercop is the apex of not just HK Action Cinema but Action Cinema of the 1990s.  Let’s state this for the record; Police Story III: Supercop in any of its iterations is one of the best action films ever committed to celluloid.  

The Transfer

The 4K presentation from a brand-new restoration of the original film elements with Dolby Vision/HDR encoding is some of the best work that’s been done on any Chan film.  The clarity, color reproduction, grain structure, and blacks are all reference quality.  Having tested the disc on multiple 4K monitors and sets the image holds up and if anything impresses the larger screen you use.  There’s a filmic quality to the restoration that only comes with time, consideration, and a level of understanding that few restorations even come near.  

The Packaging

88 Films has not only produced a wonderful 4K UHD edition of Police Story III: Supercop but has wrapped it around a beautiful package. Here are some images of the great added-value content/packaging.

The Extras

They include the following; 

4K UHD [Disc 1]:

  • Audio Commentary by Hong Kong Cinema Expert Frank Djeng.
  • Hong Kong Trailer 
  • English Trailer 
  • U.S. Theatrical Teaser 
  • U.S. Theatrical Trailer 
  • U.S. TV Spots (x7) 
  • U.S. Video Screener Promo 
  • Japanese Teaser 
  • Guy Laroche 1984 Commercial with Jackie Chan & Michelle Yeoh 

Blu-Ray [Disc 2]:

  • Audio Commentary by Hong Kong Cinema Expert Frank Djeng does not seem to be the same Djeng commentary that was on the Eureka! Entertainment release.
  • Dancing With Death 
  • The Stuntmaster General 
  • The Fall Guy 
  • Stanley Tong Interview (2004) 
  • Outtakes and Behind the Scenes 
  • Hong Kong Trailer
  • English Trailer 
  • U.S. Theatrical Teaser 
  • U.S. Theatrical Trailer
  • U.S. TV Spots (x7) 
  • U.S. Video Screener Promo
  • Japanese Teaser 
  • Guy Laroche 1984 Commercial with Jackie Chan & Michelle Yeoh 

Note: the commentary and trailers are the only items on the 4K Disc. The rest of the special features reside on the Blu-Ray Disc. 

The all-new Audio Commentary by Hong Kong Cinema Expert Frank Djeng opens with his bondafides and discussion of how the HK version of Police Story III has not been, legally, available for the first time in the US.  Some of the other details include why Stanley Tong was brought on as director – who would go to collaborate with Chan on Rumble in the BronxPolice Story IV: First Strike; Chan’s first sync sound film with using his own film – and what a monumental moment this is; some of the adjustments and changes made to the Police Story series; the appearance of Maggie Chueng and the reason why her role was diminished though she still appeared; a discussion about the 1997 transition of HK to China and the anxiety that this brought to the public when this was released; where Michelle Yeoh was at the time, retired, and the comeback and her career after – note Djeng recorded this before Yeoh’s Oscar nomination and win; a discussion about the current political status of China and HK; the work of cinematographer Andy Lam; a discussion of the great Kenneth Tang – and his recent unfortunate passing; a larger discussion about the various set pieces – which they are many – with various tidbits like fighting styles, stunt work, stunt men, editing, time, et. al.; a discussion throughout about the various locations the production used – including a pre-transition, mainland China; a discussion about the differences between the US and HK cut – and just how different they are; a larger discussion through-out about the various HK Actors and Stuntmen and their careers; and much more.  Djeng delivers another great informative track that gives us context to this truly legendary and classic film. 

Flying High (19:21) – in this archival Jackie Chan interview the star begins with the success of the Police Story series around the world.  Some of the other details include Stanley Tong coming aboard as director; the collaboration and development of Police Story III; from his own perspective how he felt this was an era where he learned from other directors; how they cast and worked with Michelle Yeoh; a detailed account working on the helicopter set piece; and much more.  Chan as always is a compelling interview especially when he’s detailing the stunt work – which is on par with how athletes can detail specific moments from games.  In English. 

Dancing With Death (23:12) – in this archival interview with star Michelle Yeoh she begins with her time as a ballerina and her lack of formal training – at the time – during her time as an actress.  Some of the other details include what she did after her time as a ballerina – including going to school and theater/stage; her doing her own stunts and the cost physically she’s paid; the motorcycle stunt and how it was developed and executed – with some very surprising facts; the van stunt scene and how it was developed and executed – including a scary accident which you see in the film; and much more.  Yeoh is as compelling as Chan in this interview which primarily focuses on Police Story III.  In English.  

The Stuntmaster General (19:33) – in this archival interview director Stanley Tong begins with his history/collaboration between him and Chan – including one of the first encounters that they challenged one another.  Some of the details include how he approached working with Chan the first time on Supercop; directing Rumble in the Bronx and some of the arguments had on set and how that built trust; the lack of CG to help with stunt work; how the wirework was done on the motorcycle stunt with Michelle Yeoh; the fight work on top of the train in the finale; how he learned with Yeoh learning how to do the motorcycle stunt work – and an accident that happened during rehearsals; discussion about how they approached the helicopter stunt – including multiple rehearsals; and much more.  Tong’s interview is almost a micro-commentary with him delving into the various stunt work and how it was accomplished.  In English. 

The Fall Guy (21:45) is an interview with Jackie Chan’s co-star/stunt man/training partner/bodyguard Ken Lo opens with how he met Chan at a disco working as a bouncer.  Some of the other details include how he got onto Jackie’s team; how he transitioned from bodyguard to actor/stuntman; his view of Chan’s work ethic and feelings on directors; Chan and Stanley Tong’s relationship; and much more.  Lo has a unique perspective on the making of Chan’s film and gives us an interesting interview.  In Cantonese with English Subtitles. 

Stanley Tong Interview (17:16) – an archival interview with the director from 2004 discussing the action work on Police Story III: Supercop.  Some of the details include all of the prep work done for the final car chase and how much bureaucracy needed to be cleared; another account of the helicopter stunts in the film; working with Jackie Chan on this and other projects; working with Michelle Yeoh; and much more.  Tong’s interview adds additional information the other Tong interview does not have but does go over similar talking points.  In Cantonese with English Subtitles.

Outtakes and Behind the Scenes (51:33) – THIS.  IS.  THE.  GOLDMINE!!!  Running for almost an hour this collection of outtakes and behind-the-scenes b-roll footage is an amazing look at the various stunt work and making of the film.  All the footage is taken from the 35mm camera footage after the marker claps or flubbed/miss takes and includes things like post-explosions, post-stunts, and much more.  One cannot stress how special this footage is.  It’s better than any behind-the-scenes documentary because it’s purely visual without context and just allows a viewer, especially those that love and are familiar with the film, to engulf themselves in the production.  The best footage from the finale is the last of the footage and includes some truly wild captured moments of the helicopter and how truly dangerous it looked to be on set.  Set to the various songs and score from the HK Version of the film.  

Hong Kong Trailer (4:05) – In Cantonese with English Subtitles. 

English Trailer (2:10) – The original pre-Miramax trailer dubbed in English. 

U.S. Theatrical Teaser (1:39) – Miramax teaser dubbed into English.  

U.S. Theatrical Trailer (1:38) – Miramax trailer is just a slightly different version of the teaser dubbed into English. 

U.S. TV Spots (x7) (2:49) – Seven TV spots of various lengths from 15-second to 30-second spots.  In English. 

U.S. Video Screener Promo (1:37) – the pre-sales video trailer for the VHS release.  In English. 

Japanese Teaser (00:41) – God love the Japanese Distributors for using the original Police Story 1 & 2 theme and shots of the behind-the-scenes work.  In Japanese with English Subtitles.  

Guy Laroche 1984 Commercial with Jackie Chan & Michelle Yeoh (00:33) – the fairly humorous ad for Guy Laroche’s Watches featuring Chan and Yeoh on bicycles, horses, and mopeds.  

The Final Thought 

Police Story III: Supercop has finally been treated with the respect it deserves. 88 Films has brought out all the bells and whistles for this fantastic edition.  Highest Possible Recommendations!!! 

88 Films’ 4K UHD edition of Police Story III: Supercop is out April 25th

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