Movie: *** out of 5
Video: **** 1/2
Audio: **** 1/2
Article first published as Blu-ray Review: Jackie Chan Stars in ‘Police Story: Lockdown’ on Blogcritics.
No matter the film, Jackie Chan is always a joy to watch. Whether
comedy- or drama-driven, the man has the charisma to carry any film —
regardless of quality. As he’s gotten older, his roles have been dialed
back a bit, it’s obvious that they’re written with his stature in mind.
But no matter what, he always makes anything he’s in at least watchable.
Now, Chan has joined forces once again with Ding Sheng (director of Little Big Soldier, who also wrote the screenplay) to deliver us Police Story: Lockdown
— the sixth installment of Chan’s popular cop series. How does it
measure up to the rest of the films? Well, Chan is certainly showing his
age, but he’s still better than Sheng’s lackluster Die Hard ripoff.
plays Detective Zhong Wen, who is meeting his estranged daughter Miao
Miao (Jing Tian) at the nightclub Wu Bar. Miao has asked to meet with
her father to let him know that she is now seeing the club’s owner Wu
Jiang (Liu Ye). Zhong is not happy that once again his daughter has made
another precarious life decision, and before he knows it, he’s knocked
unconscious, and wakes up as Wu’s hostage. Now, Wu is holding Zhong
captive, along with a group of specially invited guests, as Zhong must
figure out Wu’s motives and keep everyone safe. Soon enough, Wu explains
his vengeful plan, and only Zhong can stop him.
Delivered, as always, on a 25GB disc, and as always, this Well Go USA
title is held back from perfect marks by banding. It’s a simple enough
fix, but yet they continue to pump out titles ad nauseum fixed with less
room to breathe, keeping the picture from looking as good as they
could. The good news is, the colors are bright and pop while never
resulting in bleed, fleshtones are natural, and there is never any sign
of noise or crush. Detail is also phenomenal. On the audio front, WGU
does however keep treating us to stellar 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks.
Bass will give your home theater a good walloping, and every punch,
kick, explosion, gunshot, or helicopter flyby sound perfect, with
directionality making sure everything is right where it should be in the
soundfield. Additional audio tracks include English 5.1 DTS, along with
Mandarin and English 2.0 Dolby Digital, and English only subtitles.
There aren’t a lot of special features, and what is here can be
called mediocre at best. Included are a set of interviews featuring
director Sheng (4:20) and actors Chan (3:51), Ye (6:11), and Tian
(6:14). There’s also a “Behind the Scenes” (5:15) and the film’s
theatrical trailer (1:41). The cast appear to be having a lot of fun
working together, and Chan always seems spirited on set. It’s just a
shame that they’re not given a whole lot to do. Considering the lack of
stunt work from Chan himself, there’s also a major lack of
stunts-gone-wrong. It’s something fans always look forward to, something
that reminds us how hard he works no matter what film he’s in.
Unfortunately for fans, there’s very little comedy that was found in some of the earlier Police Story
films. This is a much more serious outing, something that Chan is fully
capable of, but Sheng never provides a sense of fun, or even delves
into darker themes. It’s all very run-of-the-mill, with the plot
eventually playing out like a mashup of Die Hard and Rashamon.
You soon grow tired of the characters explaining what really happened
to incite Wu’s revenge, and soon just wish for the film to reach its
inevitable showdown. Chan has done better, but he’s definitely done far
While light on features, the video/audio at least make the film look
and sound as good as it can. It was released overseas on IMAX 3D, and I
cannot fathom why. Even in two dimensions, the story is never larger
than life enough to warrant the biggest screen possible, let alone a 3D
conversion. There’s barely enough to service hardcore Chan fans, but I
will say that I do love seeing the man still manage to kick ass and take
names when given the chance. Sadly, Police Story: Lockdown could also refer to the series itself, we don’t need another Police Story, especially when there’s sadly no life left in the franchise.