A significant amount of the interviews on 88 Films’ new 4K UHD release of Police Story 3: Supercop talk about the friendship and friendly rivalry between Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh, then basically the top-tier stars in their corner of Hong Kong action cinema. Yeoh was discovered by Chan before making a name for herself in the mid-1980s with the In the Line of Duty series and subsequently retiring, briefly, after marrying her first husband. Supercop was Yeoh’s return to the big screen, and director Stanley Tong knew he had to make a splash with his two renowned stars — which, in this case, meant the most impressive action and outlandish stunts possible. Thing is Chan wasn’t about to be outshone by Yeoh, meaning the film is a continuously escalating action showcase culminating in the two of them performing stunts that look designed to have killed them during filming.
Two things. One: Some of the stunts almost did kill them and they have footage to prove it. Two: Despite the showiness of Chan’s final stunt, Yeoh totally runs away with the film, with stunts that include a motorcycle jump onto a train that remains one of the most iconic moments in Hong Kong action history. 88 Films’ American UHD release of Supercop was surely in the works before Yeoh won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Everything Everywhere All At Once, but it’s releasing at just the right time for a resurgence in interest for her career.
Simply put, it’s a great release for fans of the film and the newly curious. Although previously available on Blu-ray, the 4K UHD upscale looks utterly fantastic and is a far, far cry from the low-quality VHS rips that used to circulate for some of these Hong Kong classics.
Speaking of Police Story … well, obviously this is a sequel to the previous films, and it’s ultimately a Chan joint. I don’t mean to pay his performance short shrift by frontloading my praise for Yeoh; it’s just hard to get the image of her flying off a truck onto the hood of his car and then rolling off onto the road head-first out of my mind. For what it’s worth, Chan dislocated his cheek while filming another scene.
Chan reprises the role of Ka-Kui, a martial-arts trained ‘”supercop” tasked with undercover missions for the Royal Hong Kong Police Force. This time around, he teams up with Inspector Yang (Yeoh) to bring down a drug lord and his mafia. Drama abounds when both of them are drawn in as brother-and-sister criminals who have to learn to work together when discovery by Chaibat (Kenneth Tsang) would mean instant death. The film is a murderer’s row of famous Hong Kong faces, including Maggie Cheung reprising her role as Ka Kui’s put-upon girlfriend, May; Yuen Wah as Panther, the lead enforcer for Chaibat; and Lo Lieh as a Thai general who supplies opium to the criminal underworld.
Like its predecessors — and Chan’s best work — Supercop is a blend of action and slapstick comedy, and everyone comes out to play. It’s a dazzling classic, and it’s never really looked better than this release.
88 Films has gone all-out in its packaging for this one, including the disc and a perfect-bound booklet in a great slipcover that looks and feels wonderful. The special edition includes lobby cards and a poster.
Special features are a mixture of old and new, blending Chan and Yeoh interviews from a few decades ago with updated chats with director Tong, assistant director Johnny Lee and supporting actors in the film. 88 Films also produced new commentary tracks for the release. It also includes both the 96-minute original Hong Kong cut (viewed for this review) and the 91-minute American cut.