The fifth film in Jackie Chan’s Police Story series finds Police Captain Zhong Wen (Jackie Chan) struggling to connect with his daughter Miao (Jing Tian). For the first time in …years, he’s reconnecting with her at a club run by her fiancé, Wu Jiang (Liu Ye). Unfortunately for Zhong, Miao, and almost everyone else in the club, Wu has his heart set on a long-ago tragedy, and he’ll stop at nothing short of revenge.
Given that I don’t speak Mandarin, I had to capitalize on Well Go USA’s inclusion of English dubbing on the Blu-ray I watched, but Chan continues to impress, regardless of what language he is speaking. [I’ll go out of my way and write this now: I always find the outttakes awesome, when Chan shows off how nimble he really is, and how those around him are just floundering to stay out of the way!] But the thing is, Police Story Lockdown isn’t just the normal punch/run/jump Chan film that American fans might be suckered into expecting.
Jackie Chan is making a thinking man’s martial arts movie.
I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but there’s an episode in Zhong’s life that coincides with almost a dozen other people in the club. And Wu’s total mindset is based on his perspective of that event, and what he has to do to make it right.
Maybe more meaningful emotionally is the amount of time that the camera spends examining how Zhong feels about his daughter, and his code by which he holds every life to be sacred. Every life, regardless of how evil or twisted. And that is seriously a game changer for Zhong and the course of the action.
In the end, you can count on some ‘typical’ Chan moves, but this one also has some emotional depth that you might not be expecting. Maybe you’ll dig it or maybe it’ll be too much (because the emotional acting is sometimes different from American film.) But I… thought it was great.
More and more movies seem to be catching my attention lately about parents trying to reconnect with their adult children. There’s something about our time that seems to be emphasizing or deepening a disconnect with parent and child. And yet, when the parent pursues, I think we see an image of the Creator God of the universe who chases us, who longs to be with us, who wants us to know real love.
Zhong is willing to sacrifice it all for Miao, but there’s more to it than that. By itself, without much interpretation, it’s just beautiful, powerful stuff.