Now it’s time for a film that I hadn’t heard of before but is apparently very big. The Police Story is a comedic thriller that works really well and I can see why people like it. I definitely had a lot of fun with it and it shows just how much you can do with a fairly small main cast and a plot that’s rather direct. There aren’t a lot of twists and turns here but the film’s fundamentals are on point so there is never an issue on that front.
The movie starts off with police officer Ka-Kui and the rest of the department getting ready to take some villains down. They have an elaborate scheme set up near the beach but unfortunately it doesn’t go too well. After a lot of destruction and mayhem they eventually manage to take down the villains and get them ready for court. It will be difficult though because the villains are as corrupt as they come and without a ton of evidence they may win the trial. So Ka-Kui is told to act as Salina’s bodyguard. She was the main villain’s secretary and so she should know a lot of secrets but of course she won’t want to sell him out. Time to trick the truth out of her but it won’t be easy since she is rather crafty too.
Right off the bat you do need to be prepare for this to be played in a very comedic angle as this is not a serious police drama. That said, I thought it worked really well because the humor is on point. You should be laughing quite a bit during the experience. At times the humor can be rather dark but for the most part it’s more on the slapstick side. Characters get beaten up in funny ways and there are a lot of fun lines as well. It’s mainly a very upbeat film which is why when characters do get really injured you can tell that things are getting serious indeed.
Unfortunately this does mean that Ka-Kui does look pretty bad at times because I do have to count some of the comedic stuff against him. For example Salina decides to prank Ka-Kui in order to make sure he loses the case by acting in a suggestive way while the recorder is on. This plan only works if Ka-Kui fumbles the ball at every corner and of course he does. For example when she offered to go to bed with him he flat out accepted which showed his true colors.
His girlfriend May has a rough time of it throughout the movie because of how thoughtless he can be but this is why she should have left by this point. If Salina wasn’t kidding then he was really ready to betray May at the drop of a hat. That’s not the kind of loyal man that you want by your side. Not by a longshot. Even if it’s played for laughs I would argue that his true colors shown through there and it was a low moment for the guy.
He is a great fighter though and of course the climax does live up to the hype. The fight is so very long and there are a lot of good moves being thrown out. I also appreciated that Salina actually tried to help at several points. She wasn’t just watching as you often see the heroines do in these films. She went out on a limb to help out and it was a great moment. She did this several times during the movie as well.
Salina made for a decent anti hero. You can absolutely see why she doesn’t trust Ka-Kui and why she set him up later on because deception was everywhere. She’s certainly no hero but Salina was caught up in a tricky place from the jump. If she crosses the villains then they’ll probably bump her off but if she crosses the heroes then they might put her in jail for any number of reasons. She really has to be careful here.
I really liked the police’s way of handling this in at least one scene to sow distrust among the villains. They kept her in the interrogation room for an extra minute but didn’t actually say anything. So when the villains confronted her later on and she said that nothing happened, it obviously makes her look very suspicious.
As I said it’s a fairly small main cast. Salina, May, and Ka-Kui are really the only main characters. Sure you have the main gangster, the lawyer, and Ka-Kui’s two bosses but they don’t actually do a whole lot beyond that. It’s part of what helps the film’s pacing flow so well as a lot of the film is just about Ka-Kui trying to be a big bodyguard and then a ton of fight scenes. The writing is good here and we even got a court case which was a lot of fun.
In fact, outside of the climax that would be the biggest highlight of the movie. I liked just how desperate the prosecutor kept getting as he tried to discredit Ka-Kui. Fortunately Ka-Kui always had a good comeback until the audio tape did him in but he was holding his own up until that point. I always like a court scene, whether it is serious or sometimes played for laughs. It’s still a court scene either way.
One thing that seals the deal here is the ending of the film. For a little while you’re getting worried that things will end on a bit of a whimper after an incredible climax. Instead that wasn’t to be and Ka-Kui comes up with one last initiative. The combo is great and the film was really good with the sound effects the whole time so this wasn’t a surprise when you felt the blows.
Finally, the film had an excellent soundtrack. The music choices were bold and popped out at you for every scene. This is how I would want more films to sound like because a lot of films tend to be more generic without many big tunes in them. This one sounded like an anime almost with how colorful the themes were and they really set the mood. It was a brilliant choice by the composer to make this film stand out even more.
Overall, Police Story is one of the funnier films that I’ve seen in a minute. It probably would have ended up being really solid even if there wasn’t action although obviously every film is better with some fighting in it. The action scenes are top notch just like the comedic ones so you’ve got a full mix here. I have a hard time picturing any of the sequels or remake matching up to this one in any way but I’d be curious to see how those turn out. This one really tackles everything, even the classic themes of betrayal and having to go against the agency. You don’t always get the complete package like that.