A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Humility, courage, and dedication to the task in hand are all prominent themes. Teamwork and respect shown within the police force.
Positive Role Models
Inspector Chan Ka Kui is a diligent, daring, and dedicated member of the Hong Kong police force who refuses a large bribe from a criminal. He is a team player but also bends the rules when necessary. He is immature in his personal life, bickering with his girlfriend. Chan comes up against a corrupt colleague in the police force. Selina Fong -- who Chan must protect -- also proves herself as a worthy companion, outsmarting the police and her former criminal gang.
Violence & Scariness
Action scenes include gun battles (with minimal blood) and fights with painful stunts, including high falls and performers smashing through glass. A car chase tears through a mountainside town. A masked home invasion starts off scary before becoming comical. Lots of slapstick violence. Character is slapped and kicked down stairs. Character says his jealous partner would "hang herself three times." Calls to report a rape and domestic abuse are part of a slapstick routine involving multiple telephones. During credits blooper reel, some of the actors are shown getting medical treatment after their stunts.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Character's bare bottom is seen in a shower scene. Innuendo and flirting.
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Infrequent language includes "bastard," "bulls--t," and "ass."
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Products & Purchases
Bus in key scene displays Crystal Spring Lemon Tea poster. Mattel logo and Barbie toys prominent in toy shop scene.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Character smokes a cigar. Sealed packages of drugs shown and drug dealer samples an unidentified powder. Model stages smoking opium for police photo shoot.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Police Story is a standout Hong Kong comedy-action movie starring, co-written, and co-directed by Jackie Chan who must protect a key witness from a drug gang awaiting trial. The movie's (often slapstick) violence incorporates great artistry, comedy, and surprise. Chan and his stunt performers perform amazing stunts with the fight scenes masterfully choreographed and designed to entertain, rather than cause upset or distress. Likewise any gun battles have little blood, focusing instead on the performers' falls. However, a blooper reel during the credits shows stunts going wrong and Chan and his team in pain while receiving medical treatment on set. There is some depiction of drugs, mostly being seen in packages, although a drug dealer does sample an unspecified powder. In another scene, a model lights an opium pipe for a police photo shoot. There are some iffy gags, including a throwaway comment about a jealous girlfriend taking her own life and a "comedic" mix-up sequence involving two women reporting a rape and domestic abuse. The subtitled version has three uses of bad language -- there is also a dubbed version -- including "bastard," "bulls--t," and "ass." Logos for Crystal Spring, Mattel and Barbie are prominent in key scenes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a jewel in the Hong Kong action movie crown and shows its star, Chan, at the top of his game. Part superhero cop, part clown, Chan's police inspector is the perfect character to carry this comedy-action movie. Chan's instinct for when to amaze, entertain, or play the fool is honed masterfully and enables Police Story to throw out surprise after surprise. His (literally) death-defying stunts are gasp inducing and awesome, while the slapstick elements -- such as a cake to the face -- are reminiscent of other great physical comedy performers like Buster Keaton. Rather than being gritty or grisly, Chan's action set pieces are closer to the Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor's joyful dance sequences in 1952's Singin' in the Rain. Show anyone Police Story's bus scene or climatic shopping mall battle and defy them to not both smile and gasp.
Police Story launched Hong Kong's brand of action movie that is still considered the high watermark of the genre. Chan's Hollywood career began more than a decade after Police Story made him a Hong Kong hero. But no western director has managed to capture the inventiveness and artistry that made his domestic movie output such pure gold.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.