A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that even though Jackie Chan is generally a hit with kids, Supercop is one of his most violent movies. Playing an undercover cop, he is sometimes forced into violent, aggressor situations in order to keep up his cover. (Chan's movie character usually fights reluctantly, mainly in self-defense, and shows that fighting actually hurts.) Aside from the usual dazzling martial arts and crazy stunts, this one is full of gunfire, explosions, and other forms of mayhem, and the villains are drug lords. However, the tone is mostly comic and lightweight, with very little real consequences for the violence. The DVD contains the theatrical edit prepared for U.S. release in 1996, and comes with both dubbed English and the (preferred) original Chinese audio options.
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What's the story?
Jackie Chan returns to the role of Chan Ka Kui (from the first two Police Story movies), who this time accepts a dangerous undercover mission. His job is to break a drug boss out of prison, join his gang, and eventually bring down the entire operation. His contact is Inspector Yang (Michelle Yeoh), whom he sees as "just a girl," and is shocked when it turns out that she will be coming on the mission with him, posing as his sister. As they get deeper into the world of drug cartels, their situation gets more and more precarious. To make matters worse, Chan accidentally runs into his girlfriend (Maggie Cheung) at a resort, and she has no idea what he's up to.
Is it any good?
Made at the peak of Jackie Chan's career in Hong Kong, this is one of his most explosive and suspenseful movies, and it features some of his finest stunts. (There are some harrowing ones performed on the top of a moving train -- no CGI here.) It also features one of his strongest female co-stars in Michelle Yeoh (later in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), a trained dancer who performs her own stunts and is Chan's equal in skill and presence. They have strong screen chemistry together, posing as brother and sister on an undercover mission.
Unfortunately, this is also one of Chan's most atypically violent films, and relies rather heavily on guns and shootouts instead of martial arts. And while it has some humor, it's not one of Chan's funniest films either; the subject matter (drug cartels and numerous killings) tends to put a damper on the laughs.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh performing their own stunts. How dangerous is their work? What kind of training goes into it? What happens when they get hurt?
Jackie eventually learns that his female partner can be counted on as an equal. How did he see women before and how did he come to change his views?
There is an extreme use of guns in this movie. Does this movie glorify guns, or are they scary? Are the guns unnecessary in a film that also includes martial arts?
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