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Police Story III



Like Chaplin and Keaton, Hong Kong's Jackie Chan espouses a chivalrous, almost puritanical attitude toward the opposite sex: women are chaste naifs to be protected and humored; more often than not, they're consigned to the sideline to cheer on the nimble Chan and his kung fu comrades as they battle villainy. But in this 1992 installment of the Police Story series, also known as Supercop, Chan's detective character teams up with a woman who can match him karate chop for karate chop, a lady cop from mainland China played by formidable martial-arts champ Michelle Yeaoh. The pair go undercover, posing as brother and sister to nab the vicious head of an international drug ring, and much of the comedy revolves around the boyishly charming, freewheeling Chan trying to win over the icy, no-nonsense Yeaoh--a gleeful metaphor for the relationship between Hong Kong's daredevil free enterprise and China's socialist orthodoxy. The comedy doesn't quite measure up to the inspired hilarity of the first Police Story, but it's facile and fast-paced, and the action sequences are vintage Jackie Chan: spectacularly choreographed, they culminate in a thrilling finale set in Kuala Lumpur in which Chan and Yeaoh leap from a motorcycle onto a speeding train, then fight off a horde of menacing crooks. Maggie Cheung is on hand in a cameo, stereotyped as Jackie's innocent and petulant girlfriend. Direction is attributed to Stanley Tong, a veteran stunt coordinator, but Chan's signature is evident in every frame. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Friday, January 7, 8:30; Saturday, January 8, 2:00, 4-00, 6:00, and 8:00; Sunday, January 9, 2:30 and 7:30: Monday, January 10, 6:00 and 8:00: and Tuesday and Thursday, January 11 and 13, 6:00; 443-3737.

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