Project S | aka Supercop 2 (1993) Review

"Project S" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Project S" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Director: Stanley Tong
Producer: Barbie Tung
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Yu Rong Guang, Emil Chau Wa Kin, Fan Siu Wong, Dick Wei, Athena Chu, Bill Tung Biu, Bowie Lam, Alain Guernier, Ailen Sit Chun Wai, Chan Man Ching, Joe Cheung, Mars, Yukari Oshima, Jackie Chan, Eric Tsang
Running Time: 98 min.

By Numskull

It seems that “they”… whoever they are… really don’t want us North American types to see this movie. The DVD and VCD from Hong Kong are both inexplicably devoid of English subtitles, and the Dimension release is… well, it’s a Dimension release. Dub only, false title, stuff missing, you know the routine. It also has a quote on the package from some peabrained critic calling Michelle Yeoh “the female Jackie Chan.” Good God, how demeaning. That just leaves the Region 2/PAL DVD from the Hong Kong Classics label, which is complete with good English subtitles but will set you back a pretty penny. Is it worth it? I think not. After all, Stanley Tong directed it.

Despite what the Dimension dickheads would like you to think, this is not a true sequel to Police Story 3 (“Supercop”). It takes place in the same universe, and Michelle Yeoh once again plays mainland Chinese cop Yang Chien Hua (NOT “Jessica Yang”), and Uncle Bill is here, and Jackie Chan makes a cameo appearance as Chia Chu in a scene that barely has anything to do with the story where he has a fake pair of laughing tits, and Eric Tsang is in that scene too, and there’s a girl named May who is not the same May (Maggie Cheung) from the Police Story movies, and…what was I talking about? Oh yeah…this isn’t a “true” sequel. Whatever that means.

Yang Chien Hua’s boyfriend (doesn’t really seem like the type to have one, does she?) is played by Yu Rong Guang, not Michael Wong as the UK DVD package states. He relocates to Hong Kong to make his fortune doing all sorts of illegal shit, and she gets teamed up with two marginally competent cops named Lung and Ming (Fan Siu Wong and Emil Chow, respectively) to stop him…only she doesn’t know it’s him at first. The eye-rolling melodrama can be seen miles away.

There’s one bad guy who goes by the name of Mr. Explosive. His specialty is…damn, what was it? Narcotics? Firearms? Forged documents? Pirate versions of Street Fighter video games where Chun Li fights naked? No, wait a minute…wait…oh yeah, right, it was explosives. What I want to know is, how does one conduct day-to-day business with a name like Mr. Explosive? And, for that matter, what about pleasure? I can see it now. He’s sitting in a nightclub, and some scantily clad woman takes the stool (I mean the thing you sit on, not fecal matter) next to his, and he says: “Hey there, gorgeous. My name’s Mr. Explosive. What’s yours?” Would she think he was joking? Would she think he was on drugs? Would she immediately make her excuses and remove herself from the premises? Would she assume that his moniker was an indication of his sexual prowess and that, should she decide to play “hide the salami” with him, she would end up with a fist-sized hole in her back due to some ungodly degree of ejaculatory pressure the likes of which has never been seen before? This is the kind of thing you’ll think about during the film’s boring parts, and, sorry to say, there are quite a few of them.

One of the film’s saving graces, however, is that Lung and Ming aren’t complete boobs, as one might expect. When they are first paired up with Hua, an unwritten formula pops into your mind, indicating that she’s going to have to bail these two f*ckwits out of trouble time and again, but…while she’s clearly more seasoned than they are…they actually manage to do something right once in a while. The film’s other saving grace is the ending, which teaches us (“us” meaning those who aren’t smart enough to figure it out for themselves) that love is a crock, so don’t even bother.

Action scenes are few in number and somewhat lacking in intensity. The best ones are the hostage rescue scenario at the very beginning, which constantly gets interrupted for film credits on an otherwise blank screen (bra-fucking-vo), and Michelle’s fight with a white guy who looks to be about a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier than her. Apart from that, it’s mostly Police Story 3-style shooting and stunts, which is not to say it’ll put you to sleep, but c’mon, Michelle’s real talents lie in KICKING ass, not blowing it away.

I recommend Project S to anyone looking for an action movie that fails to leave any lasting impression on the viewer, with the possible exception of Michelle Yeoh performing the splits while wearing a knee-length skirt. It doesn’t suck, but it’s not great either.

Numskull’s Rating: 5/10

By James H.

“Supercop 2″ is not so much a sequel, but a spin-off. It stars Michelle Yeoh of Police Story III: Supercop” fame. Supposedly, she plays the same character as in “Police Story III”, but I’m not too sure of that. Her character doesn’t seem to exhibit the same characteristics as in “Police Story III”. Anyway, the plot of “Supercop 2” concerns Inspector Jessica Yang (Yeoh) travelling to Hong Kong to aid a pair of rather inept police officers crack a case. To make things worse, Jessica’s boyfriend, David, is somehow involved as well.

Stanley Tong’s direction shines in this film. It has some very nice action set pieces, and some decent fights. These are definitely the highlights of the film. There is a very nice car chase, and the flooding of the tunnel was pretty damn cool too.

The film is marred mainly from the acting and the lack of characterization. Yeoh’s screen time is cut short because she has to share the screen with the two aforementioned inept cops. Also, the writers could have developed the relationship between Jessica and David more and the issues that followed.

Basically a good movie. Could have been better, could have been worse. It ends up as being a standard action flick. Oh yeah, lest we forget Jackie Chan’s cameo. It has no relation to the story at all, and looks like a scene cut from one of the “Police Story” movies. However, it is worth it to see Jackie in drag.

James H’s Rating: 5.5/10

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