With Police Story (1985) and Police Story 2 (1988), two anarchic, awe-inspiring action-comedies he directed, stunt-choreographed, and starred in, Jackie Chan bulldozed his way to movie immortality. The films’ intrepid, inventive stunt work might be what most catches the eye (and drops the jaw), but Chan’s inimitable screen presence—a career-defining combination of qualities he first perfected in Police Story and its immediate sequel—is a no less important part of their appeal. In the above excerpt from a supplement on our new dual Police Story edition, one of today’s foremost action-comedy directors, Edgar Wright (Baby Driver), pays tribute to Chan’s irresistible embodiment of Hong Kong cop Ka-kui. Superhuman in his fearless acrobatics and tireless athleticism, this iconic hero nonetheless also fights from a defensive posture, and displays the comic haplessness and rumpled good looks of a wholly disarming everyman. As Wright observes here, Chan’s buoyant expressiveness stood in stark contrast to the stoicism of not only his predecessors, chief among them Bruce Lee, but also Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, to name three of his fellow global action stars of the eighties.
How Jane Fonda’s Feminist Awakening Collided with Klute
The Oscar-winning actor remembers how her heightened political consciousness in the early 1970s led to her initial hesitation to take on the leading role in Alan J. Pakula’s psychological thriller.
Agnieszka Holland’s Ironic Slant on the Unspeakable
The acclaimed Polish director explains how her international breakthrough film, Europa Europa, was inspired by a desire to tell a different, less predictable kind of Holocaust story.