"Police Story: Lockdown" is the second attempt at rebooting a phenomenally successful Hong Kong movie franchise, two installments of which were recut and dubbed for American audiences as "Supercop" and "Jackie Chan's First Strike."
Chan is back playing an indestructible lawman. Only this time he's serving and protecting mainland China — and doing so without his signature moptop.
He stars as Capt. Zhong Wen, a decorated negotiator who has diffused many a standoff. His back story is unremarkably clichéd: Professional duties once kept him away from his dying wife.
Six months since leaving the nest, his unforgiving daughter, Miao (Tian Jing), finally agrees to meet him at a seedy club. She plans to get a rise out of her old man by introducing him to the club's owner and her new beau, Wu Jiang (Ye Liu), who apparently has an old score to settle with Zhong. The club owner unexpectedly holds all patrons inside hostage.
The engaging plot gets a bit absurd toward the end. The club set is impressively glitzy, even by Hollywood standards, but it's unfortunate that much of the film's action is contained within this space. Besides the fact that Chan is getting a bit long in the tooth, the venue isn't conducive for fighting and acrobatics. It makes fans of the original "Police Story" franchise wistful for the mundane locales but extraordinary daredevil stunt work of yore.
"Police Story: Lockdown"
No MPAA rating.
Running time: 1 hour, 48 minutes.
Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood. Also on VOD.