So just a few mouths after Jackie Chan hit the american screens with Rumble in the Bronx and blew the whole thing up with his second attempt at hitting mainstream America, the plan seemed to do it again with the action packed film Super Cop. However, I was able to get the jump on all of this before most other movie goers.
At the time Supercop was ready to come out I was a huge fan of anime and at the time the best way to get the best anime was to get the bootleg stuff being “smuggled’ into the states and hitting little flea market shops in my area of the Bronx. Well imagine my surprise when I went into one of these flea markets to get some anime and a few used games and I saw a bootleg copy of Supercop in the kung fu section. Actually I was not all that surprise, it’s not uncommon in the world of piracy for a motion picture to hit the streets mouths before it comes out in theaters. What is slightly different is the fact that supercop had been out for a few years prior to it’s release.
Rumble in the Bronx was the movie being used to bring Jackie Chan back into the Hollywood spotlight using post production to make the movie more appealing to the western public. Hollywood was trying to see if lighting could strike twice with Supercop, which is actually the sub title for this the third installment of Chan’s hit franchise, Police Story.
Me as a theater lover, I still kinda wanted to wait to see Supercop when it makes it’s US release, but a friend persuaded me to buy it so I did and we watched it. I have to admit, when it comes to my Kungfu flicks, even though Supercop is more of an action flick, I prefer the badly done English dub over a well crafted sub title (but well crafted subtitles is never the case when it comes to bootleg. Back in the day the most professional of bootleggers (Especially if you’re running out of a store) will have a guy who knows enough Chinese to translate the story into English).
Jackie Chan plays Kevin Chan for the third time. A Hong Kong Police officer convinced by his Higher ups with an ego boost about him being a Hong Kong supercop to head to mainland China to help them take town a power Triad by going undercover to infiltrate them. A well flushed out story, even with the American dub. Certainly better than Rumble in the Bronx.
Although, I’m discovering that there was a deeper innuendo in Supercop that I missed because of the American dub. To be honest, as a teenage boy growing up in America, China is China. I know that Hong Kong is a city in China but did not know how different it was from them rest of China (Possibly the difference between New York City, and New York State? I do not know). The concept that Kevin Chan is a Hong Kong Supercop and this made him a different animal than the cops in the mainland of China, I never grasped until Hong Kong actually was no longer under British rule just a year or so after this came out in the US. What was not lost on me was the awesome fight scene between Chan and one of the mainland cops in a friendly battle to see who was the real Supercop. They apparently cut out all the scenes in which The mainland cops are teaching the Hong Kong supercop slain in Mandarin Chinese that does not appear in Cantonese Chinese, which I might not have fully gotten, but they did leave in the stuff that showed that the kung fu they learn on the mainland is different than the marshal arts training they do in Hong Kong. Other than that the slightly more violent Chinese version is not all that different from the Rated PG-13 version that came out in America.
What did set the bar high for Supercop was the addiction of Michelle Yeoh (who was at the time credited as Michelle Khan). Wow! from the very moment she appeared on the big screen I was in love. She was so beautiful just to begin with and then we saw her kick ass and take names. I have been a fan of her since. Rewacthing this movie, I realize I always come for Chan but stay for Michelle Yeoh, a literal Queen of the action Realm.
It makes the end credits were Jackie shows us his behind the scenes stunt work even better. We get to see footage of Michelle being the female Jackie Chan doing all of her own stunts. It makes my heart beat louder when I see it.
Michelle Yeoh was so sensational in this film that she became a Bond girl and took the world be storm in Tomorrow Never Dies. They even tried to sell her movie Once A Cop to the American audience as Super Cop 2.
Despite being more of a action movie than a Kung fu flick it’s funny how the American production of the film makes it feel like a kung fu flick. Semi-ronic with it’s mostly Hip Hop based soundtrack (I herd some beats from Tupac in there). They are trying to hit a market known for loving kung fu flicks and I can’t blame them. I think I remember Jackie Chan even doing a music video for one of the artist who appears on the soundtrack.
I actually herd that Supercop was not the hit that Rumble in the Bronx was. Some say it’s because the content of the film was far more violent than Rumble (which is true, Supercop is not as PG friendly as Rumble in the Bronx), but in my opinion Supercop was a far superior intro to what Jackie Chan can do overall, and it does not hurt that Michelle Yeoh is in it. Perfect!