My original introduction to Jackie Chan, way back in the day, was of him swinging off the back of a bus via an umbrella in the original Police Story.

So when the latest instalment of his Captain Zhong adventures finally made it to these shores (it was actually made back in 2013), I made sure I got my mitts on a copy to give it the once-over.

While not a bad film, Police Story: Lockdown is a very different film to the previous entries (even the harder-hitting New Police Story back in 2004). In fact, one could have very easily called the film by a completely unrelated title and it would probably still have worked.

Sluggishly placed at times, dour and both frenetically and erratically edited, Police Story: Lockdown may well disappoint those coming for traditional Chan fare, and the fisticuffs only really spring to life as the climax approaches. But if you fancy something a bit different, and want to see Chan giving his acting chops as much as his fists a workout, you may find stuff to enjoy here.

Essentially set in one location – a nightclub – Zhong finds himself caught up in a hostage situation while visiting the club to check in on his daughter. Turns out the boss at the club, Wu Jiang (Ye Liu) is a pretty unsavoury type who rumbles the fact that Zhong is a police officer and, after locking up the hostages in a cage, forces Zhong to indulge in some cage fighting in order to free some of the stricken folk. Jiang is also demanding a visit from an imprisoned criminal in exchange for the release of some hostages, and this is where the film takes another turn as the backstory to Jiang’s actions is slowly unveiled – a backstory that even involves Zhong himself….

To reveal too much would be criminal really, as the one thing that really works in the favour of Police Story: Lockdown is that you are never really sure where the story is taking you. What seems like a pretty straightforward kidnap to start peels away the layers to reach into something deeper, darker and more emotional.

Naturally most people picking up this will be interested in the action and, while he’s clearly getting on a bit now, Chan still delivers when it comes to the punch-ups – just don’t expect too many. The fight sequences – in fact the film as a whole – are also infuriatingly edited, seemingly cut together by someone who has a nanosecond attention span and seems to think an audience will only be interested if the camera is moving for seemingly the film’s entire running time.

Chan his fine – we all know he can act as well as deliver on the action after all, and Ye Liu and Tian Jing (as Zhong’s daughter) lead an impressive supporting cast.

But one can’t get away from the fact that this looks, and feels, like a cheap tack-on to make more money out of a memorable franchise. Police Story: Lockdown is still very much worth checking out, just dial down those expectations.

DVD Review: Police Story - Lockdown
3.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.