Jackie Chan’s iconic Hong Kong action film Police Story, as well as its first sequel Police Story 2, may be heading towards the prestigious Criterion Collection DVD label.
That’s according to Polygon, in a report on the two films’ recent 4K restoration and limited re-release.
[T]he Police Story series, the first two installments of which were recently restored in 4K by Fortune Star at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in anticipation of a Criterion Collection release
The key word here, though, is “anticipated,” which doesn’t get elaborated on. Is there an unannounced deal in the works? To date, Criterion has only announced their release schedule through April, and the two Police Story films are not on it. But the Janus Films logo at the front of the trailer below feels pretty much like a dead giveaway. (Janus does theatrical releasing for a number of Criterion titles.)
Released in 1985, Police Story is the film that pretty much cemented Chan’s status as an action star in Hong Kong, following some initial success with such films as Drunken Master (1978) and Project A (1983) and an unsuccessful attempt to break into Hollywood resulted in a rather forgetful supporting role in The Cannonball Run (1981) and the disappointing The Protector (1985). Police Story is the first codification of Chan’s blending of fast paced action and comedy, where any nearby object can become a weapon and a silent film comedians gag could be lifted and dropped into an action sequence.
This would not be the first time that Criterion has dipped into the Hong Kong action well. Two of its earliest releases were the John Woo-directed crime thrillers The Killer and Hard Boiled, both starring Chow Yun-Fat. The Criterion editions are now out-of-print and are some of the most sought after discontinued titles among collectors. A return to the genre feels overdue on Criterion’s part and these two films would be good selections to rectify that omission.
But whether or not they will become part of the Criterion Collection, a restoration of the two Police Story films is a much overdue and needed one. The film’s Asian DVD release via Media Asia seems to be sourced from a murky print and the most recent US home video release – via the Weinstein Company’s Dragon Dynasty label – wasn’t much better.
In the meantime, here is the trailer for the limited release of the 4K restoration of Police Story and Police Story 2, which should be making its way around the country next month.