I’m new to the famed Police Story franchise, so it’s slightly jarring to see Jackie Chan inhabiting such a gritty, humorless persona. It’s a nifty change of gears for the international superstar and, as someone that has been hot and cold on the Chan slapstick, I’m up for the curveball.
Shame he couldn’t have been given a good movie.
Police Story: Lockdown is essentially a Die Hard-lite approach to Asian action. Wen (Chan, Shanghai Noon), a cop known for his tendency to unleash torrents of violence upon the heads of bad guys, finds himself swept-up in a high-stakes hostage situation, and his estranged daughter is caught in the middle.
From the inside, Wen has to hold his own against a series of bad guys, maneuver the outside police presence into position to launch their siege, and beat the primary villain in a psychological chess match.
Not a bad setup for an action outing, but Police Story: Lockdown fails to thrill. It’s not for lack of directorial gusto. The production design is slick and impressive and there are time jumps aplenty that keep the narrative unpredictable. Amidst all this chaos and shininess someone forgot to pencil in the action. Save for a couple of quickie bouts with Chan (both in flashback and in the present) and a decent explosion-laden breach, this one is light in the loafers.
Worse, Chan doesn’t get to do his thing. And I don’t even mean the expected stunt-laden, complicated fight sequences; the man obviously has the skills to throw down, whether he has a ladder draped around his neck or not — so how about giving him an opportunity to showcase his moves in a refreshingly grounded scenario?
Alas, there is frightfully little Chan-action to sink your teeth into. Instead, you’ll get some clumsy father-daughter melodrama and a forced attempt to make the villain sympathetic (culminating in an unsatisfying denouement). Conclusion: skip it.
The Blu-ray: 2.35:1/1080p, DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio tracks (Mandarin and English) deliver a solid technical presentation. Interviews with the cast and director are your bonuses.
Lock this one out.