Remembering Jackie Chan’s Police Story 1

The opening film of a spectacular 7-film series propelled the stunt master’s legendary movie career into international stardom. The film, which was also written and directed by Jackie Chan, was released on 14th December 1985 and has gone on to achieve cult status among kung fu fans. [Runtime: 100 minutes]

Abhishek Sambatur
First Glimpse
Published in
3 min readOct 10, 2021


2:39 | Jackie’s first appearance — “Operation Wild Boar” debrief

Police Story begins with a brief exposition sequence, immediately introducing Jackie Chan as Inspector Chan and the villains. The movie understands its audience well and utilizes minimal story-telling from the onset, clearing the screen for its excitingly choreographed action sequences.

Jackie Chan at the premiere of the LEGO Ninjago movie in 2017 | Tinseltown/

11:45 | Chase sequence — Bus Stunt — The coolest use case of an umbrella ever?

After a chaotic sequence with a car chase through a shanty town, Jackie Chan delivers the first of several satisfying stunt sequences in Police Story. This 5-minute scene involving a bus, an umbrella, and loads of intense running has been ingrained in my memory (not to forget, the catchy background score!) from all those DVD reruns as a child.

26:15 | Witness protection sequence — Side characters — Jackie Chan comedy

The beginning of a comedic, rom-com style sequence of the movie that drags the first act along to bring some of Jackie Chan’s signature goofy humor and light-hearted action-comedy into the mix. The film doesn’t lose pace though and keeps its thin story prodding along. The secondary actors are given some screen time but their stories revolve around Jackie. A few action sequences pop up but relative to the high standards established, this is a lull period for stunts in the film.

58:30 | Beginning of 2nd act — Court scene & Chan failing at the job

The best parallel parking attempt in cinema precedes a fairly predictable court scene but transitions the movie into its second act. As any good rogue cop movie should do, it allows for the protagonist to fail and be dismissed from the case at hand.

1:12:00 | Beginning of 3rd Act — Jackie set up by bad guys for murder — Gate Climbing

As expected in a compact, high-octane action film, the third act only has about 12–13 minutes to make an impression before the climax is underway. A stylish infiltration scene by Jackie, showcasing his gate-climbing skills, is following by a brief fight sequence and some tame fall and jump stunts by extras.

1:25:30 | Climax — Mall Scene — Insane fight sequence

Time to drop your popcorn and hold off any unforeseen bathroom breaks! The next ten minutes bring you some intense, close combat fistfights, glass-breaking stunt injuries (for lack of a better phrase) that deliver a bang for your bucks. Jackie Chan usually goes for stylish martial arts or funny fight sequences but the climax of Police Story is just an angry Jackie operating at full capacity and beating the crap out of his enemies. Shot in bright lighting with minimal cuts, these scenes are orchestrated in a way that makes you feel the pain and anguish of all the actors and stunt artists.

1:34:45 | One of the greatest Jackie Chan stunts of all time

Finally, lo and behold, the light and pole stunt scene at the mall. If you didn’t enjoy anything else about this film, at least you stuck around for perhaps one of Jackie’s greatest death-defying stunts ever. Don’t believe me? Watch the kung-fu legend talk about it¹.

Police Story 1 Trailer ²

Final Thoughts —

The oft-overlooked Police Story 1 is one of the all-time classics from the 1980s Hong Kong film industry. My only struggle is trying to remember if my watch count is over or under 15.

Bottom Line: Barring my childhood nostalgia and resultant biased opinions of this film, this movie is a must-see for any action-comedy fans that crave non-CGI-based stunts and satisfying fight sequences.


(1) IGN. “JACKIE CHAN Talks About One of His Most Insane Stunts”. YouTube, Oct 14th. 2017.

(2) criterioncollection. “POLICE STORY Trailer”. YouTube, Jan 23rd. 2019.

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Abhishek Sambatur
First Glimpse

An avid reader & learner 📚 Writing for posterity in case the robots take over 🤖 Trying to find an outlet for my constant stream of thoughts and ideas 💡