Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 30th, 2015
BluRay released: August 11th, 2015
Approximate running time: 110 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Mandarin, Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin, DTS-HD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: A night club is turned into an impenetrable fortress, when a criminal mastermind named Wu Jiang and his associates use it to keep hostage a police inspector, his daughter and a handful of other guests whom are all connected from something that happened in their pasts. Not wanting anyone to get hurt, the police asks Wu Jiang what his demands are. And unlike the majority of criminals who want money or a transportation to help them escape justice, the opposite can be said for Wu Jiang who’s only demand is that the police reunite him with the man convicted of murderer his sister. Once his demand is meet and he has everyone in front of him that hold the answers that he seeks. Will the truth finally prevail or will deception lead to more bloodshed?
Police Story: Lockdown reunites director Sheng Ding with Jackie Chan. They had previously worked together on Little Big Solider. Police Story: Lockdown would mark the sixth film in the Police Story series that featured Jackie Chan in the lead role. Content wise, Police Story: Lockdown has more in coming with New Police Story, then the first four films in the Police Story series.
At the heart of this film is a story about a brother whose sister died tragically during a robbery. And this is where those who are held hostage come into to play as a few of them where there the night she died. And though he knows how she died, the brother wants everyone who was there that night to tell their events as they remembered them. Naturally this ‘Rashomon’ style of reconstructing the events of that night, leads to several different interpretations of said events. Fortunately all of the pieces eventually come together.
From a production standpoint the visuals look very good throughout and when it comes to the action set pieces this is where this film delivers it’s the most. And when it comes to back-story / building up the main characters this film does just enough. Unfortunately it is during these more dramatic moments that this film tends to falter the most as these moments tend to drag. On the other flip side, this film’s bread and butter are its action set pieces. With a scene between Jackie Chan’s character and one of the bad guys which takes place in a cage. Besides being much younger, Chan’s opponent in this scene is also superior fighter. And over the course of this fight Chan’s character takes a vicious beating that easily ranks amongst the most brutal moments involving a character portrayed by Chan.
For many Jackie Chan’s performance will be a bitter pill to swallow as he plays a character that is against the type he has played for so long countless other films. And for this film reportedly he wanted to take on a role rooted more in reality. Unfortunately for many of his diehard fans that means that he has for at least this film abandoned the humor in favor of grittiness. Fortunately with all things considered he does a very good in regards to these more realistic style of fighting. And of course he save his most potent moment for last when his character has a showdown verse Wu Jiang.
Other performances of note include Ye Liu (Curse of the Golden Flower, City of Life and Death) in the role of Wu Jiang and Tian Jing (Tears in Heaven, Special ID), in the role of Miao Miao, she is the daughter of the character Chan portrays. Instead of delivering the all too familiar operatic villain that is devoid of real emotions. Ye Liu manages to create an utterly tangible character whose authentic emotions are ultimately what drive his rage. Then there is Tian Jing’s performance which goes above and beyond the role of being a secondary character. Over the course of the film’s she transform’s her character and when all is said and done, it is her performance that leaves the strongest lasting impression.
Police Story: Lockdown comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. This is yet another Chinese film that has a very specific look when it comes to colors and there obvious has been some post production work done said colors. With that being said, this transfer does a great job retaining the intended look of this film. Details always look sharp and black levels and shadow detail look consistently strong throughout. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with four audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Mandarin, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Mandarin, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. There is no need to mess with the two stereo audio mixes included with this release, since the two DTS-HD audio mixes more then get the job done. Range wise both of these audio mixes are dynamic experiences. Dialog comes through with crystal clear clarity, the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented and everything sounds balanced. And when it comes to this film’s numerous action set pieces this is where these audio mix shine the brightest. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy to read and follow.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (1 minute 41 seconds, in Mandarin with English subtitles), a ‘making of’ montage segment (5 minutes 15 seconds, in Mandarin with English subtitles) and four interviews – screenwriter / director Sheng Ding (4 minutes 20 seconds, in Mandarin with English subtitles), Jackie Chan (3 minutes 51 seconds, in Mandarin with English subtitles), actor Ye Liu (6 minutes 11 seconds, in Mandarin with English subtitles) and actress Tian Jing (6 minutes 14 seconds, in Mandarin with English subtitles).
Topics discussed in the interview with Sheng Ding include, what sets this installment of Police Story apart from its predecessors, developing characters and how he often creates villains who exhibit humanity, action sequences and trying to bring something new to the table.
Topics discussed in the interview with Jackie Chan include, the challenges of learning a new type of fighting and how the action sequences in this film differ from his other films and how there is a realism to what unfolds in this film when compared to the other Police Story films.
Topics discussed in the interview with Ye Liu include, portraying a villain and actors / performances that have inspired him, he also discusses the character he portrays, the fighting sequences and working with Jackie Chan.
Topics discussed in the interview with Tian Jing include, she discusses the character she portrays and how her characters look changes throughout the film and working with Jackie Chan.
Rounding out the extras are trailers for Special ID, Kung Fu Killer and Z Storm. Overall Police Story: Lockdown gets a first rate release from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.