Jackie Chan’s comedies have an innate worldwide appeal. Who doesn’t love Jackie Chan? Passive until pushed, he’s nice to small children and animals and only kicks people when they ask for it. Not since Buster Keaton had a comedic performer literally broken bones to earn our laughs. (Count the bruises during the closing credits blooper reel.) Police Story holds the distinction of being the first kung-fu police picture. Inspector Chan Ka-Kui (Jackie) is part of an undercover operation aimed at bringing down crime kingpin Chu Tao (Chor Yuen). The jaw-dropping opening stands as one of the most exciting (and hilarious) ever recorded for an action-comedy. Finding their cars perched atop a ramshackle mountainside village and with no place to drive but down, Chu and his team of baddies mow down shack after shack before bottoming out. When was the last time you saw a shanty town destroyed in the name of an avalanche gag? Before you can catch your breath, Chan, armed with naught but an umbrella, does battle against a barreling double-decker bus. The climax finds our hero gliding down a pole entwined with miniature lights that results in more broken glass than a skein of Jewish weddings. It’s Jackie’s signature scene in the film he calls his favorite. (1985) — Scott Marks
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