Movie Kumite: Martial Law 2 vs. Police Story 3
Our cinematic slugfest known as the Movie Kumite is about to go both international and intergender as Martial Law 2: Undercover starring Canada’s own Jeff Wincott and Cynthia Rothrock from the United States takes on Police Story 3: Supercop starring, one of Hong Kong’s favorite sons, Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh from Malaysia.
Which of these duos is more dynamic than the other? Let’s start first with the ladies or should I say the tough chicks!
Both Rothrock and Yeoh were equals to the male counterparts and kicked some serious ass in their respective films. And while Yeoh would eventually go on to much bigger things, including a major role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and being a Bond Girl, at the time of Police Story 3 she was just getting her career started again after a layoff. Meanwhile, Cynthia Rothrock was in her prime at this point having starred in two China O’Brien movies and the original Martial Law. With all that in mind, I’m giving the slight edge to Rothrock.
I am a huge Jeff Wincott fan, but I would classify him as an actor who did a lot of action movies as opposed to Jackie Chan who is without a shadow of a doubt an action movie icon! Furthermore, while Martial Law 2: Undercover wasn’t a bad movie (it is actually a very good movie), I wouldn’t say it was Wincott’s best action flick (I’d give that honor to Mission of Justice). And in my eyes it doesn’t help that Wincott was not in the original Martial Law and instead took over the character of Sean Thompson from Chad McQueen, who did not return for the sequel. On the other hand, you had Jackie Chan who was going on his third go around as Chan Ka Kui, in what I feel is one of the best Jackie Chan movies I have ever seen.
The points are split in our first round with Rothrock scoring one for Martial Law 2 and Chan scoring one for Police Story 3.
MARTIAL LAW 2 – 1 POLICE STORY 3 – 1
A good movie character will evoke some sort of emotion from the audience and allow the audience to connect with them in some way. A great movie character leaves a lasting impression on all those who have seen it. I made no real connection with Kenneth Tsang’s character in Police Story 3, Chaibat. It is not that he did a bad job, but he really came across as your generic action movie villain.
Some might say Paul Johansson’s character of Spencer Hamilton in Martial Law 2 was a cookie cutter character as well. But unlike Chaibat, there was a part of me that wanted to reach through my TV screen and wring Spencer Hamilton’s neck! Just the smugness of the name was enough to set me off. Johansson (who you may remember from such action flicks as Hooded Angels and Berserker: Hell’s Warrior) was condescending to those around him and the way he carried himself made you want to see somebody put him flat on his ass.
I disliked the character so much that I’m almost angry that Spencer Hamilton is getting the win here!
MARTIAL LAW 2 – 2 POLICE STORY 3 – 1
Another common element in both movies was the cops going undercover aspect.
Chan’s character Chan Ka Kui goes undercover at a prison camp to spring one of Chaibat’s must valuable soldiers known as Panther. This move ingratiates Chan into the criminal world. Similarly, Cynthia Rothrock’s character Billie Blake goes undercover at Spencer Hamilton’s bar to get in on the inside of Hamilton’s operation.
But that wasn’t the only undercover action going on… at the start of Martial Law II we see Billie Blake disguised as a hot dog vendor while her partner Sean Thompson is disguised as a bum in order to bring down some arms dealers.
But the true undercover boss in our competition was Uncle Bill Wong (played by Bill Tung) in Police Story 3. Wong masquerades as Chan’s mother when he brings his new criminal buddy Panther home to meet his family. The highlight is when Wong’s fake boobs pop out.
Who would have guessed some drag queen action would have tied things up?
MARTIAL LAW 2 – 2 POLICE STORY 3 – 2
It is time to consult two of the Internet’s most respected movie sites in hopes of breaking the tie.
Martial Law 2 has a 5.1 rating on IMDB. Police Story 3 has a 6.9 IMDB rating.
Martial Law 2 has a 42% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The approval rating for Police Story 3 is 73%.
The critics have spoken and it really is no surprise. As I mentioned earlier Martial Law 2: Undercover is your average action film. But Police Story 3: Supercop really is some of Chan’s best work and obviously I’m not the only one who feels that way.
MARTIAL LAW 2 – 2 POLICE STORY 3 – 4
THE END CREDITS
Some might say this category was a bit unfair, but since Police Story 3 has already won this match up, I figured it couldn’t hurt.
A staple of Jackie Chan movies is the blooper reel that is shown interspersed with the end credits. This instantly makes Jackie Chan end credits more entertaining than almost any other end credits out there. But Police Story 3 takes it a step further and playing over those end credits is a Tom Jones cover of the 70’s one hit wonder, Kung Fu Fighting! Martial Law 2 has no bloopers and no Tom Jones and that is why Police Story 3: Supercop gets the extra point and wins this edition of Movie Kumite in decisive fashion.
MARTIAL LAW 2 – 2 POLICE STORY 3 – 5