First Strike (1996)
aka Police Story 4

Synopsis:  This is the fourth installment of the Police Story series, but it bears little, if any, resemblance to its predecessors. Officer Chan Ka Kui’s name has been mysteriously changed to Jackie, and gone is his lovely and charming girlfriend, May. The plot revolves around some stolen plutonium which is being offered for sale to the highest bidder by an evil ex-KGB officer. Jackie is sent on a wild chase across several continents tracking the bad guys and ends up in Australia, hot on the trail of Chinese double agent Tsui, where he ends up being framed for the murder of Tsui’s father, who happens to be the head of Brisbane Chinatown’s biggest triad. But not to worry! Everything comes right in the end! 

Debbie's Review: This is Jackie’s send up of James Bond, and it is great fun to watch. The opening snowboarding sequence could have come straight from any Bond flick, but this time it’s Jackie, so you know those blue lips and shivering convulsions are for real! No tank of warm water for Mr. Chan, oh no…when he snowboards off a cliff and grabs onto the runner of a helicopter, then drops into the icy lake below, you can be sure that he really ended up with hypothermia.  This film may be best known for the famous ladder fight near the end…truly a marvel of clever choreography in which Jackie defends himself against an army of bad guys with a 12 foot folding aluminum step ladder. The other highlight for me was the underwater fight in a shark tank, another clever departure from the traditional fight scene. The intentional use of impossibly huge adversaries for Jackie to fight adds to the fun as well (where did they get those guys, anyway? A couple of them must have been seven feet tall!)

Although this was a Hong Kong production, like the Armor of God films it was obviously made with an eye toward international audiences. It's a fun time overall, but not really up to the standards of the rest of the Police Story series, in my opinion.

Score: 8/10

Reader Reviews

Chan-o-rama's Review: Following in the tradition of the Police Story series, this movie was high-paced, action packed, and fun. Jackie really displays his talent for prop fighting in this one. But i cant understand why the story is so different. Different name, no May, its like a whole new movie. Anyway, its still a good movie.

Score: 8/10

kdawg's Review: This is an ok chan flick but i think the underwater part is drawn out and gay.But the ladder part is good.Another reason i don't like it is because it is kinda boring and corny.

Score: 7/10

Drunken Review Master's Review: My favorite movie that Jackie did in America, it was exactly like a James Bond flick, with men snowboarding down icy slopes shooting machine guns, Russian armys, and spies. And throwing Jackie's brand of light hearted humor & heart pounding action you have an action movie to make Sean Connery weep. The seen in which Jackie falls from the bottom of a helicopter down into a lake of icy water is spectacular and nuts.The movie also has the best prop fighting ever, like the fight with the ladder, and the creative awe-inspiring fight with Jackie, some thugs, and an live moving shark are so precise&thought out. My overall rating

Score: 8/10

Homer J's Review: The Police Story series always seemed to benefit from being set in Hong Kong, certainly the first two films have an edgier, grittier feel to them that work in their favour. 3 (Supercop) and 4 seem almost frivolous by comparison being set in more exotic locations and featuring more elaborate premises. It also misses the "family" element of the first two films, with the non-appearance of May and only the briefest showing of Bill Tung.

This provides for a different "feel" to the film and along with "Supercop" seems to be audition pieces for Stanley Tong in order to become the next Bond director!!  Call me cynical..... hehe.

But enough of the irregularities of the film, on to the good stuff.

The film is memorable for a number of reasons, the snowboard chase, the underwater fight, the amount of huge henchmen look-alikes there seem to be residing in Australia!! We also have one of the most ingenious prop fights with Jackie wielding a stepladder with remarkable skill. Having tried it myself and promptly discovered the painful after effects it certainly looks easier that it actually is!! It is also good to see Jackie using more traditional weaponry like the bo staff in an updated, more contemporary fashion. Also of note is that this film contains my all-time favourite incidental Jackie moment. Whilst surveying his surroundings from a rooftop, he uses an adjacent tree to scale down the wall face in such a relaxed, confident and frankly cool fashion that I was simply left speechless in admiration. Pure class.

The finale is also admirable for the ingenuity displayed in having an underwater fight, something which was obviously very difficult to co-ordinate and perform. However, the impact of this scene is let down somewhat by the silly inclusion of Jackie fighting a shark which looked ridiculous.

This is a solid inclusion to Jackie's flagship film franchise and has all the elements that keep the fans happy, wrapped up in a story that is functional without being too formulaic and performances too match, but lets face it, its always about Jackie and he is as charming, impressive and as lovable as ever.

I just wish the "scale" had been toned down to be more in keeping with the style of the first two films, but that's just me being greedy....

Score: 8/10

Walle's Review: I think the original HK version is marvellous!!
the american version suck BIG time!!
Did you know they did cut 30 minutes out?

Score: 10/10

The Game's Review: It was back in 1998 that I saw my first Jackie Chan film, First Strike. I didn't know to much about Jackie, except that he does his own stunts. I watched it, and couldn't keep up with the plot, to me everything just went to fast. I watched it again and finnally understood. Now that I've seen almost all of he works, I can review some of his movies. This was a good movie, no matter what any ofyou say. It's plot is no where close to being James Bond, and it does a good job of keeping the Police Story series fresh and entertaining. Jackie did somewhat skip on the stunts, but the fight scenes make up for it big time. My favorite scene is when Jackie answers the hotel room door to be attacked, only to be pulled up by his back, tipped the ceiling with his face, and come back down. Good stuff.

Score: 9/10

Brendan's Review: I loved this movie. The plot is a little incoherent, but the action and stunts are great!

Loved the snowboarding sequence, and the shark-wrestling. Overall, a highly enjoyable action flick with stunts-a-plenty, and some good laughs. Lots of fun!

Score: 7.5/10

Oliver Norberg's Review: This one is not a police story film from my eyes.
But it is still a good one. When I first saw this one I thought I would laugh to death. This one is a real comedy. If you don't laugh when you se this one you won't laugh when you see Mr. Bean either.
The fighting scene is amazing and so are the action but as I said. If you are looking for 4:th police story this isn't the one... It is missing something... maybe some real good stunts BUTTT...You will still LOVEEE this one.

Score: 9/10

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