When you think of a Jackie Chan film, you probably get images of comedic martial arts antics and simplistic plots. Crime Story is distinctly different. This is a new look Jackie Chan, and while the story is still rather straightforward, it is not the sort of thing you will find in the majority of Chan's catalog.
Crime Story is a true crime action/thriller that relies more on gun fights than martial arts, and more brooding than comedy. It is a change of pace that does not completely work, but despite the flaws, it is still a highly entertaining movie. So, if you don't have any lingering qualms over an atypical Jackie Chan performance, this could turn out to be something of a treat.
The story concerns a devious plot to kidnap a wealthy property developer with intentions to ransom him for millions of dollars. Jackie plays Police Detective Chan, the officer assigned to protect the man. One day, after defusing a worker revolt at the construction site, the two separate, and in a kidnapping thriller, you have to know that separation is never a good idea. No sooner have they parted ways, when there is a daring abduction, in broad daylight, via car. This in turn leads to a big car chase setpiece, a segment that is quite thrilling in its execution, and in its ramifications for the rest of the film.
The rest of Crime Story follows Chan as he attempts to track down the victim, and unravel the mystery surrounding the abduction. There is no comedy to be found, and not much hand to hand action for the first hour. Rather than the martial arts, we get a number of gun fights in addition to the car chase. Also, instead of the comedic Chan, we get a Jackie whose character is revealed, early on, to be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder stemming from a brutal gunfight that he was involved in. This is a recurring motif throughout the film, which helps to drive Chan to fight the good fight. His character is clearly a good guy, a guy who feels strongly for what he does, and the repercussions of his actions weigh heavily on his shoulders.