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B

Crime Story

Genre: Action/Adventure; Lead Performer: Jackie Chan, Anthony Denison, Dennis Farina, Kent Cheng, Tai Seng, Wei Pai; Performers: Steve Ryan, Bill Smitrovich; Producer (person): Michael Mann; Broadcaster: NBC

Think all Jackie Chan chop-socky flicks are alike? These two new-to-video releases offer striking evidence otherwise. Take 1980’s The Young Master, starring Chan as a comical kung fu student fighting bandits on a cross-country journey. With its stilted plotting and stylized fights, it now seems a quaint throwback to the Bruce Lee era (albeit with a healthy dose of Chan’s trademark slapstick). That puts it a world away from 1993’s leaner, meaner, slicker Crime Story. An unusually humorless Chan cop caper, this one’s full of bloody shoot-outs and car wrecks. Yet for all the ’90s heavy metal, its best action is still Chan’s stunt work — including one sprawling chase sequence on the rickety catwalks above a run-down theater. Other Chan films may be more fun, but few are as spectacular. B

Originally posted June 20 1997 — 12:00 AM EDT

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