Boy, was this entertaining. A gritty and gripping action thriller, Crime Story is easily one of Jackie Chan's best, and one of his most serious roles. It's violent, gritty, dark at times, and manages to retain that same manic energy and insanity that infuses many Hong Kong action classics, only with a harder edge. This could've easily been a Police Story installment, and probably should've been.
Jackie Chan delivers abundantly in the action and stunt department. He gives 100% in what are some truly great stunts. He's also a great actor, and he flexes his dramatic muscles here in a more down-to-earth role. He's playing himself, in super-cop mode once again, but he's humanized a little. He's more vulnerable (not to the point of annoyance like in San ging chaat goo si (2004)), and he's not superhuman. He gets hurt, often, and bleeds a lot too.
The story is engaging and thoroughly entertaining. The kidnappers aren't over-the-top, and they're evil and repulsive enough. A dirty cop, one of the main antagonists, is a big player. The plot requires a dirty cop as usual, but it makes the classy move of showing you who the rat is immediately, and letting you see the story from their perspective as well, instead of leading you on a mystery that's pretty obvious.
The action is bonkers. One of Jackie's most punishing movies, the action is loud and violent. A street shootout erupts, a great car chase occurs (a dude is hit head-on by a car!), there's a massive shootout/rooftop chase/fight, an airport fight scene, and a grin-inducing final battle. The climax is insane. Jackie wields a gun frequently in this movie, which I contend is interesting, as we don't see him use a gun often in his movies. The stunts are crazy, and that boat scene was just brutal.
Kirk Wong is an action master. I saw his American movie The Big Hit (1998), which I also loved, and both that and this are full of that crazy Hong Kong action. Wong should've done more action movies. Can't believe he didn't do at least one Van Damme vehicle like Hark and Lam.
Highly recommend this bad boy. Full of strong performances, full-throttle action, and tight editing and camerawork, Crime Story is a career highlight for Jackie Chan.