Project A II ('A' Gai Waak Juk Jaap) (1987)
Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Bey Logan (Hong Kong Film Expert)
Interviews-Cast-The Big Boss: An Interview With Chan Wei-Man
Featurette-Warriors Two: An Inside Look At The Action Of Project A 2
Trailer-Hong Kong Legends
|Year Of Production||1987|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (80:46)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Jackie Chan|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, outtakes|
This sequel to the highly successful Project A takes up almost where the first film ended. Dragon Ma (Jackie Chan) is commissioned into the police force to sort out a corrupt police superintendent. He finds that he also has to sort out some lazy policemen and a group of criminals, while being under threat from the surviving pirates from the first film who are out to kill him. Mixed into this is a subplot involving Chinese revolutionaries and the Manchu agents sent to Hong Kong to eradicate them.
This film does not rise to any great heights. There is nothing to compare with the bicycle chase or the clock tower stunt in the first film. There are some well staged fights and some good stunts but the film lacks the necessary pace and drive to raise it above most genre action films. There is the usual dollop of dumb comedy, most of it in a draggy sequence in the middle of the movie.
Jackie is his usual athletic self, and is helped by good support from his stunt crew, Chan Wei Man as the head gangster, plus Rosamund Kwan, Carina Lau and Maggie Cheung. Bill Tung and Ricky Hui make brief appearances and there are quite a few cameo appearances, which I was not aware of until I listened to the commentary track. Also of note is the Buster Keaton-inspired stunt at the end of the film, reprising Buster's famous building collapse scene in Steamboat Bill Jr.
This is not one of Jackie's best films but neither is it one of his worst. If you enjoyed Project A, you will want to see this.
The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced. Compared to screen caps I have seen of the Region 3 release it is slightly cropped.
This is an average transfer by Hong Kong Legends standards. There is a good amount of detail and reasonable sharpness here, but there is also some slight motion blurring and a lack of fine detail as a consequence. The print has decent colour but it is not quite as vivid as the original would have seemed. Contrast levels are acceptable.
There is some slight telecine wobble noticeable during the opening credits. There is occasional slight aliasing, and there are a few film artefacts. The latter consists of some flecking and faint scratches - nothing to really get concerned about.
Optional English subtitles are in clear white text and are easy to read. There were no issues with timing, but there is at least one spelling mistake (the corrupt cop is referred to by his nickname "Lightening") and there was one instance of dialogue where the grammar was poor.
The disc is RSDL-formatted with the layer change placed at a cut at 80:46. It is only slightly distracting.
The default track is Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1, with a dubbed English version as an alternative.
I had trouble understanding the dialogue, mainly because it was in Cantonese. Otherwise it is clearly audible. The sound comes across with reasonable vividness but I have to question the practice of remastering mono soundtracks into surround tracks. It serves no useful purpose here. The surrounds only get touched for music and the occasional effect, while the subwoofer is overemphatic during the early part of the movie. Thankfully that soon ceased to be an irritation, as I was on the point of turning the subwoofer off.
The Cantonese soundtrack is entirely dubbed as was the practice at the time. I'm reasonably sure that it is not Jackie's own voice we hear. There are few problems with audio sync though.
The music is fairly innocuous, with some very 1980s action music in the early part of the film, and some less thumping music later on that is more in keeping with the period. Jackie Chan also sings a song during the end credits outtakes.
|Surround Channel Use|
A short animated introduction leading to the main menu.
As usual, the menu is animated with scenes that come from the movie, and has music that doesn't.
Yet again Logan seems to have investigated the private lives and careers of the actors and stuntmen to the nth degree, and this commentary is a wealth of detail. It probably needs more than one listen to take it all in.
As usual, here we get the UK promotional trailer plus the original Hong Kong theatrical trailer.
An interesting interview with Chan Wei Man in which he reveals his (not close) friendship with Bruce Lee and his early career in chop-socky movies, plus his two films with Jackie Chan.
This featurette has Bey Logan interviewing stunt man Anthony Carpio who worked on the film, as they look at some of the stunts. Carpio looks bemused and attempts to explain how the stunts were done in between interruptions from Logan.
Trailers for other HKL releases.
This new Region 4 release seems to be a port of the UK Region 2 release.
The US Region 1 release from Disney has no extras and lesser picture quality by all accounts, but the killer is that it only has an English-dubbed soundtrack.
A more recent All Regions discs emanating from the US through the Tai Seng company has Cantonese and Mandarin surround tracks plus a trailer, but unfortunately is not 16x9 enhanced.
The All Regions Hong Kong release from Mega Star sounds the same as the US Tai Seng release. A newer release from Hong Kong company IVL has 16x9 enhancement and DTS soundtracks in both Cantonese and Mandarin, plus a few trailers, stills galleries and a short featurette. From comparative screenshots I have seen from the IVL release and the UK edition, the former has a sharper and more detailed video transfer and more lifelike colour. I would have to recommend it on that basis.
A good but not great sequel to Project A.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is good.
A couple of worthwhile extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-S733A, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Main: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175|