Jackie Chan as a dour ass-kicker in a new Martin Campbell film? Yes please.
Action stars get older, but while most shift into other genres or retire all together the one and only Jackie Chan just keeps on kicking. Sure he’s a little bit slower and yes he relies on more stunt doubles and safety wires these days, but at 63 years old he’s still churning out more action movies than anyone else around. He has four features hitting screens this year, and that’s not counting the two animated ones. That kind of pace often results in issues of quantity over quality though — just ask Takashi Miike — but his latest looks set to flip that idea on its head.
The Foreigner sees Chan starring as a Chinese immigrant living in London who’s devastated when his daughter is killed in a terrorist attack. Distraught, he wants only the names of the suspected bombers so that he can dispense some justice of his own, but one man is standing in his way — a government official (Pierce Brosnan) who himself was once a member of the IRA.
Check out this first trailer for Martin Campbell‘s The Foreigner.
Fun, smiling Chan was always the ideal back in the day when he was delivering blistering fight sequences and epic stunts, but recent years have seen him dabbling more and more with dramatic roles to varied effect. Some (The Shinjuku Incident) are more successful than others (1911), but few have allowed him to blend the serious performance with his bread and butter action sequences.
The trailer here suggests that’s about to change, and the results look pretty damn terrific. The story feels like a cross between Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Aftermath, Liam Neeson’s Taken, and Harrison Ford’s Patriot Games… and that’s a combination I can get behind (especially with Chan front and center). The action looks like a solid mix of fight scenes and stunts, and the story promises a few layers as well. I’m crossing my fingers that there’s no big reveal that his daughter was the actual bomber.
Campbell’s been in feature film director’s jail since 2011’s Green Lantern failed to light up the box-office, and that’s a miscarriage of justice for the filmmaker responsible for both Daniel Craig’s and Brosnan’s best James Bond films (Casino Royale and Goldeneye, respectively). The man delivers effective and memorable action thrillers — The Mask of Zorro, No Escape, Criminal Law — and while this is a smaller production I’m hoping that not only does it rock but also that it puts Campbell back in the big leagues.
The Foreigner opens October 13th, 2017