Jackie Chan’s latest movie, The Foreigner, seems to have a simple message behind it: No more Mr. Nice Guy. Instead of dishing out a flurry of punishment to bad guys with his characteristic grin and quirky antics, the action flick puts Chan in a more dour role — and it’s about damn time we saw this side of the action star.
Chan stars as Quan, a quiet businessman, and loving father whose world is torn apart when his daughter is killed in a politically motivated bombing in London. Directed by Casino Royale’s Martin Campbell, The Foreigner chronicles Quan’s relentless search for his daughter’s killers. Opposite Chan is Pierce Brosnan as Liam Hennessy, a British politician with a shady past and ties to the IRA.
Similar to Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills, in Taken, Chan’s character has a very particular set of skills, acquired over a long career: guerilla warfare; close-quarters marksmanship; and the ability to dish out an acrobatic ass-kicking that’d be unbelievable for any 63-year-old other than Chan.
Consider this scene from the trailer: After his daughter’s death, Chan visits Brosnan at his office to beg the politician for information on the killers. When Brosnan turns him down, Chan leaves. Moments later, a bomb goes off downstairs, shaking the building, and a phone rings in the office. It’s Chan, with a single demand: “You will tell me the names of the bombers.”
From there, it’s a flurry of asskicking, muffled gunfire from homemade silencers, kicks to the gut and face, punctuated by one-liners from a menacing Jackie Chan.
In one exchange, Brosnan warns Chan, “You have no idea who you’re dealing with.”
“Yes I do. Do you?” Chan replies.
No, they really don’t.