|Directed by||:||Martin Campbell||Produced by||:||Jackie Chan, Wayne Marc Godfrey||Based on||:||The Chinaman by Stephen Leather||Starring||:||Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan||Production company||:||The Fyzz Facility, Sparkle Roll Media||Country||:||United States|
I can't say that I've seen the films that show an aging ‘80s action film icon in more dramatic work in the ‘10s, but what little I know about them seems generally positive with Arnold and Sly leading the way in this regard (as they did lo so many years ago). The Foreigner shows us not one but (kinda) two in one place and guess what? The results are pretty good here as well.
David Marconi (Live Free or Die Hard) adapted the Stephen Leather novel "The Chinaman" into a script that Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) directed. An IRA bombing in London has killed a dozen people, including the daughter of Quan (Jackie Chan, Rush Hour). Quan is stricken with grief and wants to know the names of those involved with the bombing, and goes so far as to confront Liam Hennessey (Pierce Brosnan, The World is Not Enough), a former IRA leader who now serves as deputy First Minister for Northern Ireland. Dismissed at first, it's later learned that Quan was a former Special Forces soldier and has the skills and wherewithal to exact revenge, and damned if he doesn't try to do so.
I think that to a degree Chan's dramatic ability has been underrated over the course of his career, and given the background for his character which is established early on he conveys it very well. His support system is small as is and his daughter played an important part in it, so he comes off as a man shattered and as that subsides, seething. Chan's depth also allows his character to restrain himself until the time comes otherwise, and it proves to be a very good turn. Of course when he does need to kick ass he does, but it's also in a way that's multifaceted to the character and his backstory. The story takes great lengths to make the characters as believable as they can be and Chan puts in the work.