Jackie Chan is ready to get serious. The screen legend sat down with media at the posh Four Seasons Beverly Hills to talk about his stunning new film, ‘The Foreigner’.
Flanked by the film’s famed director Martin Campbell (GoldenEye, Casino Royale) and screenwriter David Marconi (Live Free or Die Hard), Chan spoke candidly about wanting to introduce Americans to his more serious side.
‘The [American] audience always treats me like an action star, comedy star. But in Asia, I’m really very tough,’ he explained.
I doubt he’ll have that problem going forward. ‘The Foreigner’ is a sober, sleek and thoroughly satisfying thriller. Set in the U.K., Chan plays immigrant restaurant owner Quan Ngoc Minh who hunts for revenge on the terrorist group ‘Authentic IRA’ that killed his daughter in a bombing.
Campbell said the movie’s particular political bent drew him into the project.
“One of the things that really intrigued me was the internal politics between Pierce Brosnan’s character Hennessy and the IRA. Along with the fact of Jackie playing something entirely different.”
Quan is relentless in pursuit, at times blurring the line between protagonist and ruthless hunter. But damn does Chan sell it.
He’s cold, cunning and furious, and moves better than most action stars a third his age. I haven’t seen him in action since the late 90s, but that still-familiar thrill of watching him creatively take down a gaggle of bad guys and girls gave me a rush.
Marconi points out that, despite Quan’s violent acts, his character is a hero, motivated primarily by love for his daughter.
“Here you have the story of a grieving father who has run out of options. the only option he has is…honor,” he said.
“So he has to go proactive. He’s never a villain in my mind”
Brosnan plays ex-IRA Deputy Minister Liam Hennessy, a hard drinking yet surprisingly calculating man who draws Quan’s attention. Hennessy is funny, a little brash and is obsessed with power.
The way these seasoned actors play off one another was one of the great pleasures of this film. It’s a taut and handsomely-directed crime thriller rife with timely themes and strong performances.
If you’re like me and have been thirsty to see Jackie Chan work his magic, I’d hit the theater and check this one out. It’s good!
The film hits theaters this Friday.