A foreign performance of Jackie Chan in “The Foreigner”


Photo courtesy of imdb.com. Quan (Chan) hides in the woods from pursuing attackers of the IRA sent by Hennessy.

Justin Chang, Staff Writer

Note: “The Foreigner” is rated R by the MPAA.

“The Foreigner,” an adaptation of Stephen Leather novel “The Chinaman,” is an action-thriller film featuring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. Though Chan is prominently known for his action-packed films such as “Rush Hour” and “Shanghai Noon,” the film presents a different aspect of Chan, which involves a more emotional performance with sadness and grief.

The film follows Quan (Chan), a restaurant owner living in London with his daughter. Quan leads an ordinary, quiet life until things suddenly get out of hand when his daughter is killed in a terrorist bombing. Desperate for the bomber’s names, Quan turns to the police for answers, but ends up with nothing. Frustrated with police’s efforts, Quan finally takes matter into his own hands and pursues his daughter’s killers. His investigations lead him to a man named Liam Hennessy (Brosnan), an Irish government official and former leader of the IRA- the group of terrorists that killed Quan’s daughter. Realizing Hennessy’s involvement in the bombings, Quan continues to threaten Hennessy and the audience are led through a game of cat and mouse between the two.

The film also presents excellent collaboration between the actors Chan and Brosnan, which enhances the desperate situations of both Quan and Hennessy. According to Chan, Brosnan was a highly professional actor on set and often assisted Chan with his script, even on his days off. Brosnan also praised Chan for his hard efforts and mentions that he is a huge fan of Chan. Furthermore, director Martin Campbell and Brosnan also showed great teamwork, as they have worked together in the 1995 James Bond film “GoldenEye” prior to the filming of “The Foreigner”.

Notably, Chan takes on a different role in “The Foreigner” compared to his other films. The role is less comedic and active, and focuses on the mourning of Quan’s dark secrets. Throughout the film, Chan shows a multitude of emotions ranging from sadness to anger caused by his daughter’s senseless death. According to Chan, he wanted to move away from comedy and action movies and aimed to be a “true actor,” an actor who can perform a variety of roles at any given moment.

Chan successfully performed his role an aging old man, grieving for the loss of his daughter. As film critic Peter Travers wrote in Rolling Stone, “The Foreigner” was “the most dramatic role Chan has ever tackled, and he plays it with coiled intensity and raw emotional power.”