Jackie Chan’s The Foreigner trailer shows darker side of the action star

The Foreigner Jackie Chan
So it sounds like my letter writing campaign to make the Asian version of Taken has finally paid off. And starring one of the most iconic Asian actors in Hollywood to boot. Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan star in the upcoming action revenge film, The Foreigner, that takes one of the most charming and effervescent action heroes in show business and turns him into a brooding killing machine on a quest to find the killers of his daughter.

The first trailer for this new film introduces us to Chan. He’s a doting father who is witness to a brutal London bombing that takes the life of his young daughter. He manages to discover that the people behind it are IRA terrorists. What’s worse is that they are (possibly?) being protected by an Irish official played by Pierce Brosnan. Of course, it turns out that Chan is ex-Hong Kong special forces with a…ummm, particular set of skills. And when the police refuse to help, he goes on a one-man mission to… look for the murders, find them, and kill them.

Taken homages aside, what really makes this trailer sing is the dark character turn by Chan in this trailer. The celebrated Chinese star has made a living turning self-important martial arts movies, and lampooning them with his trademark brand of slapstick fighting. It always makes me smile when I see Jackie knock out a thug with a single punch, only to wince and shake his fist in pain moments afterward. This sort of lighthearted take on kung-fu is a Chan staple, along with his death-defying stunts.

So to watch him brood through 2 minutes of the trailer, saying little more than, “Give me the names of my daughter’s murderers,” is quite a departure from the Chan we know and love from Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon, and Police Story. It also amps up the violence, showing Jackie mowing down nameless goons with various automatic weapons.

Martin Campbell (Goldeneye, Casino Royale) directs the film. And it looks to bring us a grittier and more intense Chan than we are used to. And as much as I enjoy Chan’s lighthearted martial arts romps, I can’t wait to see this new side of my favorite action star.

The Foreigner is out on October 13, 2017.

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