Director: Martin Campbell.
Martin Campbell is probably best known for directing James Bond films like Goldeneye and my personally favourite, Casino Royale and this marks his return to the big screen since 2011’s Green Lantern. Not talking about Deadpool’s most hated opposite, but the idea of having Casino Royale director and Jackie Chan in the same picture really appealed to me.
The film is based on Stephen Leather’s 1992 novel, The Chinaman. Which is actually about a Vietnamese war veteran who goes on a vengeful mission of justice when his remaining family is meaninglessly killed in a rogue IRA London bombing.
The famed Jackie Chan plays Quan Ngoc Minh, who is a little more than just a London restauranteur and harbours a horrific past; a past that is tragically awoken when his family is killed, leaving him with little less but to seek and kill those responsible.
Though the story offers little more than just a revenge killing spree, in fact, it’s way more political thriller than anything else, daring to be smarter than what might be expected. Brosnan isn’t necessarily Chan’s opponent in all of this and he plays former IRA operative-now-political leader of Sinn Féin. He plays Hennessy really well, so predominantly well the film could be renamed “The Irishman”.
Chan does do some action but most of his screen time is actually spent doing some serious and touching acting, playing a broken man. The rest of the cast do their best to fill in the gaps to make up the story, but sadly stronger supporting characters/actors were needed here to help balance out aggressive Brosnan and moody Chan.
What this film really is, is a fairly decent thriller and what the film isn’t, is a good actioner which is what some of us, myself included would expect with Jackie Chan. It’s certainly not a Jackie Chan picture nor even a martial arts film. The action is weak, and for those expecting to see Jackie Bourne, which is what this film could have been, you’re going to be disappointed. What action we do see is mostly explosive and very little of Jackie’s talents.
My favourite element of the movie is Cliff Martinez’s score, with a couple of the tracks making my “best scores of 2017” playlist. But overall the film is rather underwhelming, and disappointing coming from Campbell, especially if expecting the usual Jackie Chan. I would place this next to this year’s American Assassin and Stratton. Jackie Chan fans should maybe avoid unless you want to see Chan do something serious for a change.
Running Time: 6
The Cast: 6
Job Description: 3
The Extra Bonus Point: 0