What a bang! Wasn't expecting that, and I really wasn't expecting that with Jackie Chan. And since it's him, one of the first thoughts that goes through my head is: was that a real stunt? How hurt did he really get?
I thought that first bit might've been his only bit, but it's soon clear he'll play a much bigger part in the movie. In a tangle between the IRA, rogue fractions of the IRA (are they really?) and the British government: he walks in, an old man who's lost his daughter, and all he asks for is names. He asks kindly at first, but when they won't give him any names...
I feel he overplays his age sometimes: walking out of the office bent over like he can't walk straight, when he clearly does in all the other scenes. Maybe that's a Chinese thing though. An additional layer of expression via pose. He does shine otherwise, and especially in the fights. They're not fancy or particularly creative - not typical Jackie Chan style, but gritty, and heavy, and he does use a few household objects along the way. Good to see him still going strong.
The fights aren't the main thing though. The explosions are what really light up the movie, and his profound sadness keeps the rest of it dark and grimy. I don't remember the Shinjuku Incident all too well, but apart from that one, this might be his darkest movie yet.
Well, it's not his movie. It's based on the novel 'The Chinaman' (why didn't they call it that?), is directed by Martin Campbell, and produced (in part) by Jackie Chan, but he is the main man there. He plays his role well, and the combination Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan as the Irish Liam Hennessy - I never thought I'd see the day!
It's like two worlds collide. Two entirely different styles of film. And it works well. And both play out their roles flawlessly.
I imagine this is a bit more what the new Death Wish was really meant to be like. Cold, without mercy, yet with an ordinary guy in the lead role.
I haven't seen that one yet but for some reason I imagine this one turned out more authentic. Maybe because Bruce Willis is becoming a household name in all kinds of action movies these days, just because he's the common tough guy, whereas these guys impressed with their efforts rather than their toughness.
The intrigue's there too, and the revelations, although the plot's very straight-forward otherwise. Not that it's a bad thing. For this movie: it works. And it's all refreshingly different. Great watch.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle