Didn’t Jackie Chan retire from action movies? Did I dream that? Google seems to back me up; about five years ago, Chan said he was done with the action films that made him an international superstar. A year later, though, Chan said he wasn’t retired, and four years after that he’s continued to appear in various martial-arts and action projects. And now here’s The Foreigner, with Chan cast as a guy who regularly flips dudes through tables.

The film was clearly designed as a kind of Taken for Chan, where he could play an older character who acts stoic and takes no guff and also snaps necks from time to time, all in the name of avenging a crime committed against his family. Here’s the official synopsis:

The film tells the story of humble London businessman Quan (Chan), whose long-buried past erupts in a revenge-fueled vendetta when the only person left for him to love -- his teenage daughter -- is taken from him in a senseless act of politically-motivated terrorism. In his relentless search for the identity of the terrorists, Quan is forced into a cat- and-mouse conflict with a British government official ([Pierce] Brosnan), whose own past may hold clues to the identities of the elusive killers.

It’s nice to see Brosnan back with Martin Campbell, who directed his first Bond outing, GoldenEye, and later went on to make Casino Royale and The Mask of Zorro. I’m not sure Chan is the right guy for a grim-and-gritty hero; his best work always blends comedy and violence. But perhaps that’s just typecasting that Chan fell victim to over the years; perhaps he has many more layers he’s waiting to show us, even if he’s still going to be making action movies until he’s 100 years old. The Foreigner opens in theaters on October 13.

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