This was an entertaining revenge flick. Most Jackie Chan films are entertaining, to be fair, but don’t go into this thinking you’re getting Drunken Master or Police Story. This is Jackie putting on one of the most understated, effective performances I think I’ve ever seen from him. The kung-fu is rare, but effective and, in typical Jackie Chan style, the choreography makes use of the world around the players rather than just being toe to toe thumping the bejesus out of each other. As such, it becomes much more believable.
Pierce Brosnan delivers a great performance too, as the unwitting villain of the piece (from certain perspectives within the film) and it’s nice to hear him bust out his native accent – although I suspect he exaggerated it a little. It’s also gratifying to see him in a thriller like this – his presence took me all the way back to The Long Good Friday and his small role as an IRA soldier driving off with Bob Hoskins at the end. I certainly was not thinking of Bond when he was on screen (despite the fact he’s one of my favourites to wear that moniker).
The supporting cast were solid, the twists and turns toward the end enjoyable yet not telegraphed and Martin Campbell pulled it altogether with aplomb. Particularly some moments that were almost reveals where I quietly laughed to myself at the predicament someone was about to find themselves in.
A solid revenge film wrapped in a bigger political story that, while not that contemporary any more (thankfully), is eminently believable. Not a masterpiece, but certainly enjoyable.