One Of Jackie Chan’s Absolute Best Is Just Hitting Netflix

By Erika Hanson | 3 months ago

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Jackie Chan has plenty of films available to stream on Netflix. Everyone’s favorite Hong Kong actor has some of his most iconic roles currently streamable on the platform. From the cheeky buddy action duo paired with Chris Tucker in both Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2, to his more classic kung-fu displayed skills in 2010’s The Karate Kid-there is something for the whole family. To start off a new month, Netflix launched a new list of films available to stream and one film, in particular, is quite possibly Chan’s grittiest and best work. 

Arriving yesterday on Netflix, The Foreigner starring Jackie Chan finally landed on the streaming behemoth. The movie was helmed by Martin Campbell, the high-impact action director responsible for 1998’s surprise hit The Mask of Zorro and two great Bond films Goldeneye and Casino Royale. Written by David Marconi, The Foreigner was based on a 1992 novel by Stephen Leather called The Chinaman. The film showcased an impressive casting lineup behind Jackie Chan. Alongside Pierce Brosnan, who debuted as James Bond in the Campbell-directed Goldeneye, came an impressive casting lineup featuring  Michael McElhatton, Liu Tao, Charlie Murphy, Orla Brady, and Katie Leung.

Jackie Chan The Foreigner
Jacke Chan in The Foreigner (2017)

The Foreigner centers around Jackie Chan’s character, Ngoc Minh Quan. Now a humble London businessman, Quan’s secretive and deadly past as a special forces operative catches up to him when his teenage daughter is killed in a politically-motivated terrorist plot. Quan is forced into a typical cat-and-mouse chase with a British government official portrayed by Brosnan and whose own past holds clues to the identities of the elusive terrorist.

With multiple hands in the pot, the British-American-Chinese co-production of The Foreigner landed multiple grand openings across the globe. First released in China and respectively the United States and the United Kingdom, The Foreigner grossed $145 million worldwide-an impressive intakes considering the film’s production budget of $35 million. Touting a decent box office jaunt, the Jackie Chan film tended to fare better in international markets. The Foreigner grossed $34.4 million in the United States, finishing third at the box office behind Happy Death Day and Blade Runner 2049.

jackie chan the foreigner
Jackie Chan in The Foreigner (2017)

The film received some mixed reviews from critics but was overall dubbed a gem in the lucrative collection of Jackie Chan’s hailed films. As for the critic’s reviews, both Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan’s performances were praised, with Brosnan gaining respect for pulling off some great action sequences amongst the world’s most famous stunt man. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 66% amongst critics, coming in a little higher with audiences scoring an average rating of 72%. The review aggregator’s official consensus on The Foreigner reads: “The Foreigner adheres strictly to action-thriller formula, but benefits from committed—and out of character—performances from its talented veteran stars.” Some critics’ discontent with the film came with the eccentric and unusual typecasting of Jackie Chan. Glen Kenny of the New York Times said Chan, “doesn’t deliver the action pizazz here that he used to.” The casting of Jackie Chan as Quan in The Foreigner was definitely an out-of-character role for the martial artist to take. But it largely paid off well for the Chinese native. Best known for his roles as the wacky martial arts master in action comedies such as Rumble in the Bronx, Chan’s raw acting skills were on display in The Foreigner as the 67-year-old proved once and for all that, his acting skills are just as good as his punch. 

At a young age, Chan first discovered his passion for martial arts and attended the rigorous China Drama Academy in Hong Kong where he honed in his acrobatic and martial arts abilities. In the early 70’s Jackie Chan got his first taste of acting as he landed minor roles alongside martial arts superstar Bruce Lee in Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon. Following Bruce Lee’s death, the young Jackie Chan inherently took the Hollywood martial arts metaphoric crown and started his own career becoming one of the most iconic action film stars of all time. Since 2017’s The Foreigner, Jackie Chan has been keeping the momentum starring in plenty of roles thereafter. However, the actor has largely left behind the high-profile life in Hollywood and largely sticks to foreign film once more. As for the reasoning, Chan said, “I want to make sure that every year the audience can see so many different sides of Jackie Chan. I would like audiences to consider me as an actor who can do action, not just as an action star. I don’t like to repeat myself.” While it’s certain that the Hong Kong actor is beloved in the states for his slapstick action comedies, the actor has proven his worth as a dramatic actor as well. And although he has no slated American projects in the upcoming years, we hope the martial artists give fans at least one more jaunt in Hollywood.