They ain't know who they're messin' with. So this is one of those instances where the trailer lets you know for sure what to expect. If you enjoy the trailer, you will enjoy the film. In The Foreigner, director Martin Campbell does for Jackie Chan what he did for James Bond in Casino Royale. Jackie has long desired to transcend his action comedy roots, and The Foreigner manages to be a great action flick to watch while being devoid of the physical comedy upon which Jackie has built his career. There is nothing sweet or amusing about the hurt locker Mr. Quan puts these dudes in. The Foreigner is not Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon or Drunken Master. In places where we expect Jackie to make funny faces or wink at the viewer, we are shown Quan's frustration and heartbreak. Chan is good in this serious role, so I think we are getting closer to his dream of making movies where he needs not throw any punches.
Here is a great interview to get more insight.
I should mention that Pierce Brosnan is pretty good in this movie as well as the IRA fighter turned politician Liam Hennessy. The Foreigner is characterized by solid performances, and Brosnan holds the screen well in his scenes. The script gives room for actors to portray their characters and has a few surprises, but is not particularly complicated. While Hennessy is consistently out-maneuvered by Quan, he still shows his grit and intelligence in a losing struggle against the elderly badass with nothing more to lose. Like Chan, Brosnan has toggled his considerable charm to the off setting, as he is ran over the coals by the women in his life, and knee deep in gangster shit.
Anyways, I liked this movie. I can imagine people wanting more from the political thriller angles in the movie, but I felt the script included enough IRA vs England background drama to keep the story moving along. As I said, if you like the trailer, The Foreigner will be worth your money.