By Rick Davis
Although you may not recognize the name Martin Campbell, you will likely know the movies he has directed. Some of more successful movies were The Mask of Zorro and Vertical Limit but he is best known for directing two first time Bonds: Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye and Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.
His latest is The Foreigner and he not only re-teams with Brosnan, but works with Jackie Chan for the first time. This action-thriller has Chan playing a humble London businessman whose long-buried past erupts in a revenge-fueled vendetta when 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, he is forced into conflict with a British government official (Brosnan), whose own past may hold clues to the identities of the elusive killers.
If this looks like a more serious role for Chan than he has done in the past, it is. He has taken a step back from the comedic action movies he is best known for, saying that he is getting too old to be doing his own stunts and taking on more dramatic roles like he did with The Karate Kid and also the Chinese film Shinjuku Incident, in which there were no martial arts sequences. Most recently in North America, he has been mostly featured in animated movies like Kung Fu Panda, Nut Job 2 and The Lego Ninjago Movie and mostly concentrating on movies for the Chinese market where he has had the most success. He did make Skiptrace with Johnny Knoxville last year but it did not get much attention in North America even though it grossed $134 million worldwide. Although he will not be doing as many of his own stunts, he is rumoured to be returning to franchises like the Rush Hour and Shanghai Noon series as well as making another Karate Kid movie.
For the generation of moviegoers that loved Bill Murray in the classic Groundhog Day, sitting through another movie featuring the concept of living the same day over and over again seems daunting. However, it only took a few minutes of Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise to discover that the concept could be done again exceptionally well. After being done as a comedy and then as science fiction, the concept now gets a horror take with Happy Death Day in which a college student is reliving both her birthday and the day of her murder until she discovers her killer’s identity. It is produced by Blumhouse Productions which is best known for producing low budget thrillers that are box office hits like Paranormal Activity, Insidious, The Purge, Split and Get Out.
And because of the holiday Monday, theatres received their bookings a little later than usual this week so check listings for any last-minute offerings.
Rick Davis is the general manager of Landmark Cinemas Xtreme. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @rickthemovieguy