Martin Campbell is a rare breed- an action director who doesn't expurgate the grace notes or dense characterizations. Jackie Chan's sunken eyes have never been so melancholy. It's a diametrical change-of-pace for Chan and certifies that he can be impregnable dramaturgy actor outside of his supple choreography.
The scenes in which Chan is lemur-like on pipes and against knife-wielding terrorists are his forte but he definitely stretching his chops with his grief-stricken, morose performance here and it's an unqualified success. The Authentic IRA impetus becomes convoluted but Chan and his foil Pierce Brosnan are always gangbusters.