Every year, Jackie Chan makes the list of the World’s Highest Paid Actors and every year people have to figure out, what was the last time they saw Jackie Chan in a film and how did he make $50 million dollars last year? The answer is simple…China. Chan makes a lot of money in the far east and here he has a collaboration with China and Britain called The Foreigner.
The Foreigner is a film about a retired Vietnam-war veteran named Quan (Chan) whose daughter is killed in a bombing by a rogue group calling themselves the ‘Authentic IRA’. Quan, who had lost his other two daughters years earlier is left with no family and only one objective left, find the names of the people responsible for his daughter’s death. Meanwhile, Irish deputy minister Liam Hennessy (Brosnan), a former leader of the IRA, claims to have no knowledge of the bombing or its perpetrators, but unwilling to take no for an answer, Quan begins to zero down on Hennessy who is his only lead to find the killers and stop them from taking more lives.
The Foreigner is a throwback action thriller that you don’t see much from Hollywood these days. Chan at the age of 63 clearly isn’t in the shape to bring back his Rumble In The Bronx feats so his role here is more driven by emotion than face punching even though you still get some bone-crushing action scenes in the movie. Pierce Brosnan is also in a must different role than you are used to seeing him. The former Bond actor plays a government bureaucrat tip-toeing the line of legal and criminal as he tries to get in the good graces of British Intelligence while maintaining the peace with current IRA members.
You will not be able to escape the Taken comparisons; a former military guy getting revenge for his daughter, there is no way to escape it. Another comparison, I drew was from the Hitman video games. Many of the action scenes play like those games where Quan is sneaking his way past dozens of armed guards who all seem to be walking in predetermined paths as he takes them out and hides their bodies. Mentioning Bond movies earlier, Martin Campbell, who directed Goldeneye and Casino Royale is at the helm here. His camera work and direction gives the classic action movie feel that makes this film very enjoyable for audiences. The acting is exceptional and even though the script is standard, the focus on the story along with the dynamic with the two lead actors more than makes up for the lack of originality.
The Foreigner is a smart and entertaining foreign film that doesn’t feel all that foreign. The veteran acting of Chan and Brosnan carries the film’s dialogue, emotion, and action. I doubt this film will be successful enough to grant a sequel, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a part 2 if it came.
The idea of Rush Hour 4 with old man Jackie and older man Tucker sounds like a terrible idea.
OFFICIAL RATING: ****
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