‘The Foreigner’ Review


The Foreigner is a British-Chinese action political thriller directed by Martin Campbell and based on the 1992 novel The Chinaman by Stephen Leather. The film stars Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan and follows Ngoc Minh Quan a retired Vietnam War special forces operator who now runs a Chinese restaurant in London and is seeking revenge on the IRA for the death of his daughter during a bombing. The Foreigner feels like a good blend of Taken and Collateral Damage. The actors are quite solid in their roles and pull off believable performances. Jackie Chan is great as Ngoc Minh Quan. He is still a presence on screen and clearly still capable of performing action sequences, but in his old age, he has decided to change things up. Normally, the hero Jackie Chan plays is fun, lovable, and quirky. In this film, Ngoc Minh Quan is an old, broken, and angry man. He is blinded by revenge and will do anything to achieve his goals. Unlike previous performances by Chan, Ngoc Minh Quan makes questionable decisions that could affect possibly innocent people. It is only by sheer luck that no truly innocent people are hurt through his actions. In addition, Pierce Brosnan does well as Liam Hennessy, a former IRA member turned British government official. Liam Hennessy is an old soul who is trying to get past his time as an IRA member in order to focus on his political career. The events of the bombing make this difficult for him because he is thrust right into the middle of the situation. It is nice to hear Brosnan speak in his native Irish accent. He plays the role of an aged government official very well. The look in his eyes shows how dangerous he once was and still can be if pushed too far. Throughout the film, director Martin Campbell keeps the viewers guessing as to who is behind the bombings. He focuses on certain characters during intense moments which distracts the viewer from the true masterminds. The pacing is easy to follow and the story is pretty straightforward. The fight choreography in the film is enjoyable to watch… this is enhanced by the fact that Jackie Chan still does most of his own stunts. My only quarrel with The Foreigner is that it could work without the Ngoc Minh Quan character. It’s almost as if Jackie was brought in to strengthen the film. It felt like the studio mashed two films together. One, a political thriller involving Liam Hennessy and his connections with the IRA and the British government. Another, an action thriller involving Ngoc Minh Quan getting revenge on the IRA for the murder of his daughter. Both storylines are equally as interesting and could have made up the plot of an entire film. I give The Foreigner a Decent 7.8/10. This was a great “against the type” role for Jackie Chan to return the silver screen with. The same goes for Pierce Brosnan as he was far from the playboy he normally portrays.

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