By Christian Le Feuvre (Manchester, UK)
The Foreigner is a terrific thriller directed by Martin Campbell and stars Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan.
The opening scenes see Jackie Chan’s character taking his daughter to buy a dress for her school prom night, and whilst he is parking his car and she has already run into the shop to have a look, the shop is destroyed by an IRA terrorist bomb and his daughter is killed. Once he learns it was down to an IRA attack and the police investigation is seemingly going no-where, he goes to confront Northern Ireland’s First Minister Liam Hennessy, played by Pierce Brosnan, who was a former IRA leader to get the names of the bombers so he can hunt them down personally.
This is a revenge thriller movie but it is far more realistic than most, especially Taken 2, Martin Campbell has done a far more gritty movie and it explores both the political consequences following a terrorist attack as well as the personal ones.
It’s a storyline we have seen before but the way that Campbell’s clever direction style takes us through it in a fresh way, is what made this film so intriguing for me.
We don’t know much about Chan’s character and his past at first, but that’s what I loved about this film, it doesn’t lay it all out in the first scenes and let you sit back and watch how it unfolds, it takes you along for the ride and slowly builds up the thrills and understanding of the characters, and the more we learn about his back-story, the clearer things become.
There are some brilliant action scenes, and most Jackie Chan fans will obviously expect the fight scenes which he is known for, unfortunately if that’s what you are expecting from him you will be disappointed. Yes there are some fight scenes of course, and Jackie Chan is excellent, but this is a different type of movie altogether. In this film he’s an older man, consumed by pain and grief, and he gives an excellent dramatic performance. So please don’t expect just a Jackie Chan action film, as actually the trailers lead us to believe, it’s a tense political thriller.
Pierce Brosnan gives one of the best performances in his career as far as I’m concerned. He is terrific in this movie. He has a lot of incredible scenes, some really powerful dialogue and some intense moments too. I did love Jackie Chan in this film but for me, Pierce Brosnan steals it.
This is a thriller, it is far more ‘wordy’ than just a ‘revenge action movie’. Martin Campbell has done an excellent job with The Foreigner. Jackie Chan has the ability to give us an amazing dramatic performance while still giving his fans a few action fight scenes which he is known for.
Even though, as I mentioned, this is a ‘wordy’ film, it is never boring, although those just watching for Jackie Chan might find it so.
This is a good classic thriller, really strong performances from all the actors, it’s well paced and brilliantly directed.
Quan’s Daughter: Everyone’s already inside. Bye, dad.
Quan: Careful crossing the street.
[as she enters the building there is a massive explosion]
News Reporter: An explosion rocked the city today.
[at the police station]
Quan: Twenty thousand pounds for the names of the bombers.
Commander Richard Bromley: That’s now how we do things here.
Commander Richard Bromley: These are vicious men who take pride in their atrocities. Any attempt by you to contact them is likely to end very badly. Do you understand?