The Foreigner (2017)
“The Foreigner” stars Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, Charlie Murphy, Michael McElhatton, and Liu Tao. Released on October 13, 2017, the film is about a London businessman who goes on a revenge-filled quest to search for the terrorists responsible for killing his teenage daughter.
The film is directed by Martin Campbell, who also directed films such as GoldenEye, The Mask of Zorro, Casino Royale, and Green Lantern. It is based on the 1992 novel, The Chinaman, by Stephen Leather. Ah, yes, the Great Jackie Chan. The man who’s not afraid to take risks and perform his own stunts. Words cannot describe how talented and awesome he is whenever he appears in a film. Ranging from international action films to the occasional family films like Kung Fu Panda and last month’s The Lego Ninjago Movie, Jackie Chan can do pretty much anything, making him one of my favorite action stars working in Hollywood today. For this film, he’s taking a much different approach in terms of his performance, while director Martin Campbell is looking for some sort of redemption since his failed attempt at bringing Green Lantern to the big screen. The sooner we stop talking about Ryan Reynolds’ animated suit, the better. This is Campbell’s first film as a director in six years, so it would be interesting to see if he still got his usual action thriller instincts.
The film’s story is basically your typical by-the-numbers revenge thriller with some familiar revenge tropes. If this is what you’re expecting from this film, then you’re going to have a swell time watching it. If you’re expecting anything new from this type of plot, chances are you’ll be disappointed. While the film fails to offer any huge surprises, it does include plenty of interesting elements that kept me engaged to the story, including the characters and its “thriller” moments, which were nicely directed by Campbell. My personal highlight of the film was Jackie Chan’s grounded performance as Ngoc Minh Quan. I usually see Chan’s performance in certain films as lighthearted and full of energy, but in this film, it’s more dramatic and serious as he portrays a person who will stop at nothing to bring the murderers to justice. Even his fighting skills were a bit different than usual. This is definitely something that I haven’t seen before when it comes to Jackie Chan, and boy, was it something? Pierce Brosnan also turned in a solid performance as Liam Hennessy, an Irish deputy minister who was a former leader of the terrorist group that Quan is after. Like every Jackie Chan film, the film has a few action sequences that has Chan kicking some serious butt, and they were immensely entertaining. While all of these sequences were shown in the trailers, it doesn’t really affect my experience as a whole.
Overall, “The Foreigner” offers very little to its usual “revenge thriller” formula, but Jackie Chan’s undeniable performance and Campbell’s solid direction were enough to deliver a satisfying thrill ride for adults. This is one of those films where an actor does something completely different compared to their familiar routines, and does it flawlessly. So, hopefully it would inspire other celebrities to offer something that people haven’t seen before. If you’re a fan of Chan’s other films, I can assure you that this film will not disappoint you.
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