The Foreigner has managed to bring to us exactly what we expected from it, and that is Jackie Jan in a never seen before appearance. The iconic martial arts star and comedian that we are accustomed is not seen anywhere in this captivating thriller. Who we see here is a mourning father who is gripped by vengeance, and he will keep hog your attention all the way. The Foreigner is not just a typical senseless action film with an undefeatable hero. The film has an extremely intricate storyline and several main characters. The veteran director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Vertical Limit) has superbly utilized his movie-making expertise to give a new dimension to the renowned Jackie Chan. However, he never dilutes the story’s pace.
A terrorist bombing takes place in a London bank and sadly it also blew up a dress shop next to it. Ngoc Minh Quan (Jackie Chan) is a terrified witness to the explosion that kills his teenage daughter. A breakaway faction of the Irish Republican Army claims responsibility for the blast. This attack happens to be just a start. The British government pressures Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan) who is a former IRA leader and a present Northern Ireland MP. The tense situation threatens to sabotage the peace accord between Britain and Northern Ireland.
Hennessy and the English security forces embark on a mission to find the culprits and ignore the short Chinese man who regularly visits their offices. Quan is seeking answers, and he wanted to find out who killed his daughter. After being repeatedly ignored, Quan planned to rattle everyone to uncover the enemy. The ignorance of Hennessy turns out to be a grave mistake after they realize that they didn’t really understand the extent of this Chinaman’s resolve. Quan is determined to find out the culprits anyhow.
The Foreigner has an excellent, clearly illustrated and aptly executed story. The bombing by the terrorists and Quan’s private life have a good backstory. The characters are given adequate depth and are all tossed into a mix of lies and corruption. This was expected to be another mindless and violent chase sort of film similar to Taken, but, The Foreigner is way different. The mysteries that are central to this plot are brilliantly uncovered by Martin Campbell.
The Foreigner is essentially a sea change for Jackie Chan. He uses guns, explosives and jumps into nasty, destructive physical combat, however, he is not an invincible guy. He gets physical and emotional damage. The horrible loss of a young daughter is felt by the viewer. Chan is not shown to speak much in the movie. It is the hurt and the crestfallen appearance which depicts ample damage and outrage. He has lost all that meant to him, and now he is a fearless fighter. This makes Quan an enemy you won’t want to meet in the street. Jackie Chan has managed to get onto the right project and the right director to steer his career into a new and impressive direction.
The part played by Pierce Brosnan is equally instrumental in making The Foreigner successful. Liam Hennessy has a lot of dialogues and larger than life encounters. He is caught in the middle of the raging storm. He is surrounded on all sides by terrorists, the British government, and Quan. Brosnan and Martin Campbell have earlier worked together in his first James Bond film Goldeneye. Thus, it is a great thing to see them come together again after twenty-two years to make a film which doesn’t show Brosnan is not playing the fighter. Campbell needed a powerful counter performer to match the vindictive role of Jackie Chan. Brosnan is superb in this role and impresses all of us.
The STX Films production The Foreigner is a brilliant and captivating action movie. It tackles aspects of political intricacies that we didn’t expect to see. Jackie Chan has dared enter into a shadier and more potent arena. Supported by superb direction from Martin Campbell and a fantastic co-star in Pierce Brosnan, Chan has managed to pull it off in style. In our opinion, The Foreigner is way better than what was expected. It controls the audiences’ right from the opening sequence and then doesn’t relent throughout.