The Foreigner proves once and for all that Jackie Chan is a “real” actor. His portrayal of a heartbroken father is indeed heartbreaking. The movie itself is brutally realistic in its violence!
Ever since I heard the premise for The Foreigner, I’ve been looking forward to seeing it. I don’t mind saying that I’ve always enjoyed seeing Jackie Chan in movies. The movies themselves haven’t always been that great, but he always delivers.
Usually, he’s an impressive powerhouse of quick and smart moves. Humor is also a big part of his “schtick” and so he tends to smile quite a lot during his movies.
There’s none of that in The Foreigner. Or rather, you’ll still get all the crazy fighting scenes, but this time around they’re a lot more realistic.
The violence is brutal and nobody is a “good guy” through and through. Also, there isn’t one honest smile from Jackie Chan in this movie.
This is like when we had only seen Tom Hanks in romantic comedies and then he suddenly did Philadelphia. Okay, maybe I wouldn’t say this is an Oscar-winning performance, but it is impressive and award-worthy.
The brutal realism of The Foreigner
The strength of The Foreigner is definitely in the way it seems to be holding back. The plot doesn’t name anyone a hero or a villain. When Jackie Chan’s character, Quan, loses his daughter in a terrorist bombing, there’s no sense of reason.
He wants revenge, but it’s a delicate situation and everyone has their own agenda. We’re talking about the age-old hatred between the IRA and the British. It goes both ways and while both parties want peace, neither wants to have much of a civil discussion.
Having already lost his wife and other children before coming to England, Quan takes it upon himself to find out who killed his daughter. For him, the “why” doesn’t matter. He just wants to know who, and yes, he wants revenge.
It’s that simple and in The Foreigner it simply is. There’s no judgment of his need for revenge and there isn’t a glorification of it either.
What is highlighted, however, is the fact that he’s not willing to mercilessly kill other people to get revenge.
Though he will gladly try to scare anyone into revealing the name of his daughter’s killer.
Impressive performances from strong cast
Besides Jackie Chan as the all-important “Chinaman” (the movie is based on a book titled The Chinaman), we also see Pierce Brosnan in a leading role.
With each passing year, he reminds me more and more of the original James Bond actor, Sean Connery. And believe me, I mean this in the best way possible. The man looks great and he is giving strong performances.
While Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan don’t share many scenes, their two characters are at the core of the story in The Foreigner. All performances, without exception, are truly impressive.
Also, I love that two of the people trying to do “the right thing” are not white. All the bad guys are, however. Now that certainly does feel innovative in this day and age.
I almost wish this was a mini-series and not a movie, but on the other hand, I love the ending of this feature film adaptation.
Director Martin Campbell back in form
The Foreigner also marks the first feature film for director Martin Campbell since the rather (very!) unfortunate Green Lantern feature film from 2011.
This is the kind of movie you’d expect from him after having seen his work on the James Bond movies Goldeneye (1995) and Casino Royale (2006).
Adapting Stephen Leather’s book into a screenplay was David Marconi. His past productions include Enemy of the State (1998) and Die Hard 4.0 (2007).
The Foreigner premiered in Beijing, China, on September 24, 2017.
We were fortunate enough to catch it at a CPH PIX 2017 screening. This was actually the first official screening outside Asia and the Middle East.
The Foreigner will be out in US theatrical release on October 13, 2017.
You can catch it in theatrical release in Canada, Australia, and several European countries from October 12, 2017. Find out when it will be out in your country right here!
Director: Martin Campbell
Writer: David Marconi (based on the novel “The Chinaman” by Stephen Leather)
Cast: Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, Rufus Jones, Katie Leung, Michael McElhatton
A humble businessman with a buried past seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism. A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers’ identities.