Jackie Chan has become a legend in his own right with the stunt work throughout his career and for that reason, it’s why we love him so much. With The Foreigner, Chan throws the usual action flare away and opts for a role that plays more to the heart and adds depth to his character. Director Martin Campbell and Pierce Bronson return to the big screen after their successful Goldeneye to give us a compelling thriller that focuses more on the story aspect instead of taking the same action route of Taken.
Chan plays Quan, an aging father who has seen better days. We learn of his past later in the film and can even see the scars that he still wears. Quan’s life becomes devastated when his daughter is killed by a department store bombing perpetrated by a group who call themselves “The Authentic IRA.” Quan seeks revenge by attempting to bribe a Scotland Yard officer (Ray Fearon) and contacting Irish Deputy Minister Liam Hennessy (Pierce Bronson) for information leading to the identity of the bombers. Hennessy used to be a former leader of the IRA and has spoken publicly about it. Quan’s pleas for assistance are ignored as no information has surfaced and resorts to taking action.
That’s the story of The Foreigner. David Marconi’s (Enemy of the State) script is well paced and feels plausible. Yes, the film does show terrorist attacks which is horrifying no doubt, but the film throws away car chases and over-the-top shootouts to give us a story that deals with the setup instead of wall-to-wall action.
Jackie Chan displays great depth in his character even though he isn’t the center of the film; something that may surprise viewers. He is restrained by playing a grieving father who just wants the people responsible to be found. Bronson is amazing to watch in his performance as a man who is stuck in-between two worlds. He knows something but the film handles itself well enough to not resort to action clichés with films such as Taken and The Gunman.
Verdict 4 out of 5
The Foreigner has a smart script and surprise performances from its main stars. While the film isn’t the Jackie Chan spectacle that you’d expect, that doesn’t mean the film doesn’t have its moments. This is Campbell’s latest film since the disappointing Green Lantern and he shows that he still hasn’t lost his touch. The Foreigner is a film that shows Jackie Chan and Pierce Bronson in a way that may surprise you and for that reason The Foreigner is one to not overlook.