Capsule Review (Minimal spoilers):
The Foreigner is a new film starring Jackie Chan. It’s based on a novel by author Stephen Leather, who co-wrote the screenplay. The basic plot is one of revenge, but the trailers are a bit misleading, because it’s a lot more than that. There is a little bit of political intrigue mixed to the story, and makes this movie a bunch more than just another Taken ripoff. Recommended.
The Foreigner is rated R for violence.
Standard Review (with minor plot spoilers):
After his daughter is killed in a terrorist explosion, Quan Ngoc Minh (Jackie Chan) wants answers. A unknown splinter faction of the IRA has claimed credit, and no one is exactly certain who they are. Frustrated by a lack of traction in the case, Quan turns to Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan), a minister in the government, who is a former member of the IRA. Perhaps he can find out, however, he is less than cooperative. Quan is convinced he knows more, but he is less than forthcoming. He then tries to convince Hennessy to provide the information by other-than-legal means.
Hennessy has his own pressures. He’s been attempting to work both sides of the fence, to smooth out relations and integrate them together. He walks a dangerous tightrope.
The trailers for the film focus on Jackie Chan’s character Quan, thrown in an explosion or two, and one would think it’s pretty straightforward, however, it really isn’t. He does more than a few stunts, and at 63, he’s still got it. There are a few turns and tweaks to the story, taking us into unpredictable territory, and it’s a welcome change. More than a handful of the characters are decently fleshed out, so you have to spread your focus on what’s going on. There is palpable tension, and real heart to this story, which helps make it interesting in ways I hadn’t expected.
The stunts are good, the story isn’t a slow plod to the inevitable conclusion, and the soundtrack is moody and helps make it more appealing. I recommend this film, especially because it’s a lot more than I’d expected.