Jackie Chan has been acting for 55 years and has been in well over 100 movies. I’ll let that sink in for a minute. On its own that’s pretty impressive, but when you factor in the physical exertion that Chan welcomes, things are raised to an entirely new level of appreciation. Time has found its way the physically gifted actor from Hong Kong, thus causing a more conservative approach. That being said, The Foreigner looks to be an action-packed thriller with few punches pulled.
Quan (Jackie Chan) appears to be just your average father doing the things that dads do for their teenage daughters. While running an errand to take her shopping for a new dress, there’s an explosion. Terrorists have taken the last good thing in this world from him. Seeking answers as to who exactly was behind this cowardly attack, Quan will stop at nothing to uncover the truth. This will lead him to Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan), a political figure for Ireland, and also a former IRA member. Quan is much more formidable than his appearance would have you believe, and those responsible for taking his young daughter from him will soon feel his wrath.
This role for Jackie Chan is an exit from what we’re used to seeing. Normally we get to see some lighthearted banter from him regardless of the plot. The Foreigner is about as far from that kind of movie as can be. When you’re dealing with a plot surrounding the death of ones child. that’s pretty much to be expected so it’s no real surprise. And given the fact that Chan in no longer a Spring chicken, long gone are the days when he did his own crazy stunts. Age has given Chan new career perspective and he shows that he can pull it off. The same can be said from onetime 007 himself, Pierce Brosnan. He has settled quite nicely into a role like this.
The Foreigner does contain its fair share of action, however its complex story is what sells it. The plot plays out like something out of a Tom Clancy novel with all of the twists and turns included. You definitely get the non-North American feel while watching things play out. When done right, it’s a pleasure to experience because it breaks up the monotony of expected outcomes. Yes there’s action, both of the hand to hand variety as well as the shoot ’em up style. Cloak and dagger misdirection is key here as everything unfolds to a satisfying conclusion. Appreciation will be gained for an action thriller that doesn’t go too far down the cliché rabbit hole.
Don’t expect an all out action flick where Jackie Chan jumps from building to building while using any prop that he get his hands on to thwart is foes. No, you’ll see a 60-ish year old father fighting tooth and nail to get justice. You’ll also see some good acting, surprisingly so actually. The Foreigner is by no means a hidden gem but, for what it is, things are pretty positive throughout. It feels a tad bit long but I imagine that’s because director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale (2006)) wanted to make sure that audiences take in the full scope of what’s going on here.
The Foreigner could take you by surprise if you’re expecting a typical Jackie Chan movie. Pierce Brosnan gives an inspired performance and Martin Campbell pulls all of the right strings. You can catch this action filled thriller in theaters now.