Directed by: Martin Campbell
Starring: Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, Rufus Jones, Charlie Murphy and Katie Leung
Run Time: 1h 54min
Genre: Action, Thriller
3 ½ Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
‘Jackie Chan Kicks Ass’ should be the title of the film! He plays Quan (Chan) who is one pissed off father after his daughter is killed an IRA-related terrorist bombing in London, England. A seemingly simple man, Quan lives fairly modestly, an owner of a small restaurant. He’s meek and quiet but when he drops the only family member he has left, off at a store and she’s the victim of a great explosion, he wants answers and he wants them NOW. He looks to Liam Hennessey (Brosnan), the Irish Deputy Minister, for help. He asks his office and he asks him directly who took part in ending his daughter’s life. When he’s met with resistance to the questions, he has to get a little more aggressive. This is when the film gets really lively. Jackie Chan still has it. He’s incredibly agile and strong. Age isn’t an issue and the spectacular editing makes his actions seem effortless and smooth, something you’ll appreciate more than anything.
The Foreigner’s script is written by David Marconi (Enemy of the State, Live Free or Die Hard) but he adapted the movie from Stephen Leather’s novel ‘The Chinaman’ so there’s much more going on than fists flying and legs kicking, which is ultimately what made it a winner for me. It’s about one hell of an angry man who wants revenge but also a political thriller that focuses quite a lot on Hennessey and who he does business with. Having played Bond, Brosnan was perfect for the role and he does a fine job of selling someone who’s morals are questionable. There is conspiracy abound and the deeper and deeper the story gets, the more engaged you become. Not only in seeing the goings on of a corrupt government but in who Quan is, as well.
Quan has never brought out the beast who was created when he was a younger man… until now. Buried deep inside is a horrendous past and now it’s unleashed. We learn he ex-special forces and an expert in killing. Before he came to America he was a prisoner in Saigon and he and his wife watched his two young daughters killed. What mattered most to him was being strong for the one family member he had left; his daughter, his wife died giving birth. Chan is very powerful when the scenes call for emotion. His eyes fill with tears and face drops when he speaks of what he has lost but this fight he will not lose. Once he has lost everything, he has no true life left and he’ll see to it that the people who ended his child’s life doesn’t either.
This movie is action-packed and explodes off the screen! His skill is entertaining to watch, especially when one considers the age; you can’t help but to think about it when you see the deep lines on his face. This is a Grade-A, topnotch, first-rate fantastically made film as Quan slowly moves in, the threats on Hennessey increase, he gets closer to the truth and you get more and more excited for him to find it. An absolute must-see on the big screen!