Director: Martin Campbell
Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Runtime: 113 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
Although The Foreigner is directed by Martin Campbell, who helmed two of the best James Bond films, GoldenEye (1995) and Casino Royale (2006), this movie is not up to par with those two pictures. The complicated story concerns an immigrant to Great Britain named Quan Ngoc Minh (Jackie Chan) who loses his daughter, Fan (Katie Leung), to a terrorist bombing in London and decides to harass the British government for the names of the perpetrators, so he can have his revenge. I like the Jackie Chan stuff in here, but these parts are often drowned out by a convoluted plot.
As some critics have pointed out, The Foreigner sometimes feels like two separate movies joined at the hip. One is a thriller about a cell of terrorists trying to reignite “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland and the government’s response and the other half is an actioner about Chan’s character beating up people on his vengeance-driven path. The behind-the-scenes intrigue sequences are kept afloat by Pierce Brosnan’s performance as Liam Hennessy.
The best parts of this feature are, as you might expect, the action scenes. They’re not as manically choreographed as the fights in some other Jackie Chan movies, but they’re still superb. Chan is much more sullen here than he is in his typical action-comedy. He’s certainly playing against type a bit, and I think it pays off pretty well for him.
The Foreigner‘s twisty and turny plot holds it back from being truly recommendable. There are so many characters and so many motivations that we just want all of it to stop and watch Chan pummel some fools. It’s nice to see Jackie doing something more serious – I’m all for that – but this one just feels overplotted.
My rating is 6 outta 10.