Jackie Chan as Quan is a restaurant owner in London, quietly going about his life. When his daughter is killed in a terrorist bombing, Quan begins his own investigation into the matter. A rogue element of the IRA may be responsible and Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan) as a politician with former ties, may know more about the bombing than he claims.
Quan just wants their names.
We say, “Grieving Quan kicks butt.”
TAYLOR: This is a sad story of a sad man, but it’s not at all a sad movie. There’s quite a few laughs along the way, due to the two main character’s oppositions. Brosnan’s Hennessy is colourful and boisterous, gold ring clinking on ever-present whisky in cut crystal. Chan’s Quan is grey and old, teary, bleary and operating on automatic. He’s lucky he used to be Special Forces. Of course audiences want to see Chan’s martial arts prowess and they won’t be disappointed, but I liked this movie not for its punches and kicks, but for its performances. Chan and Brosnan really acted in this film, you could see it and feel it.
HOWE: I like these movies. I mean, going into something I know nothing about and being very surprised at how good they are, the last time this happened was with Halle Berry in The Call. You mentioned about the acting from the two main characters, and I feel this is Chan’s finest work and I have seen a lot of his movies from the ‘80s onward. As for Brosnan, he can be hit and miss in films. In this one he really nails the part. The fighting isn’t over the top, the story line will keep you guessing and the overall feel to the film feels European and not Hollywoodized.
TAYLOR: Well let’s not get carried away, just because a couple of (forgive me) aging actors happened to have gotten good, doesn’t make The Foreigner some work of art. It’s an intentional movie, you can see it showing us the things we’re supposed to see. It takes itself seriously and it happens to pay off. It wouldn’t have worked if Chan and Brosnan were lesser able. It reminds me of A Walk Among the Tombstones where Liam Neeson plays a sad man who also thinks he’ll have his pound of flesh. I think Chan’s film does it with a little more class, but no less grit.
HOWE: I was thinking more along the same lines with a Neeson movie. I was thinking Taken but I know what you mean. The Foreigner just feels a little tighter, a little better rounded off and a little less far-fetched. Movies like this don’t normally get a chance at hitting the big screen here in Vernon, mostly go straight to DVD or Netflix but I wouldn’t wait for that. I would go see it on the big screen and see a really good revenge action flick with some solid acting for a change.
Taylor gives it 3.5 bruises out of 5.
Howe gives it 4 Ford Mondeos out of 5.