The Foreigner Reviews
The action scenes were also pretty good. Because Jackie Chan is in his 60s, and because The Foreigner is also a political thriller, you don't see many fight scenes, but when you do, it's pretty brutal, even though it empathizes violence over athleticism. The most impressive scene is when Chan falls off a roof and slides down a pole in one take. Surely, he broke a few bones while performing that stunt.
However, the problem I have with this film is that I could not sympathize with Chan's character, even though he's a broken man who has lost his entire family. When his daughter was killed at the beginning of the film by a group of IRA terrorists, he makes it his mission to avenge his daughter by going after Liam Hennessy, even though he has no solid evidence of Hennessy being involved, other than his history of being a member of the IRA.
The Foreigner doesn't have the simplicity that you might find in other revenge/vigilante movies like Taken, John Wick, and The Equalizer, because it's actually a convoluted political thriller about Liam Hennessy trying to find the IRA bombers. The movie spends much of its running time explaining the history between the IRA and the British government, as well as the actions and motivations of its characters. While Quan's motivation is cut and dry, Hennessy's motivation is kept in the dark, probably to create intrigue, but with endless amounts of twists and double-crossings, it's difficult to tell if he's supposed to be a villain or if we're supposed to sympathize with him (maybe even both).
Chan's contribution to the film was actually pretty small. He was largely absent through the second of half of the film, as the movie tries to be both a revenge thriller and a political thriller. Not only that, his character isn't even central to the plot at all, making his presence feel minimal. The movie doesn't trust Chan's ability as an actor to carry the movie so they throw an arbitrary IRA subplot (that actually becomes the main plot) into the storyline. Without Quan, Hennessy's story arc wouldn't change at all.
There's also a torture scene where a bomb is set to go off in 9 minutes, but the female terrorist gives up the location of the bomb just because the police has a set of jumper cables. Why couldn't she endure it for 9 minutes?
In the end, The Foreigner is watchable, but derivative. The plot wasn't incredibly difficult to follow, but there were many unnecessary subplots and secondary characters, and large amounts of exposition was thrown at the audience. I wish the movie would either focus on being a revenge thriller or a political thriller. Instead, The Foreigner tries to do both with uneven results.
Could have used more of him in this film.
It's not perfect (slow start, wacky plot at points,) but once the action kicks in and the fun start damn it gets good. I love how every important characther gets a few scenes and it all mingles good. I also liked how the sex appeal of the film is the oldest woman in the cast and boy was she a stunner. This movie goes against every modern trope and works.
Hate I missed this in the theaters; woulda been proud to give this 6 bucks then but I plan on getting the BR for sure.