A Brief History
On October 12, 2017 the United States has only one more day to wait for the release of Jackie Chan’s latest and perhaps greatest film, The Foreigner. A collaboration of Chinese and Western movie makers, this film is not a comedy, but a taut, spellbinding thriller with plenty of action.
Think of the movie along the lines of Taken, The Devil’s Own, Law Abiding Citizen, and The Limey. Like the above films, The Foreigner is about a simple Chinese restaurant owner, a sort of everyman, that seeks justice in an unjust world. In the title role, Chan plays an ex-special forces soldier that is an immigrant to England, and has become a British citizen. When his daughter is killed by an IRA branch planted bomb, Chan is frustrated by the so called “justice” system and seeks justice in his own style.
Chan is remarkably good in the role of a moral, good man, that is pressed beyond what he can take, causing him to revert to his army training in a MacGyver sort of Ramboesque way. The main antagonist in the film is played, also quite convincingly, by ex-James Bond Pierce Brosnan. Casting in all roles is excellent, and the acting is quite serious and believable. Likewise, special effects are stunning, and the movie builds tension right up to the climax and conclusion.
Of course, with Jackie Chan in the film, martial arts are featured, but only to a highly realistic degree without any of the comedic or extra-gymnastic feats normally found in Jackie Chan movies. The fighting scenes are about as believable as is possible in a film, a tribute to the incredible talent of Chan.
The Foreigner also features some of the ambivalence associated with the Irish-British “troubles” and the conflicting motives found on both the British and the Irish sides. The aspect of Britain today being a heterogeneous population of more than just people originating from Britain is also seamlessly inserted, without any preachy or moralistic message so often included in Hollywood movies.
If you like bombs, shooting, fighting, plots, tension, intrigue, and root for the common people, you will absolutely love this movie. We like all those things, and absolutely loved the movie. Already having premiered overseas, the film opens in the US on Friday, October 13, 2017. (Be prepared for oohs, aahs, gasps and ohs during the film and clapping at the end!)
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