When a man is backed into a corner and given little options, his reaction can have devastating consequences to those around him. Jackie Chan’s newest film, “The Foreigner,” shows the lengths a person will take when placed in a situation without hope or answers.
Chan plays Quan Ngoc Minh who has settled in London with his daughter after a difficult life full of strife. After Minh picks up his daughter from school, they make a trip to a dress shop to pick up a formal gown.
Once they arrive, Minh’s daughter makes her way into the store, where a bomb explodes a few minutes later — killing her and several other civilians.
Minh, devastated by the loss, presses authorities for the names of those responsible. After getting no answers, Minh takes matters into his own hands by using violence to persuade an Irish government official Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan) into talking.
Over the years, Chan has built his acting resume with films that feature comedy, martial arts, or a connection to his cultural roots. This movie is a departure from the typical character he portrays and seems to be grounded a little bit more in reality. Audiences will connect with him more as a father who is going through the loss of a child.
A powerful moment in the film is when police officers visit Minh. At the end of the interview, they ask him if they can call anyone for him. Minh tells them that there is no one left in his family. Chan really makes this moment his own by having a blank expression that is void of hope and emotion.
Well, most people would not set a course of destruction and vengeance as Minh does. This path he takes does not feel phony or fake. It still feels grounded in the realm of reality as Minh tracks down the people responsible for the death of his daughter and enacts his own personal brand of justice. The emotion in the film was very raw, which added more character to the story.
Brosnan adds, even more, depth to the story as Hennessy. Hennessy is dealing with his own past while trying to build a new future for his people. At times in the film, Hennessy can’t keep who he was in the past and lets it dictate his future. This conflict is prominently shown as Brosnan shows emotions in the tension shown on his face.
The film has a lot of strong points that keep it focused, but at times the cat-and-mouse game between Minh and Hennessy seems to drag on for a bit. Despite that one flaw, “The Foreigner” is a film that works quite well and one that left me very satisfied after I left the theater.
I give “The Foreigner” three and a half mustaches out of five.
This film is rated R for violence, language, and some sexual material. It runs 114 minutes.