W ho says that Jackie Chan is too old for a good action/thriller/drama? Well, me for starters! I thought that Jackie’s days doing his own stunts and cool choreographed fights were over. How wrong I was! In the Foreigner, he shows us that he still has the flame of the dragon burning deep inside of him. The movie is based on the novel “The Chinaman” written by Stephen Leather, adapted to the big screen by David Marconi and the film director is no other than Martin Campbell, who has previously directed action-packed films such as Goldeneye 007, Vertical Limit and The Legend of Zorro.
Something that I really enjoyed about The Foreigner is that it is not the typical Jackie Chan action movie, on the contrary, when you start watching the movie you being to wonder when is Jackie Chan going to show us some action? Chan’s character is secretive and very serious, a man of few words with a buried past who only wants to live in peace. Next to Jackie Chan, we also see the talented actor Pierce Brosnan performing as a Northern Irish politician called Liam Hennessy, who is supposedly a former member of the IRA.
Jackie Chan plays a simple man called Quan Ngoc Minh who owns a restaurant called The Happy Peacock. He lives with his daughter Fan (Katie Leung) and the drama starts with the two of them on their way to buy a dress for Fan. In Quan we see a man who has struggled a lot, having lost his first two daughters and wife, and an exhausted look on his face but he also looks happy to share time with his daughter. Just when Quan was parking his car and his daughter was on her way to the store, a terrorist attack took place and she was one of the casualties.
Quan wants justice for his daughter and he starts to pressure the authorities in charge of her case. Ray Fearon gives life to Commander Richard Bromley, who is in charge of SO15 and is behind the case. Quan finds little satisfaction in his meetings with the authorities and he starts to take matter in his own hands, reaching out to the Northern Ireland politician Liam Hennesy portrayed by Pierce Brosnan. Liam is reluctant to hand information over to Quan, and in spite of Quan’s pressure he does not help him at all.
Hennessy is a shady character who openly cheats on his wife and apparently is a former IRA member with an explosive past. That is the reason why Quan decided to go after him to get some answers but in the way he becomes aware that the Henessy is well protected by a personal army led by Jim Kavanagh (Michael McElhatton). So the story goes, with Quan trying to get revenge for his daughter and exposing a vile politician on the way.
Get ready to see a different Jackie Chan, more quiet and sinister looking but with serious fighting skills, buried deep within. The Foreigner was surprisingly enjoyable and it kept me entertained with explosive action sequences, magnificent filming locations in London and Northern Ireland and neat performances by the whole cast, including Charlie Murphy as the double faced Maggie/Sara McKay and Orla Brady as Mrs. Mary Hennessy. The soundtrack could have been better but still, a movie that is worth watching and will leave you feeling satisfied.