By Harold Crawford, Staff Writer
After the Irish Republican Army causes a bomb explosion, a young girl loses her life, and her father begins searching for revenge. “The Foreigner,” starring Jackie Chan, is about a London businessman Quan Ngoc Minh (Chan) with a buried past losing his daughter, and then taking it upon himself to investigate the organization in charge of operations.
Chan’s character remains underestimated, however we soon see a display of his talents. It does not take long for him to speed up the detective process. The old saying “eye for an eye” could easily be replaced with “bomb for a bomb.” After connecting the bombings to the IRA, Chan continues the search for his daughter’s killers by connecting with the Irish government. One of our old heroes from MI6—Pierce Brosnan—plays a not-so-friendly Irish government official named Liam Hennessy.
Chan stalks Brosnan following a couple of attacks and uses blackmail to force his hand. Meanwhile, Brosnan issues an undercover goon squad to find out who was responsible for planting the bomb. Meanwhile, the thugs who carried out the attack are still on the loose and plan to attack more places, each time with more lethal force. It turns into a game of cat and mouse, with both Chan’s and Bronson’s roles intertwining. They both chase the other hoping to get what they want.
Chan’s character sends plenty of warnings and causes many problems for Brosnan. This causes trouble amongst the good guys of the movie, though “good” could be a debatable term to use in describing Brosnan or even Chan for that matter.
The bombing terrorists are still free to plot and to strategize their nefarious tactics. Chan’s style of warfare in the movie is nostalgic to Stallone’s “Rambo.” Chan continues to stand strong as a one-man army, but, like always, the one-man army scheme can only last for so long. Plots thicken when betrayals spawn to a pattern and can leave anybody with a moral compass trying to assemble a hierarchy of treachery.
Both Chan’s and Brosnan’s characters have a dark history. Chan was a soldier just like Brosnan, still they have a disjunction in foundation. The movie plays a game in inches. Piece by piece, more and more about Chan and Brosnan is revealed to the audience. It comes to the point when you ask yourself how far are you willing to go for what you believe?
Rules of engagement get broken in this action/drama. Early on in “The Foreigner” it becomes clear that no one is safe from harm. Especially when double-crossing becomes a daily routine for the characters. Chan gains an upper hand advantage, and with it he begins to make demands giving Brosnan a deadline to find out who is in charge of the terrorist attacks that are getting out of hand in Europe.
Chan and Brosnan show us a dynamic on-screen competition. The action is packed, the fighting scenes are realistic, and suspense is resilient. The film allows for two legendary actors to play roles we have never seen them play before. I personally thought the movie was a classic.
According, to Simon Abrams of Rogerebert.com “The Foreigner” only deserved one star. Part of his gripe was that Chan is too old and struggling for movie roles to play. The film opened on October 13, 2017 and topped over 100 million according to Forbes magazine.