The Foreigner

Recommended

2017 | 114 minutes | Rated R

Here’s what The Foreigner looks like: Taken, but with Jackie Chan. But if you walk into the theater expecting either a Taken knockoff or a typical Jackie Chan vehicle, you’re going to be disappointed. Which is a shame, because The Foreigner is really interesting—just not for the sort of reasons that fit into a trailer. Yes, Chan plays Quan, a frumpy dad with secret Special Forces training. And yes, his only daughter (Katie Leung) is immediately blown up by terrorists. But Taken movies operate with a straightforward set of rules, while The Foreigner threads Quan’s quest for vengeance through a complex web of contemporary British counter-terrorism and North Ireland politics. It’s also a chance for Chan to demonstrate his dramatic talents to a Western audience—which may take a bit of getting used to. Quan is a man hollowed out by grief, and Chan translates his talent for demanding physical comedy into a keenly observed body language of hunched shoulders and shuffling steps. Paired with Pierce Brosnan’s effortlessly menacing charm, there’s a lot of, well, acting, in a genre that’s usually reserved for stoicism and grave intonation.

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Film Credits
Director
Martin Campbell
Cast
Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, Ray Fearon, Orla Brady, Tao Liu, Charlie Murphy, David Pearse, Rufus Jones, Niall McNamee, Rory Byrne, Stephen Hogan, Michael McElhatton, Katie Leung, Dermot Crowley, Simon Kunz