A Father’s Vengeance – The Foreigner (2017)

Get it, Jackie.  So this is about a father (Jackie Chan).  His daughter ends up being collateral damage in a terrorist bombing in London, possibly executed by the Irish Republican Army.  He wants revenge, and will stop at nothing until he gets the names of the people responsible.  I wasn’t expecting much from this, I was merely using my PTO so as to catch up on movies and I had heard mostly positive things about this.  If I am being honest, I don’t have a ton of experience with the library of Jackie Chan, mostly just his later works.  I think he turns in a solid acting performance with this, which ended up being a happy surprise for me.

1But don’t you worry, his stunts and action are here as well.

Now while I didn’t have any expectations going in, I did have a couple of assumptions.  Namely, this looked to be Jackie Chan’s Taken, or at least that is how it is sold.  It is not.  While there is that underlying revenge story and a father that is determined to the point of being obsessive, that’s about as far as the comparisons go.  Our main character here doesn’t really want to kill people, and he only does so when you get in his way and leave him no choice (he has a background in being a badass, so it is believable).  The other assumption I made was that I thought that this was completely Jackie’s movie, when it isn’t, really.  He shares this movie about 50/50 with Pierce Brosnan, who is quite good in this as well.  He plays an Irishman with connections with the IRA, and for an actor mostly known for his British roles, I thought he kept up with the brogue both convincingly and consistently.

2Apparently, he was born in Ireland but moved to England, which explains his talent.

This is a fine movie, even though I don’t think it ever hits the mark of greatness.  It just can’t shake the feeling that you will be able to readily watch this a year or so down the line on a channel like TNT or something.  Martin Campbell is a veteran director who makes this a very competent film, albeit standard without a ton of flair.  I liked the way Jackie Chan’s character goes about investigating, as it feels authentic for a man in his position.  He is an extremely resourceful man, and this movie is at its best when the two leads are trying to outwit each other.  I think this is an enjoyable movie, and I give it a modest, but decent recommendation.

The Foreigner (2017) ***1/2

– Critic for Hire


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