The reserved, polite Quan (Jackie Chan, ” Skiptrace “) has lived in London for over 30 years, runs a fast-paced restaurant and has taken on British citizenship. His carefully constructed life is ripped apart when his daughter Fan (Katie Leung, ” T2 – Trainspotting “) is killed in front of his eyes by an IRA faction bomb. Desperate and persistent, he tries to get answers from the police. When the authorities were unable to provide any answers even after weeks, he took the law into his own hands. He meets Irish politician Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan, “ Survivor“) Who has been a member of the IRA for many years. After the latter cannot answer his questions either, Quan decides to use knowledge from his past to force Hennessy to produce results. Even if he will soon massively increase his security staff and requisition old contacts, there seems to be no way of getting rid of the grieving father.
Jackie Chan is probably the most successful export that Chinese cinema has to offer. For almost half a century he has been delighting his fans with comedic timing and exceptional martial arts knowledge. During this time, the serious roles of the honorary Oscar winner could be counted on one hand. From this point of view, “The Foreigner” is a special event. The film by director Martin Campbell is based on the novel “The Chinaman” by Stephen Leatherand strikes in places already disturbing dark tones. But that doesn’t change the fact that this action drama is really good. So the happening does not linger long with an artificial structure. After a short drive, during which the audience can get to know the close relationship between Quan and his daughter, the central stop comes straight away.
From then on, the audience experiences a sad and – initially – friendly father who seeks answers to the most terrible question that life can ask. This quickly turns into a mean and quite entertaining cat and mouse game that works equally as a revenge drama and a conspiracy thriller. Even if The Foreigner derives a little too much from John Rambo, the masterfully played and staged work remains at a good level. Precisely because Jackie Chan Not seen by many critics as a really great actor due to his mostly easily digestible films, his workload here is very gratifying. He delivers an angry, intense and at times touching appearance. Even at the advanced age of 63, he shows that he is still capable of very tangible action sequences.
After his end as “James Bond” Pierce Brosnan took on good and completely uninteresting parts in a fairly regular change. Here he has caught a convincing role as a politician with a terrorist past. As a hardened minister who somewhat underestimated Quan’s emphatic visit, he is ideally placed. He consistently gives the “wolf in sheep’s clothing”, in which the viewer cannot be sure for a long time whether he is a victim or a perpetrator.
In “The Foreigner” three veterans show that they can still do very good cinema. A tough, atmospheric and very well played action drama develops, which is without exception worth seeing thanks to its consistently high entertainment value.
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