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Review of ‘The Foreigner’

by Sean Harrison

Director:  Martin Campbell

Cast:  Jackie Chan (Ngoc Minh Quan), Pierce Bronson (Liam Hennessy), Rory Fleck Byrne (Sean Morrison), Ray Fearon (Richard Bromley), Michael McElhatan (Jim Kavanagh), Charlie Murphy (Maggie), Liu Tao (Keyi Lan), Orla Brady (Mary Hennessy)

Yet again, we have a movie released this year with a somewhat misleading trailer; though I doubt the trailer will ruin the movie for people as much as that of It Comes At Night or Mother. Hopefully, it doesn’t, at least, because The Foreigner is a surprisingly good political thriller (with the occasional fight scene thrown in for good measure).

Before we get to this action, the movie begins with the bombing from the trailer that resulted in the death of Quan’s daughter. Afterwards, the film moves at a somewhat slow pace for the next half hour or so as he tries to find out who kills his daughter. His main target for information is Liam Hennessy, a politician with ties to the IRA. Ultimately, this leads to a game of cat and mouse as the movie gradually becomes more action oriented over time.

Speaking of these action scenes, there aren’t very many. But these few have a very non-choreographed feel to them. This isn’t a bad thing, though, because it gives them a strong element of realism (which definitely fits the movie better than some of his more choreographed fight scenes). Even the stunts felt more accidental than anything with Chan not showing cat-like reflexes.

In addition, the acting deserves to be praised. Both Brosnan and Chan do the best performance I’ve seen either one do in a long time. For instance, this is the best I’ve seen from Brosnan since The Ghost Writer and from Chan since Little Big Soldier. If anything, the only notable drawback is Byrne who doesn’t necessarily give a bad performance, but he seems a little outclassed by his more established co-stars.

Overall, I feel this movie is well worth the watch (or the re-watch for those who have already seen it). Martin Campbell last directed the awful Green Lantern, and I feel this movie was actually good enough to redeem him (at least for film buffs/fanatics, but not for comic book fans). I give it four stars out of five.

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