Benz Eye View: The Foreigner

The_Foreigner_(2017_film)
The Foreigner

Pros: 

1.) Since Jackie Chan is involved in this movie, of course his stunt performance and action scenes are great.  Even though it does not contain his usual cinematography from his old films, it is still done well enough to make the audience see what is happening, and to show the powerful and painful blows that Jackie delivers on-screen.

2.) There is some great acting in this movie, but the one that stands out (other than Pierce Brosnan for his attempt of an Irish accent) is Jackie Chan.  I have forgotten that he has done drama before since I am so used to him in comedy, but it is kind of refreshing to see him playing a depressing character who lost the only thing that means so much to him, and decides to go after the people who killed his daughter.

 

Cons: 

1.) Someone needs to tell the writers how to write exposition, because there are so many things that characters talk about that either the audience or the other characters already know.  When it comes to exposition, it has to be written so that the audience and the characters are informed in areas that they do not know.  In this movie’s case, there are done poorly to the point where there are a few scenes where they repeat the same information a couple times.  We get it.  Can we please on from the backstory that we knew back from the first act?

2.) I am slightly surprised that the movie spends less time with Jackie Chan, and more time with Pierce Brosnan.  As a result, the emotional connection with Jackie’s character (Ngoc Minh Quan) is not really that strong.  As for Pierce’s character (a.k.a. the antagonist named Liam Hennessy), I found him and his associates not as interesting.  The main reason is that there is so much conflict with those characters that it is kind of hard to follow (and on a side note, their Irish accents are so thick, I can barely tell what they are saying).  As a result, the main plot is slightly unfocused, and it spends time with certain characters who have their own complicated goals that conflict with others when the simplest plot is that Quan wants to kill the man who murdered his daughter.

3.) What I think kind of loses its appeal is the mystery aspect, or lack thereof.  I know the movie’s genre is action thriller, but it would be better if it is also a mystery.  When I saw the trailers, I wondered who was the person who killed Quan’s daughter.  When I saw the movie, they tell you straightaway.  The rest of the movie is Quan trying to find the killer, and how Liam and his associates are connected to the situation.  The movie would have been stronger if it became a mystery thriller with action elements.

 

Overall: 

Based on the 1992 book The Chinaman, this movie automatically had my attention since Jackie Chan is in it, and in a role that he usually does not play.  However, just because Jackie is in the movie, that does not mean the movie is great, so I had to keep an open mind.  The Foreigner is an enjoyable flick that I describe as the Taken movies, but competent.  It does get bogged down with a pretty complicated and somewhat unfocused plot, but it is made up with great performances and action scenes.  I am pretty sure anyone will enjoy this movie, especially if they are fans of the first Taken movie.  Just be aware that the plot can get slight convoluted for a while.

6/10

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