You’re better off waiting for this movie to hit Redbox

Upon seeing the trailer for this movie starring Jackie Chan I was very excited but leaving the theater late Saturday night left me quite disappointed. “The Foreigner” had great potential for a thrilling revenge action film that never fully materialized.

This easily has to be one of Chan’s best performances ever, or at least of the movies that I’ve watched of his. His performance was believable, and it didn’t matter what his character, Quan Ngoc Minh, did. You felt that the extremes he went to in order to find the killers of his daughter were warranted. As the viewer you couldn’t help but feel for his character and rooted for the justice of his daughter. Jackie Chan displayed a great deal of emotion in his performance. His body language and facial movements were those of a man who had lost everything. The faults of this movie have nothing to do with Chan or his performance. He proved to everyone who watched this movie that he is still very capable of performing amazing hand-to-hand combat action scenes. Something that as a “Rush Hour 4” hopeful was happy to see. Some of the best parts of this movie are his scenes where he’s in a saddened state or the action sequences. However, the trailer that I saw led me to believe that this movie was about a father attempting to avenge the death of his daughter at the hands of a terrorist explosion with Pierce Brosnan’s character, Liam Hennessy, being the person standing in the way. To my surprise this movie was something more than this, and in its attempt to be something bigger it fell flat. This isn’t to say “The Foreigner” wasn’t good, entertaining, or worth-watching but it’s a movie that you’re better off waiting to watch.

The plot of this movie spoils what are some really great performances by Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. The latter had one of the coolest, most spy-like names that I can remember. Brosnan played Liam Hennessy, a politician in Ireland who was formerly a leader of the IRA, an army that believed that violence was the only way to get what they wanted, and so a lot of this movie was about him and his political ambitions. This movie was about two separate things that connected each other by one event, the explosion that killed Quan’s daughter. That’s where the movie becomes fuzzy. It’s much bigger than “Quan vs Hennessy” and that’s why it’s confusing. There are huge gaps in the movie where Jackie Chan doesn’t even appear yet we’re told by the trailer, and the name “The Foreigner” that the movie is about him. Instead this movie is only partially about the revenge aspect and more a thrilling political drama. It makes it very confusing to follow because of the many moving parts. “The Foreigner” attempts to be big with too many aspects and perspectives that become its downfall. Everything inevitably comes together by the end of this movie but throughout it you’re wondering who the movie is really about. This is a movie that really struggled to figure out what it wanted to be about. Did it want to tell the story about the uncovering of the hidden agendas of a politician or the avenging of a daughters death?

Jackie Chan’s and Pierce Brosnan’s performances shine in a movie that struggles to find its identity. In all its faults “The Foreigner” was still entertaining but it fell short of what I expected after watching the trailer. Its slow-pace made some of the movie tough to get through. You’re better off saving some money and waiting for it to hit Redbox.