By Chris Dugopolski
This is a Jackie Chan movie and “The Foreigner” is Quan Ngoc Minh, played by Jackie Chan, and if you enjoy his martial arts you may enjoy this movie. However, if you are interested in seeing a movie with good characters and an interesting plot, this is not for you. The plot has more holes than swiss cheese.
A humble businessman with a buried past seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism. A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers’ identities.
As I said, Jackie Chan plays Quan Ngoc Minh. Pierce Brosnan is his adversary Liam Hennessey. Katie Leung is Fan.
“The Foreigner” was directed by Martin Campbell who also directed the James Bond thriller “Golden Eye,” “Mask of Zorro” and “Green Lantern.”
The screenplay was written by David Marconi based on the book by Stephen Leather, “ The Chinaman.”
The beginning of the movie had some promise. Quan brings his very pretty teen-aged daughter to a shop in London so that she can get a dress for a dance at her school. She runs into the shop while Quan tries to find a parking spot. Suddenly there is an explosion then there is a poignant scene where an injured Quan holds his dead daughter. The possibilities for the rest of this movie are almost endless and could have been quite suspenseful. We could see Quan searching for those responsible for setting off the explosion. This is not what happened; he already has a target, Irish Deputy Minister and former IRA member, Liam Hennessy. He wants the list of names from Hennessy and he takes his heavily loaded van by ferry to Belfast so that he can threaten Hennessy. The remainder of the movie consists of various implausible activities to scare Hennessy into providing the information and Hennessy’s various defensive and counter defensive maneuvers. The plot moves back and forth between Quan’s various attacks at Hennessy and Hennessy’s involvement or not with the terrorists. Quan single handedly fights off numerous of Hennessy’s henchmen, miraculously recovers from various injuries and sets fantastic traps that no one notices until too late.
This movie is an insult to most people’s intelligence. The only saving grace is some lovely footage of London. The movie is based upon a book entitled The Chinaman, which I am assuming would not make a very politically correct title for the movie and though Quan is Vietnamese, he is referred to as the Chinaman throughout.