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January 8, 2018

The Foreigner (2017) --- "Guy's Daughter Is Murdered. What He Does Next Will Make You Cringe."

Plot Summary
Quan is a humble London businessman whose long-buried past erupts in a revenge-fueled vendetta when the only person left for him to love -- his teenage daughter -- dies in a senseless act of politically motivated terrorism. His relentless search to find the terrorists leads to a cat-and-mouse conflict with a British government official whose own past may hold the clues to the identities of the elusive killers. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     The Foreigner (2017) is a brilliant thriller that holds your breath from beginning to end. No one is sure what exactly is going to happen next because the tension build up is so progressive that it pulls the audience in; the film starts out small, quickly builds with adrenaline, and ends beautifully after a thrilling climactic scene. The Foreigner is the brainchild of Taken (208-2014) and Rambo (1982 -2008). Jackie Chan (Rush Hour series) stars as Quan Ngoc Minh the overly protective father of Fan (Katie Leung) who is killed by an IRA terrorist bomb (as shown in the trailers). Quan, who has a "certain set of skills", gets caught up in a much larger game of political intrigue and terrorism as he identifies and hunts down those responsible for killing his daughter. The justice Quan delivers to those responsible, the action is brutal, calculated, and just short of savagery. The story itself is complex and comprehensible. This is not merely an action film; it’s a tense drama about conflicting causes. Despite the fast pace throughout, the film manages to cover all its bases and answers any questions we might still have, thus finishing the film quite well.
     Jackie Chan is a cinematic legend famous for his many iconic roles which highlight his epic Martial Arts skills and humor. However, his role in The Foreigner is far different than anything we have seen from him before. The trailers promised that Chan would be returning shaper and darker than ever before, and I believe that this more intense role is one of his best performances yet. Now 63 years old, Chan continues to do most of his own stunts but this time it’s different than Rush Hour (1998) or The Spy Next Door (2010) because he plays his age. He’s still got it but now we see his age in his movements, physicality, and emotions. His character says few words throughout but his sullen and wise eyes filled with a hateful scowl and hopeless stare seems to penetrate you to your core. He is permanently fixated in a faithless fury that makes this darker role that much more fascinating to watch, primarily because we soon learn that he is willing to go and do whatever it takes to reign justice down on the opposition.
Since Jackie Chan’s character is a silent and severe old man who has just lost his only child, the majority of the plotting and energy in this film falls on the main antagonist Liam Hennessy (Pierce BrosnanMamma Mia), an Irish politician who is also former IRA member and seems to know more than he’s letting on. Post-James Bond, Pierce Brosnan has aged gracefully and he continues to surprise me with the depth of his performances. His role here is amazing and his character makes for a good adversary to Chan. The only issue that I have with Brosnan’s character is the accent. I know that he was born in Ireland and he lived there for a time before moving to England but his attempt at sound Irish felt a bit forced and cringe-worthy in some scenes. I am not sure if this has to do with the type of Irish accent he chose – a person’s accent usually hints at what region of their country they grew up in – or what, but I was not really feeling it this time. However, I am an American and I am not an expert in Irish accents so I will give him some slack because I do know that it’s a 50/50 chance if you can get an accent right or not.
     Overall, The Foreigner (2017) is a thrilling, dark, and action-packed piece of entertainment. This film gives Jackie Chan's career a new edge that has not been seen before. Here he plays his age but he is no less fascinating to watch and you can tell that he’s still got it. The was a great restart to his career. Peirce Brosnan was a great antagonist for Chan, despite his Irish accent is a little cringe-worthy at times. The story is complex and comprehensible and manages to cover all its bases by the end of the film. If you enjoyed Taken and Rambo then you will definitely love this film.

 “Who killed my daughter?”
- Quan Ngoc Minh

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  9.5 of 10 stars
Worth Buying:  9.5 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar 
Collateral Damage (2002)
Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard 2 (1990)
Die Hard 3: Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
Die Hard 4: Live Free Die Hard (2007)
Die Hard 5: A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
London Has Fallen (2016)
Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
Rush Hour (1998)
Rush Hour 2 (2001)
Rush Hour 3 (2007)
Taken 1 (2009)
Taken 2 (2012
Taken 3 (2015)
V for Vendetta (2005) 

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