The Foreigner, starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan, is a timely action thriller from the director of Casino Royale. The film tells the story of humble London businessman Quan (Chan), whose long-buried past erupts in a revenge-fueled… MoreThe Foreigner, starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan, is a timely action thriller from the director of Casino Royale. The film tells the story of humble London businessman Quan (Chan), whose long-buried past erupts in a revenge-fueled vendetta when the only person left for him to love -- his teenage daughter -- is taken from him in a senseless act of politically-motivated terrorism. In his relentless search for the identity of the terrorists, Quan is forced into a cat-and-mouse conflict with a British government official (Brosnan), whose own past may hold clues to the identities of the elusive killers.
Consensus:The Foreigner adheres strictly to action thriller formula, but benefits from committed -- and out of character -- performances from its talented veteran stars.
Martin Campbell directed this twisty, bracing political thriller, giving Chan room to display his dramatic ability and letting Brosnan flesh out a vigorous, complex character who's surrounded by frenemies with secrets of their own.
Throughout all this, [Jackie] Chan plays a character we've seldom seen. A quiet man, his Quan is at first composed and careful, then grief-stricken and finally grimly determined. Even then, he is no Rambo.
Chan is perfectly fine as a man who feels he has nothing to lose, but his hollowed-out gaze and Death Wish-style crusade can't compensate for how numbingly thin this all is, stringing together just enough plot to justify the eruptions of violence.
Chan spends most of the second half of the film off-screen, so Brosnan emerges as the true lead of The Foreigner, anchoring a cluttered plot that serves the usual pro-torture, pro-surveillance, anti-rights and anti-woman agendas.