8/10 Underrated director Martin Campbell (“Goldeneye”, “Casino Royale”) reteams with Pierce Brosnan for a really solid action flick that has a very simple story but is executed very well. I can’t remember the last time I even saw Jackie Chan in a movie. I feel like he has not worked as much lately and the little he has has been back in Asia, away from the Hollywood films he was making for years. It is really refreshing to see him not only still able to kick ass at his age but also show some acting chops. He is known for his fun buddy films (“Rush Hour” or “Shanghai” franchises) but here there is no comedy to be found. This is a straight up drama with some solid action and well-choreographed fight sequences but that has a big emotional draw to it. Family dynamics are an integral part to this story. It deals with loyalty, betrayal, love, fear, regret and loss involving family and it really gives the film the emotional depth that a lot of mindless action films lack. As I was watching the film one thing that stuck out to me was how good the score was. I waited to see who composed the score when the credits started rolling and was excited to see that Cliff Martinez provided the score. He has worked with Steven Soderbergh and Nicolas Winding Refn a lot and in particular his score for “Drive” was one of my favorites. So the score in this film is really strong but that should come to no surprise to people whom have listened to some of his other work. All of the production values were strong overall. There was a flashback sequence that fit in well and didn’t seem out of place. The editing and production design were both handled well. We got to jump to a few different locations which spiced things up a bit. Earlier I touched upon Jackie Chan playing against type and to great success but I must mention how Pierce Brosnan does the same thing. He usually plays a likeable good guy and here we see a darker side to him. My only complaints would be that this is a revenge story so the plot is nothing super new and a few plot points seemed a bit ridiculous (a character having an affair openly kisses his mistress in a public restaurant in broad daylight when he is a public figure and is often followed by paparazzi…pretty stupid move) but overall the emotional depth, fantastic score, against type performances, well done action and solid pacing make “The Foreigner” one of the stronger action films of 2017.
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