Welcome to The Daily Cup a movie blog/writing project by Kyle B. Dekker, presented by Hot Chocolate Media. You can read series concept here. The basic rules, Kyle must watch 365 movies in 2018 and write about all of them. 292 of them have to be movies he's never seen before. Thanks for reading.
Jackie Chan is well known to American audiences. He has a huge filmography and I’ve watched many of them. His best films tend be be great goofball action films, packed with charisma and slapstick humor. Today’s film, The Foreigner (2017) upends our usual expectation of Jackie Chan and plops him into the middle of a serious action thriller, and it really works.
Jackie Chan plays Quan Ngoc Minh a 60 year old man (a point they make several times in the film) whose daughter is killed in a terrorist bombing in London. Quan becomes obsessed with finding who is responsible for his daughter’s death and he contacts and visits the office of a government official in Northern Ireland. Liam Hennessy played by Pierce Brosnan is the official and has past ties to the IRA. Quan Ngoc Minh plants a small bomb in the bathroom of Hennessy’s government offices to send a message that he is tired of being dismissed by Hennessy. Thus kicks off a manhunt for Quan, and the action begins.
At its heart this is a crime procedural with a Jackie Chan revenge movie dropped into the middle of it. The plot reveals many twists and turns as we learn who is responsible for the bombing that killed Quan’s daughter. This winding plot is interspersed with excellent action sequences as Quan hides in the woods while exacting his revenge. It has elements taken from First Blood and the Bourne movies in this regard.
Jackie Chan’s performance in this is very subtle and brooding. It’s a departure from him, as even the action sequences lack his signature slapstick and goofiness. But the action is good, Chan’s character is highly skilled, but they aren’t afraid to show his age has slowed him down some. He dishes plenty of hits out, but he also takes them, as his grinds out his deep desire to avenge his daughter. I like this vulnerable turn in Jackie Chan, it really works for this film and suits an older character. Pierce Brosnan also does a great job as a conflicted official with a dark past. I’d love to see Brosnan in more villain in films.
The true MVPs of this film are the composer Cliff Ramirez and cinematographer Tattersall. This movie sounds and looks beautiful. Ramirez’s score drives the action and fills the scenes with beauty. Tattersall really uses the London and Belfast locales as characters in themselves. The architecture of Northern Ireland frames the shots beautifully.
This is a slow starting procedural thriller movie with a great revenge movie tied into it. The third act is particularly fantastic and justifies the methodical first act of the film that does a good job of setting up the story. This is a good looking, well crafted action film that changes up what you’d normally expect from Jackie Chan.
Movies new to me watched: 23/292
Other movies: 7/73
Total movies watched: 30/365
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