The Foreigner

I haven’t watched a Jackie Chan film in ages. I respect the guy and the torture he puts himself through in some of his action movies and he is hardworking as hell but I haven’t wanted to watch any of his stuff in many, many years. The Foreigner is a 2017 action thriller film directed by Martin Campbell and written by David Marconi, based on the 1992 novel The Chinaman by Stephen Leather. The British-Chinese co-production stars Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, Michael McElhatton, Liu Tao, Charlie Murphy, Orla Brady and Katie Leung, and follows a businessman who seeks revenge for the death of his daughter.

Quan’s daughter Fan is killed in a bombing of a bank (she was in the store next to it) the former retired Vietnam War special operations forces soldier who now runs a Chinese restaurant in London, is devastated. His now dead wife and he were shot as Thai pirates boarded their ship, that was taking them and other migrants from Vietnam to Singapore many years ago, and stole their two young daughters. Fan was his third child and his wife died during childbirth. A group of rogue IRA activists calling themselves the “Authentic IRA” claim responsibility.

Quan tries to bribe Scotland Yard officer Richard Bromley for the names of the bombers but is rejected and told to stay away while the investigation is going on. Quan next focuses on the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Liam Hennessy, who speaks publicly about his status as a former leader of the IRA forces while condemning the bombing. He haunts the Minister after being rejected on multiple occasions and bombs his office, and threatening more unless he gets the bombers’ names. Hennessy, while having ordered the bombings to come with warnings as part of a political ploy to solidify the radical factions, does not actually know who the bombers are, as they are rogue members of the IRA. He is in fact outraged that no warnings were given and civilians were killed. Hennessy tries to identify the bombers by changing the code words they use after any bombings are carried out, but the rogue members catch on and outwit him.

Meanwhile, he sends numerous mercenaries and personal enforcers after Quan, who manages to escape or defeat all of them.  Quan then brings the fight to Hennessy, hiding in the woods outside his Belfast farmhouse and attacking it with more homemade bombs. As Hennessy’s men attempt to track him in the woods, Quan uses traps to disable a group of three and attempts to interrogate one of them, but he is shot in the shoulder by a fourth mercenary and flees. Hennessy decides to send for his nephew Sean loans quick and easy Morrison, who was part of the Royal Irish Regiment with Bromley, after Quan in hopes that his tracking skills can be used to stop him for good. A second bombing, this time a double decker bus in London sees Hennessy contact British politician Katherine Davies, and promises the capture of the bombers in exchange for the pardoning of some of his former IRA comrades.

Bromley’s team manages to identify the bombers and relays the info to Hennessy who then relays the information to Sean. After a knife fight in the woods, Quan manages to capture Sean, who reveals the name of one of the bombers: Patrick O’Reilly, who was also behind the bombing that killed Quan’s family. Quan lets Sean go out of mutual respect. ennessy, meanwhile, interrogates his head enforcer McGrath, discovering that the true mastermind is Mary, Hennessy’s wife, who also hired Maggie; she has never let go of her anger at the British for the death of her brother and resents Hennessy’s working for them. Hennessy executes McGrath for his betrayal and for involving his wife and mistress, then orders Sean to execute Mary—with whom Sean is having an affair—before returning to America.

Quan manages to get to the bombers before the cops under the pretense of fixing a gas leak and single-handedly kills all but Maggie. The police raid the apartment and find a severely wounded Maggie, whose real name is Sara McKay. They torture her into revealing the location of their next bomb, which has been planted in a laptop to be detonated on a plane heading to a security conference and they are able to get to it in time. With the threat resolved, Bromley orders the operation leave “no loose ends” and Maggie is executed. Hennessy gets a call from Davies, who tells him that he will retain his position as a politician but will be under her thumb. However Quan confronts Hennessy and forces him to post a picture of himself kissing Maggie to the internet, telling him that he should be ashamed of himself and the whole world will know that he is a terrorist.

Bromley realizes Quan’s role in the events and has him put under surveillance, but decides not to take any further action. The film ends with Quan returning to his restaurant, and Lam embracing him as he puts the past behind him. Good action and fights. I found the whole political angle and the IRA bombing business more interesting that Quan’s quest for revenge. A 7.5 outta 10!

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