What could have been nothing more than a 'by the numbers' entry, under the direction of Campbell and nuanced turns by Chan and Brosnan, instead turns out to be a fairly well written and novel exercise. Mixing the revenge genre with a modern IRA thriller the film is well put through the paces by the director and stars.
Martin Campbell has long been cited as an heir to the McTiernan school of action cinema, and rightfully so - with "The Foreigner," he's finally made his "Predator," and it's a compelling study of the inextricable link between government and terrorism to boot. But I know I'm not the only one wishing this dour, methodically-paced British thriller afforded Jackie Chan more screentime, as he's positively haunting here.
Kickassery of the first order - forget Keanu, Neeson, Cruise, Willis, Denzel, Craig, Damon, Banderas, Renner, Foxx, Farrell, Reynolds, Gosling, Jackson, Statham, Johnson, Gibson, Hardy, Affleck, Bernthal, O'Brie Chan is encore its biggest konig. Brosnan with a powerhouse performance and that exciting Cliff Martinez score. To the win <3
You’ve got a couple memorable skirmishes, and Jackie successfully playing against type, but... not much else, I’m afraid. As with Edge of Darkness, Campbell gets twisted up in the formulaic political thriller inside his formulaic action thriller; meek and unfocused.
Had almost a Shakespearian feel w/ all the betrayal/backstabbing. The scene w/ Chan & the Irish "tracker" felt like fuzzy commentary on how pointless wars weirdly shape lives. This is, at it's heart, a story about the difference between soldiers and the politicians calling the shots. My ding: the dumb back2back headshottings of the 2 most dynamic female characters made this movie less than what it could've been.
Eeesh. How come I'm not allowed to have fun at an action movie anymore? It has to be dark, miserable, painful, full of suffering. Sure it's a different kind of role for Chan but all it establishes is a sense of longing for the fun action romps of his past. Completely boring, predictable, cliche, tired and depressing. Plus, Brosnan's Irish accent was distractingly bad (impressive considering he's actually Irish)
I still can't tell how much I liked it or not. Pierce Brosnan was by far the best part, both in performance and in terms of how his character interacts with the rest of the story. I thought this would be more centered on Chan, so on the one hand I'm disappointed. But I find myself liking what it became. 2.5