MMT Quick Review ‘THE FOREIGNER’

(Left to Right) Jackie Chan as Quan and Pierce Brosnan as Hennessy in hotel suite in THE FOREIGNER

Earlier this week, I was really excited about seeing the new Jackie Chan led vehicle “The Foreigner.” It had been years since I’d watched him on the big screen – last saw him in theaters (not including his voice work) in “The Karate Kid” remake – and have recently seen him on the press circuit promoting the film, and clearly excited about the opportunity to display himself in a less comedic and more dramatic fashion.

So, I had high hopes for this film which co-stars Pierce Brosnan as Liam Hennessy, a duplicitous government official who may or may not be involved in a London terrorist attack that led to the deaths of several people – one of whom was the daughter of Chan’s character, an elderly businessman named Quan Ngoc Minh.

Intent of taking matters into his own hands to locate the whereabouts and identity of the terrorists, Quan is lured into a cat-and-mouse conflict – he as a one-man battle force against a well-crafted terrorist cell intent on progressing its deadly cause.

Now, although I found the movie to be entertaining – and Mr. Chan’s acting actually quite good – the film was very ambitious in its material, had a lot going on story/plot wise, and kind of faltered for a bit to compensate.

It also required a huge suspension of disbelief to invest in Quan’s journey in the first place – I mean he goes into this pursuit completely blind to the facts. But once the action jumped in, it was easier to invest in the film and enjoy the ride on which I was taken.

That being said, I wish the script was tighter, and I’m not sure it’s one I would have on repeat, but I certainly would watch “The Foreigner” again for the Chan and Brosnan – and fight – scenes alone.

And it’s worth noting that the audience I viewed the movie with clapped several times – especially during the action and scenes of vengeance taken by the lead character.

But don’t get it twisted, Chan is a 63-year-old action star, and the character required more realism than any of his former roles – so if you’re a Jackie Chan fan, don’t go in expecting the norm as this is a dramatic thriller – read as not a straight action film and slower-paced.

Here’s the star at the LA première discussing his role and its differences from those in the past:

Really curious to hear/read your thoughts on this one family, so make sure to leave a comment or two after you see it! And to get an idea of the critical discrepancy, the film currently is 56% rotten (critic) with an 80% audience score on the aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes.

Until next thought, Thomasena

 

 

MMT Quick Review of NO ESCAPE

no escape

Happy Thursday MMT Family! I had the opportunity to screen the new Owen Wilson led vehicle NO ESCAPE last week and, although I was initially hype to see what this thriller had to offer, I was pretty much let down. And it very well didn’t help that I appeared to be surrounded by a primarily xenophobic screening audience – that shared a lot of inappropriate chatter and who didn’t seem to mind the fact that we weren’t even told what Asian country was serving as the background for the story.

In “No Escape,” Owen Wilson moves his wife and two daughters to an unspecified country, that we come to find is in Southeast Asia because it borders Vietnam, to start a new job – unknowingly after an important leader is murdered via a coup and during the beginning of a furious uprising. During the mêlée, foreigners are targeted and killed, and Wilson fights through very violent circumstances to get his family to safety.

Okay, so the pluses for me were the acting was decent and the triggering of the thrill.  Yet, I couldn’t help my excitement, and subsequently my suspension of disbelief, being overshadowed by the lack of the introduction of where this story was taking place – which obviously wasn’t important to the screenwriters because hey the audience just needed to feel scared of the scary Asian country with the violent Asian people right? Not.

In fairness, and without trying to introduce spoilers, I felt some relief when explanation was given as to why the uprising was occurring in the first place – but a bit more attention to backstory and much less exploitation of culture would have elevated this film from a violent, antipathetic romp to a rather cool critique of greed, prejudice, and overseas business practices.

Okay MMT Family, I don’t want to overstate the fact that I had higher expectations for this film so I will leave it there. I also really don’t want to get into any spoilers for anyone else who wishes to see it!  If you go, please stop back and share your thoughts – I would love to hear your opinions on this one!

Until next thought family, Thomasena