The Foreigner (Blu-ray)

January 16, 2018 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

Ready for some useless trivia? Director Martin Campbell helmed both Goldeneye and Casino Royale. The former being the first James Bond film starring Pierce Brosnan (who stars in this film) and the latter being the first Bond film to star Daniel Craig. Yes. Useless trivia, but I found that interesting. Many would argue that both Goldeneye andRoyale are the best Bond film of each respective actor. I certainly loved Casino Royale, a film I’ve seen countless times. With Campbell as director of The Foreigner, it got me a bit more excited for a film of this sort than I normally would be. Jackie Chan stars in the film, but it shows him in a different light than we’re used to seeing him. I found this to be a bit refreshing and somewhat more plausible as we see that he can in fact be wounded, thus making him less resilient than some of his earlier films. While I ultimately think the film is something of a mixed bag, it more than delivers some solid action all with a pretty sturdy plot at the core.

A bomb goes off in London which results in the death of Fan (Katie Leung). Her father, Ngoc Quan (Jackie Chan) is distraught over this, naturally and demands answers to who set the bomb off. This leads him to Liam Hennessey (Piece Brosnan), a former IRA leader who’s now the Northern Ireland first minister. Hennessey is dismissive of Quan at first, saying that they’re doing their best to try and find answers. This isn’t good enough for Quan, so he takes matters into his own hands. He sets off a homemade bomb in Hennessey’s office to act as a sort of warning that he isn’t messing around. Quan lets it be known that if he doesn’t get the names of the bombers that he’ll strike again. This is quite the dilemma for both men. Hennessey then sends some men out to get to Quan, thus setting things in motion. We learn that Quan has Special Forces training, and it won’t be easy to take him down.

The Foreigner gets a lot right, especially in terms of action. Campbell is more than capable of delivering some hard-hitting, R-rated action. We’re also seeing Chan in an aging, more vulnerable state than we normally see. All that stuff and the pacing works fine. For me, the film lays on the politics a bit too heavy. I understand why, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’ve never been into politics, and they play a big part in this film. Sure, the central plot about a father seeking revenge is the heart of the story, but there’s a lot of political talk going on here. I’ll be honest: that stuff didn’t interest me in the least. It’s never overly confusing, mind you, but there was some talk here that was downright foreign (see what I did there?) to me. I still think there are enough positives here to warrant a viewing, but it’s not something I need to visit again.

Video: How’s it look?

Universal has become pretty reliable as of late, and this is no exception. Details are strong early on and the transfer proves consistently satisfying. The AVC encoded (2.40:1) image displays a clear image with no issues detected. The print is pristine with no traces of grain or other flaws. Chan is certainly aging and the wrinkles on his face are heightened here. Background shots were also nicely detailed. This transfer serves the film well.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The DTS HD track handles the action scenes more than adequately, but I had some issues with the vocals here. I had to crank the volume up and even put the subtitles on. Things just weren’t as crisp as I’m used to. Dialogue isn’t muffled, but I just expected more clarity.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • The Making of The Foreigner – At just over 2 minutes, this is basically an extended trailer.
  • Interviews – We hear from Campbell, Chan and Brosnan in separate interview segments. Expect some good notes here. These are worth checking out.
  • Theatrical Trailers

The Bottom Line

The Foreigner lays on the politics a bit too heavy for my liking, but the action sequences along with good performances elevate it a bit. It’s not something I need to revisit, but it’s worth seeing once. Rent it.

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