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The Foreigner (2017) - Blu-ray Review

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The Foreigner - Blu-ray Review

4 starsBecause sometimes older is better. 

Martin Campbell.   Pierce Brosnan.  Jackie Chan.  When these three titans of hard-hitting action go toe-to-toe, you are definitely going to want to see the results.  Those artists – two actors and one director (responsible for GoldenEye, Edge of Darkness, and Casino Royale) – are three SOLID GOLD reasons why you simply must catch up with The Foreigner.  It is steely-eyed and deadly in its tale of revenge and ambush after the death of one man’s last remaining child. 

And its case for brutal humanity will chill you to the bone.  So, too, will Chan’s excellent portrayal of Ngoc Minh Quan, man who has nothing left to lose.  His story is a heartbreaking and, under Campbell’s direction, Chan delivers an amazing performance that kicks as much ass as it does break hearts.  The Foreigner delivers in unexpected ways.  And I don’t think I am alone in my thinking that this movie – as solid as it is technically – only works because of Chan’s engaging presence.

Based on Stephen Leather’s The Chinaman, The Foreigner tackles the sudden emergence of a terrorist organization that calls itself the “Authentic IRA” and the lengths that one Chinese Nuang chef (Chan) and restaurant owner in London will go to in order to seek revenge.  Quan is a former Special Forces operator.  And, yeah, as far as comebacks go, for Mr. Chan, The Foreigner is one hell of a kick to the seat of the pants.  Chan is a miracle worker here, waxing in a mysterious way while his story unfolds in a powerfully emotional manner which feels fresh for the aging actor. 

After failing to bribe Scotland Yard for the names of the bombers, Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Liam Hennessy (Brosnan, in a commanding performance) becomes his target for information.  Hennessy talks openly of his past with the IRA, even though he condones the recent bloodshed.  But Quan gets nowhere with him, too. 

And so he must figure out how to get his attention in the language that he knows all to well: makeshift bombs.  Soon, Hennessy finds himself dealing with an unknown Quan (who targets his ranch) and the IRA itself, who are none too pleased with his weak treatment of their plight, but it turns out - as Quan could tell from the beginning - that Hennessy is not to squeaky clean himself.

And so begins the unfolding as Chan digs in for the long haul to the truth of his revenge.  Don't blink.  The bloodshed is wild and so, too, are the emotions that run raw throughout this narrative.

Co-starring Michael McElhatton, Liu Tao, Charlie Murphy, and Orla Brady, The Foreigner is a cat-and-mouse thriller like few others; it's old-fashioned and full of creaky suspense, yet does brand new things with its lead actors.  The mouse, Quan, becomes the cat as he turns tables on those who purposefully withhold the information from him about who originally planted the bomb that killed his daughter.  He is on one mission and it is not one to save the world; it’s to save his soul and preserve the memory of his daughter. 

Our allegiance is with Quan as he outmaneuvers and outguns those who wish to do him harm.  Chan has broken lots of bones in his life of stunts, the only broken bones sustained here are with those who do the bombing.  The Foreigner delivers.

The Foreigner - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R for violence, language and some sexual material.
Runtime:
113 mins
Director
: Martin Campbell
Writer:
David Marconi
Cast:
Katie Leung, Jackie Chan, Rufus Jones
Genre
: Action | Crime
Tagline:
Never push a good man too far.
Memorable Movie Quote: "One end bites and the other doesn't."
Theatrical Distributor:
STX Entertainment
Official Site: theforeignermovie.com/
Release Date:
October 13, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 9, 2018
Synopsis: A humble businessman with a buried past seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism. A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers' identities.

The Foreigner - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Universal Studios
Available on Blu-ray
- October 11, 2016
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, Spanish, Mandarin
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has another dynamic-looking 1080p transfer on their hands.  Boy, does this one ever land its beating square on the jaw.  Presented with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1, Universal Studio’s Blu-ray/DVD combo release is yet another meditation of steely-eyed style and swagger.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 is banging and so are the locations.  This 1080p transfer crackles with detailed perfection and is virtually flawless in its technical prowess.  The cinematography is often bathed in warmth so flesh tones are expectedly deep but fit in with the rest of the transfer. Black levels are of a high quality.   Music is strong and smooth, with a powerfully natural and dominant presence. Big, heavy effects often rule the day, with gunfight and explosions throughout while the ambient effects are somewhat limited but nevertheless engaging.       

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • While highly recommended, it is sad that there are no commentaries for the film.

Special Features:

This isn’t your typical First Strike Jackie Chan release; this is a much more serious affair.  There are no bloopers from the stunts and so on.  Loaded with all different types of formats (as a DVD copy of the film and a UV/iTunes digital copy code are also included), the supplemental material on the blu-ray disc includes a quick look at the making of the movie, trailers, and very brief interviews with Chan, Campbell, and Brosnan.

  • The Making of The Foreigner (2 min)
  • Martin Campbell Interview (7 min)
  • Jackie Chan Interview (10 min)
  • Pierce Brosnan Interview (11 min)
  • Trailers

The Foreigner - Blu-ray Review

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