“The Foreigner” (STX)

Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan star in a scene from the movie "The Foreigner." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/STXfilms)

By Catholic News Service

Jackie Chan takes a sharp turn from his typically genial screen personality to become the vengeful father of a London terrorist victim in this efficiently suspenseful adaptation of Stephen Leather’s pulp thriller “The Chinaman.”¬†Director Martin Campbell and screenwriter David Marconi have produced an unembroidered drama about Irish Republican Army violence and bureaucratic treachery.

After his daughter (Katie Leung) is murdered in a bombing, and his expectations of swift justice are frustrated by the machinations of a deputy prime minister (Pierce Brosnan) with substantial political ambitions, the grieving dad focuses all his energy on getting the attention of government officials any way he can.¬†Though none of the protagonist’s bombs are intended to damage anything but property, and he also avoids using a gun, vigilantism is always a troubling theme for believing moviegoers. So it’s disturbing that Chan’s character is meant to be cheered in the manner of a cowboy hero as he searches for justice. Still, grown and well-grounded viewers will find this a taut journey, albeit one with a high body count.

A vigilantism theme, gun and physical violence, fleeting gore, implied sexual activity, a few profanities, frequent rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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