“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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