Prayer Focus
Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
MOVIE REVIEW

The Foreigner also known as “O Estrangeiro,” “El implacable,” “L'étranger,” “Stranac,” “Svetimsalis,” “Иностранец”

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for violence, language and some sexual material.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Action Crime Thriller Adaptation
Length:
1 hr. 54 min.
Year of Release:
2017
USA Release:
October 13, 2017 (wide—2,515 theaters)
Copyright, STX Entertainment click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, STX Entertainment
Relevant Issues
Copyright, STX Entertainment

a parent’s severe and on-going stress and anguish when their beloved only child dies in a senseless murder

Copyright, STX Entertainment
Issue of pain and suffering

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer

ORIGIN OF BAD—How did bad things come about? Answer

Copyright, STX Entertainment

injustice—police who fail to follow through on investigation of an extremely serious crime

Copyright, STX Entertainment

When human justice fails, rely on the ultimate JUSTICE OF GOD; He is THE JUST ONE. Leave it in God’s hands. Trust Him.

What is THE FINAL JUDGMENT OF GOD? Answer

Copyright, STX Entertainment

the slippery slope of seeking personal revenge on evil doers

REVENGE, love replaces hatred—former Israeli soldier and an ex-PLO fighter prove peace IS POSSIBLE-but only through Jesus Christ

Copyright, STX Entertainment

IMPORTANCE OF GRANTING FORGIVENESS TO OTHERS— In God’s sight, it is totally unacceptable for a Christian to refuse to forgive others.

Remember the parable of the master who forgave a guilty man who owed him an amount so enormous that he could never hope to pay it back? The master completely forgave him. But, afterward, that forgiven man roughly grabbed another who owed him a very small amount, and allowed him no time to repay—showed him no mercy—and threw him into prison. When the master heard of this, he was FURIOUS and his punishment was swift.

In that parable, the Master represents God. And the forgiven man represents you, IF you have similarly FAILED to forgive another, when Christ’s blood has paid your unpayable debt to God, and He has forgiven you for everything you have ever done wrong—and for your continuing failures to do everything that is truly right and good.

Therefore, we have a responsibility to be humble, forgiving, loving servants of God.

Copyright, STX Entertainment

the corrupting influence of POWER on fallen mankind

God’s view on LYING and DECEPTION

the long history of conflict between Ireland and England

Copyright, STX Entertainment

war waged in the name of religion

fanaticism / zealotry

terrorism

Copyright, STX Entertainment
Other films involving the IRA

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Featuring: Jackie Chan … Quan Ngoc Minh
Pierce Brosnan … Liam Hennessy
Katie Leung … Fan
Charlie Murphy … Maggie / Sara McKay
Rufus Jones … Ian Wood
Mark Tandy … Simpson
John Cronin … Denis Fisher
Caolan Byrne (Caolán Byrne) … McCormick
See all »
Director: Martin Campbell—“Casino Royale” (2006), “GoldenEye” (1995), “The Mask of Zorro” (1998)
Producer: SR Media [China]
Huayi Brothers [China]
Quidam Studios [China]
Wanda Media Co. [China]
See all »
Distributor: STX Entertainment

“Never push a good man to far. The IRA took his family. The police looked the other way.”

Ngoc Minh Quan (Jackie Chan) is the owner of a Chinese restaurant in London, but he is most happy and visibly proud to be his daughter’s father. One horrific morning, a terrorist organization called the “Authentic IRA,” ostensibly trying to free Northern Ireland from British influence, plants a bomb that puts an end to Quan’s daughter’s life and that of dozens of others.

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer

Northern Ireland based Deputy Minister Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan), a former member of the IRA, is called to task by Britain’s Prime Minister to find the culprits responsible. Trying to balance Liam’s old ties to the violent IRA, while not losing the support of the Irish people he will need if he is to win re-election, he faces a new problem with the grieving 60-year old Quan.

Quan insists that Liam secure him the names of those responsible, but when Liam denies any such knowledge Quan wages a one-man war against the Deputy Minister that will continually escalate until the only thing certain is that justice, whether by Liam or Quan’s hand, will be served.

“The Foreigner” splits its focus between the two major players, Quan and his nemesis by proxy, Liam. For Liam, it’s a question of political survival, but for Quan it is all about revenge. Light on character development, but heavy on action, the film continually bogs down during Liam’s profanity-laced verbal tirades—before picking up again during Quan’s fights with the Deputy Minister’s security forces.

In addition to the violent backdrop and theme, the film has a great deal of material one should know about before viewing.

Objectionable Content

Violence: Very Heavy. The violence begins with the initial bombing of a store, which kills and maims many youngsters, but continues throughout as people are killed or injured by knives, guns, broken glass bottles, wood planks, spikes through their feet, and shot by arrow. A character is seen cauterizing his open wound with a heated knife. A neck is broken during a struggle, and several people are shot point blank through the head (one instance off-camera), as well as through the legs several times. The humiliating torture of a woman is implied, but not seen or heard. Fire engulfs one victim briefly, and a bus load of people die in yet another bombing. Blood is seen on body parts of the injured and the dead—several of which are shown. The over-the-top violence may well be the most discussed aspect of this film, but it is not the only thing to be wary of.

Language: Very Heavy. The Lord’s name is taken in vain numerous times and in various forms; J*sus (8), Chr*st (6), J*sus Chr*st (3), G*d (5), Bej*sus, h*ll (2), and d*vil.

Curses are likewise prevalent as follows; f-word (18), c*nt, sh*g, sh** (2), cr*p (2), b*stards (2), and b*lls. As compared to other R-rated action films, the curse count may have be only an ‘average’ high, but it is more than made up for by the high number of abuses of God’s names.

Sex/Nudity: Moderately Heavy. Both incest and adultery take place. Kissing and the lead up to sex (clothed) is shown, but not the act. The sounds of sex are heard, with emerging sweaty bodies attesting to the fact. A woman’s bare back is shown, as she gets up from the bed, and another is shown in her panties, covered only by a man’s long shirt.

Lessons

Aside from Quan’s daughter, who displays the proper respect and love that children are to have for their parents (Exodus 20:12—“Honor your mother and father…”), there is little else redeeming about the remaining characters—giving ample opportunity for examining their sinful behavior under the light of Holy Scripture. Examples in the forefront include adultery, incest, and justice.

ADULTERY: From the start, Liam is shown in an adulterous relationship, and there is some question as to how this has affected his own marriage. The Word of God tells us how we are to elevate our marriage partner above all, as well as the price we will pay in this life or the next, if we defile it.

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” —Hebrews 13:4

“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” —Ephesians 5:5

“…For the lips of a forbidden [adulterous] woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death…” —Proverbs 5 ESV

INCEST: There is an incestuous relationship in the film similar to the kind that the Apostle Paul had to contend with in the church at Corinth. Although the relationship is never explained in the film, often the level to which the sin is forbidden makes it all the more desirable. God’s Word clearly established laws against this at the time of Moses and clearly condemned such wickedness from that time on (Deuteronomy 27:22-23; Leviticus 20:17; 18:6-18; 20:11-12; Ezekiel 22:11).

JUSTICE: The question audiences might find themselves asking is whether or not Quan is seeking justice or personal revenge. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the answer that would please Our Father in Heaven most when He proclaimed,

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” —Matthew 5:38-39

Quan, in his mind, is only trying to exact revenge because the authorities cannot bring the criminals to justice, but this does not explain why he intervenes at one point to deal with the terrorists himself, when the authorities could instead have done it. God is in control, and no matter how it pains us to see unfairness, we should know that ultimate justice is never in our hands, nor should it be.

What is the FURY OF GOD? Answer

What is THE FEAR OF THE LORD? Answer

What is THE FINAL JUDGMENT? Answer

HELL: Fact or Fiction—Is it an actual place? Answer

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. ” —Romans 12:19

Pierce Brosnan (Liam) does well for a character that is fleshed out barely more than Jackie Chan’s one dimensional Quan. The film’s consistent flaw is a script that dedicates far too much screen time to Liam and the body politic, while occasionally leaving only enough for Chan’s choreographed fight scenes—impressive as always. Regrettably, there is nothing left for the audience to better get to know the character of Quan, the hero of the film.

In his earlier film “Casino Royale” (2006), director Martin Campbell took the whole movie to transform James Bond into the cold, emotionless, efficient killer he was by the end. In “The Foreigner,” he does that to Chan’s character almost immediately. This leaves us with a simple revenge flick with uneven pacing, that is marred by unnecessary and at times obscene content. It has little new to offer the discerning film goer, let alone Christians—whom I recommend avoid the film for all the reasons given.

  • Violence: Very Heavy
  • Profane language: Very Heavy
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Very Heavy
  • Nudity: Moderate
  • Sex: Moderately Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Neutral
Neutral—This movie is about revenge—an eye-for-an-eye. I like both Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan, so “The Foreigner” looked interesting. Chan’s family is killed in an IRA terrorist bombing. He seeks the names of those involved. Brosnan is a former (current?) IRA member. The movie is about Chan’s quest—at any cost—to find those names, and exact revenge.

The language is rough (God and Jesus Christ name are abused), and there is graphic violence (bombings, gun battles, fights). Themes to talk about: revenge, forgiveness, deceit, corrupting influence of power, infidelity, zealotry, war in the name of religion. For discerning adults.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—JMC, age 56 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Movie Critics
(listed in order from positive to increasingly negative)
…a fine action thriller… what most impressed me was how well it blended too almost opposing movies into one entertaining concoction, in a way that gives neither story short shrift. …
Scott Mendelson, Forbes
…Financed mostly with Chinese money… the movie is keenly aware of the West’s long tradition of white-on-Asian racism, and “The Foreigner” flips the script on the tradition of Hollywood studio movies in which a white hero kicks foreign butt in some exotic country. …
Peter Debruge, Variety
…cheerless revenge thriller… Chan saves the day… and this picture. In every action beat, the now-63-year-old star shows glimpses of the balletic action chops that made him a generational talent in the genre for so many years. …[3/5]…
Ethan Sacks,·New York Daily News
…Jackie Chan gets deadly serious… a typical Martin Campbell movie, expeditious and cold-blooded… the shocking suddenness of the violence makes for bleak punctuation. …[B]
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club
…The film’s major downside is that the brunt of this resurgent violence falls on female characters. …it’s the women (especially within the IRA) that receive the most brutal punishment. The brutality is a bit hard to take… [B]
Christian Holub, Entertainment Weekly
…convoluted scenario, jam-packed with morally bankrupt people doing ugly things to one another… Mr. Chan is in his early 60s, and he doesn’t deliver the action pizazz here that he used to. Nor, frankly, does he summon enough gravitas to be persuasive in the role…
Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
…not at all worth making a special trip out for… An IRA thriller misleadingly packaged as Jackie Chan meets “Taken”… the majority…is focused on Hennessy and his efforts to regain control of the IRA and cement his place in the British government… Jackie Chan's tale of revenge almost feels like an afterthought…
Sonny Bunch, The Washington Free Beacon
…Jackie Chan ill-served by choppy drama… convoluted… Chan disappears for a good chunk of the movie, leaving Pierce Brosnan’s clichéd Irishman to do the heavy lifting…
Sam Fragoso, The Wrap
…an all-around lousy movie… Jackie Chan…is barely in “The Foreigner”… Then again, maybe Chan's absence is for the best given how unconvincing his performance is …watching "The Foreigner" is a thoroughly dispiriting experience… [1]
Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com
…No ticket-buying constituency is likely to feel well-served by The Foreigner, a chilly marriage of political thriller and latter-day Liam Neeson-style geriatric revenge-o-rama. …Their eventual face-off is as anticlimactic as it is inevitable.
Chris Klimek, NPR (National PublicRadio)
…Jackie Chan gets dramatic, movie gets dull… [1½/4]
Rafer Guzmán, Long Island Newsday
…At the screening this critic attended, the audience’s chattering, phone-fiddling exasperation was palpable…
Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter