Friday, 30 November 2018

The Foreigner Review


Review By
Patrick Scattergood

Written By
David Marconi

Based on the Novel 'The Chinaman' By
Stephen Leather

Directed By
Martin Campbell

Genre
Action, Crime, Thriller

Cast

Jackie Chan as Quan Ngoc Minh
Katie Leung as Fan
Rufus Jones as Ian Wood
Pierce Brosnan as Liam Hennessy
Mark Tandy as Simpson
John Cronin as Denis Fisher
Charlie Murphy as Maggie / Sarah McKay

Year Released
2017

Certificate
15

Synopsis

The story of humble London businessman Quan (Chan), whose long-buried past erupts in a revenge-fueled vendetta when the only person left for him to love - his teenage daughter - is taken from him in a senseless act of politically-motivated terrorism. 

In his relentless search for the identity of the terrorists, Quan is forced into a cat- and-mouse conflict with a Irish government official (Brosnan), whose own past may hold clues to the identities of the elusive killers.

Review

I'm going to be honest.  I put this movie on because I love Jackie Chan movies and how outrageous they can end up being so I figured that by putting on The Foreigner that I would be in to more of the same fun.  I was completely and utterly wrong but in a pleasantly surprising way.

Instead of the normal, over the top action that Chan's movies are famous for, we got a slow burning thriller with some absolutely fantastic twists and performances from the entire cast.

The best way to look at this movie is if you look at it without thinking of it as a Jackie Chan movie.  Yes, he's in it and looking for revenge but to just strike it off as that would be a real shame.  Chan plays his part to perfection in fact.  It is true that he is out for the revenge of the death of his daughter but it's not just him in mindless fight after fight.  Instead you see his character have to out think his enemies because he knows that not only is he out matched but also out gunned and I liked that about the movie.  The realism of seeing him have to stalk around the locations and having to be as stealthy as possible gave it another level for me as a viewer.  The movie also showed the consequences of what he had to do and the mental toll that it took on Chan's character as well as the toll of losing his daughter leading to some absolutely heartbreaking scenes where Chan showed that he truly can act.

Don't discount the rest of the cast though.  Brosnan is absolutely superb bringing equal parts suave and a sense of mystery as to who he actually is and which side he is working on.  His character too, as the movie progressed, showed the consequences of the things going on around him and Brosnan played that brilliantly, especially in the scenes involving both his and Chan's characters.

The direction by Martin Campbell really gave the movie a great pace and a sense of dread running through and some truly memorable scenes, some of which harked back to when he directed the Daniel Craig fronted Bond movie Casino Royale.

If you get the chance to check The Foreigner out then I highly recommend it.  It's a gripping, slow burner of a movie with memorable action sequences and some political and mental twists that really gripped me for the entire movie.  I checked it out on Netflix so go take a look.

Movie 8/10 


The Good Cop: Season 1 Review


Review By
Patrick Scattergood

Created By
Andy Breckman

Genre
Crime, Comedy

Cast
Tony Danza as Tony Caruso Sr.
Josh Groban as Tony Caruso Jr.
Monica Barbaro as Cora Vasquez
Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Burl Loomis
Bill Kottkamp as Ryan
John Scurti as Wendell Kirk

Synopsis

Big Tony is a lovable, but not exactly honorable, former NYPD officer who never followed the rules. He lives with his son, TJ, a straight-laced NYPD detective who always follows the rules while solving Brooklyn's toughest cases. They may be an odd couple but they become unofficial partners with Tony Sr. offering his overly cautious son blunt, street-wise advice.

Review

With someone such as Andy Breckman, the award winning creator of the television series Monk, at the helm of a new crime series, I had really high hopes for The Good Cop after stumbling across the show while browsing Netflix one evening.  The synopsis didn't exactly grab my interest, as it sounded really cheesy, but I decided to give it a go once I'd found who had created it.

For the first part, this ended up being a well put together series.  The stories managed to be interesting and exciting while at the same time being funny and entertaining but it wasn't exactly original.  In fact, there seemed to be parts the Breckman had lifted wholesale from the Monk television series, including a major plot point of the wife of one of the main characters having died in mysterious circumstances.

That said, while the stories were enjoyable, it was the characters that hooked me in.  I'll admit that I was dubious about the casting of Josh Groban, yes the famous singing Josh Groban, but he not only held his own alongside Tony Danza but also stole the scenes from him.  As the series progressed the interplay between Danza and Groban became so slick that it really came across as they were a real father and son team.

The other characters aren't just window dressing.  They all have their own personalities and motivations that come to light as the series progresses and I really feel that if there were to be more episodes made that they would have become a lot more fully fleshed out but sadly Netflix appears to have cancelled it after just one season.  It's a real shame as the show was really starting to come to life in the final half of the season, especially with Danza's character.  There were some really poignant scenes that made me, as a viewer, want to know the the next chapter of their lives but sadly it wasn't to be.

Overall, if you're looking for an original cop show then this certainly isn't the show for you.  If you are looking for a funny, sweet but full of twists and interesting stories than definitely check it out, especially if you're a fan of Monk.

Show 7/10