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Martin Campbell

The Foreigner – Martin Campbell (2017)

Casino Royale” director Martin Campbell came with an action thriller. It looks very Hollywood, but judging the opening titles, the Chinese had a big finger in making the film. Campbell used a former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, in the leading part.

“The Foreigner” is a not a hip and fast Bond-like action thriller though. Brosnan plays Liam Hennessy, a former IRA fighter who has sworn off violence and went into politics. After 19 years of peace, he is a powerful politician who balances the difficult line between Irishmen who still want to fight for their IRA ideals and the British who want to know nothing of their demands.

Then a bomb goes off in London. Was this done by an IRA splinter group or by people who want to see the IRA blamed so the old days of violence return? The pressure on Hennessy to use his network to find those responsible rises to unimaginable heights. He has a bigger problem though.

In the blast the daughter of the Chinese restaurant owner Quan Ngoc Minh is killed. This was his last daughter having lost his other two daughters and his wife before. He tries to persuade people, including Hennessy, to find the people responsible. Minh is played by Jackie Chan, so you can imagine beforehand that this storyline is going to give some action.

Indeed, from soft pressure, Minh goes over to terrorizing Hennessy and this cat-and-mouse game makes the larger part of the film. I like the more ‘serious’ storyline better than the Minh-storyline, but the director managed to set a pressing atmosphere in some scenes and of course amusing fighting scenes.

Casino Royale * Martin Campbell (2006)

Since some time my girlfriend buys an old 007 every now and then and recently she came home with “Casino Royale”, a recent one. After an awfull ultraviolent opening which shows how Bond became “a 00” (what was the use of that?) an over-the-top spectacle unfolds with an (in my opinion) very thin and ‘unBond-ish’ story (with Bond as a rooky without moral) with when it is all over, five new plots in about 20 minutes. Nope, I prefer the older films that are based on the books of Flemming and with the charm of times past. “Casino Royale” is just an action spectacle of low calibre.