Rating: R, Time: 1hr 53min, Director: Martin Campbell, Cast on IMDb
So is this another Chinese propaganda film?
I would say it does fit within the propaganda classic plot, the evil westerners against the good Chinese citizen. Being that it is funded by Chinese companies and going to be shown for sure in China, the producers have to work this angle, they really don't have an option. We saw what happened to Avatar (foreign made) film about a fake world of creatures that kind of beats around the bush of Chinese pollution, land theft and the corruption attached to it. The Chinese government banned that film in 1600 theatres nationwide for fear of popular revolt. That movie was limited to IMAX only in limited movie theatres and was pulled after only 2 weeks despite having record crowds willing to pay more and wait in lines. Tickets on the black market went as high as $40. Producers in China have to play it safe not to cause the Communist government to lose any face. This film fulfils that role. Even Jackie Chan joined the communist Congress to help sell movies and influence the government.
Was this another slap-stick karate movie typical of Jackie Chan?
I would say they obviously use his talents for stunts, but have a believable plot for his skills. He plays a father whose daughter is blown up in an IRA bombing that threatens the peace accord between Northern Ireland and Britain. It turns out he is ex-Special Forces and has lost other family members, which gives a great incentive for all out revenge. I have to say the acting of Jackie Chan is much better in this film. It could be due to better story line and character build from a western director. All in all, it is a solid performance that really entertains.
What did you think of Pierce Brosnan?
His character is really solid and very interwoven to the plot. He is an Irish politician that is ex-IRA and trying to walk the fine line between investigating a bombing by a new faction, being loyal to Irish connections and helping maintain the peace accord with Britain and Northern Ireland. Some would say its based off Gerry Adams. I think they do a brilliant job at showing the motives and messy relationships across decades in the Irish characters. I found it very believable and really gives weight to what could have been silly movie. You can't beat having a great story and characters in a movie.
Some have said Taken is better, do you agree?
While I would say the timing in Taken is relentless. I think the methodicalness of The Foreigner is much more realistic. How would a 60 year old react to the death of his daughter? He would be shell shocked before slowly turning to revenge justice. In Taken, the plot is his daughter is kidnapped and then to be sold into prostitution. The timing has to be fast to avoid the daughter being sold off and abused, while the other needs to be shell-shocked and then plotting. He really is working in the dark, so the timing feels more natural.
Has any of your work dealt with women as the plot device?
Yes, my painting about the Hunger Games dives into the topic of the brave, older and protective sister volunteering for the Hunger Games so her younger sister will be spared. Another really great movie that can be watched over and over. In my painting I'm referencing the moment the decision is made and how modern society actually reflects the tendency towards the Hunger Game becoming a reality.
May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor - 24x48
Another more connected painting was a work about the reaction of a young Chechen widow's to her husband's death at the hands of Putin's henchmen during the last Chechen rebellion for Independence. This widow Dzhanet Abdullayeva joined the Black Widows, a female islamic suicide bomber group and detonated a bomb in the Moscow subway. The painting is from photos of her and her husband shortly before his death and about 1 year later the bombing happened. She was 19.
Black Widow in the Garden of Eden - 24x48 inches
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