The Mountain Between Us and The Foreigner
I’m just going to flat-out say this, The Mountain Between Us is probably the worst movie I’ve seen this year. The advertising would suggest that this is a survival thriller. This stars Idris Elba and Kate Winslet. Both play characters who are at an airport and need to go across the country urgently. Elba is a neurosurgeon and needs to perform surgery the next day. Winslet has to travel to make it to her wedding. However, all flights are canceled due to bad weather. So both decide to hire an independent pilot who will take them a short distance in his small plane. However, while over the mountains, the pilot suffers a stroke and the plane crashes in the mountains in the middle of nowhere.
With the pilot dead, the two (along with the pilot’s dog) try to survive and find civilization. Now this sounds like an interesting premise. Two strangers having to work together in order to survive and they face epic challenges along the way. At least the trailer would make you think that was what the movie was about. Instead, the movie is actually a badly directed romance disguised as a survival thriller. Both of the main characters fall in love during the journey and it’s all rather awkward. The dialogue is pretty bad, there’s odd pauses sometimes when Elba and Winslet talk, the pacing is really slow, and the last 20 minutes are completely unnecessary. Not to mention that the story becomes really predictable.
It’s all a shame because Idris Elba and Kate Winslet are talented actors. They try their best, but it can’t save this movie. Some action sequences (like the plane crash) and camerawork are well-done, but the predictable story and terrible directing bring it all down. Essentially, this is a big budget Hallmark Channel romance movie disguised as a survival thriller. If you like those kind of movies, you’ll enjoy this. My mother (who watches the Hallmark Channel all day everyday) thought it was just ok. But as for me, this was simply a bad movie and I give it a 30%.
The Foreigner is directed by Martin Campbell and stars veteran actors Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. As for the premise, Chan plays Ngoc Minh Quan, who runs a Chinese restaurant in London and lives with his daughter. However, his daughter is killed in a bombing by people only known as the “authentic IRA”. From there, Chan goes on the hunt to find the killers. Brosnan plays Liam Hennessy, an ex-IRA member who’s now the deputy foreign minister for Northern Ireland. He also tries to find out who did the bombing. Their paths cross when Quan confronts Hennessy, wanting answers as to who did the bombing. He doesn’t know and so from there, it becomes a cat and mouse game between the two of them. It helps that Quan happens to be an ex-US special forces operator from the Vietnam War, so he knows what he’s doing, especially when he gets into trouble.
This movie though is more of a political thriller and focuses more on Brosnan’s character, his relationship with the British government and relationship with ex-IRA members. He tries to maintain peace between both sides, but during the movie, there’s double crossing, blackmail, and the film questions whether he had any connection to the bombing. The story is strong, has you thinking through the whole thing, and certain things are surprising. It is a bit convoluted though and with the relatively fast pacing, you can get a bit lost in areas, though it’s not a big issue.
Jackie Chan is excellent in this movie. He pulls off a very dramatic performance and despite being older now, he can still do impressive action stunts. This isn’t really an action movie, but all the fight scenes are exciting and well-done. Brosnan also does a good job here playing an emotionally conflicted character. The directing is solid, and while some technical aspects (like the sound) could’ve been better, it’s fine enough.
Overall, The Foreigner is a very solid movie. It’s more of a political thriller than a straight-up action movie, but it still does a good job with an intriguing story and well-done action scenes. In addition, both actors do a great job in their respective roles. It’s also nice to see that Chan can still do the things that made famous in the first place. The Foreigner is nothing spectacular and the story can get too convoluted in areas, but in the end, it’s a solid thriller and I give it a 70%. Of the 2 movies from last week and these two, this was my favorite.