By Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
2020 has been a whirlwind rough year all around, and sometimes it is nice just to unwind, relax, and watch something absolutely unhinged and extensively fun, Vanguard is exactly that. Vanguard pairs Director Stanley Tong back with legendary Jackie Chan (previous collaborations include Super Cop and Rumble in the Bronx) for an absolute exhilarating Action-Comedy that more than delivers. The amount of pure uninterrupted blissful joy that Vanguard packs into its runtime will make you briefly turn off your brain, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.
The Movie centers around Qin Guoli (Jackson Lou) as he enlists the help of Vanguard, a security company that is formed of well-trained mercenaries, essentially, to protect him and his daughter Fareeda (Xu Ruohan) from a group of guns for hire called Arctic Wolves. Tang (Jackie Chan) is the head of Vanguard, along with his trusted associates Lei (Yang Yang), Zhang (Ai Lun) and Mi (Miya Mugi) travel to Africa to save Fareeda, however the Arctic Wolves manage to capture Fareeda and Lei. Now Vanguard has to save their client’s daughter and one of their own.
What makes Vanguard so much fun, is its over-the-top, completely insane action set pieces. These action pieces are some of the best we’ve seen released this year, with absolutely unrealistic doings, but just so uncontrollably fun, there is not much more one could want with a movie starring the legendary Jackie Chan. Some of these set pieces include someone being dropped kick off of a jet ski, overlooking a massive waterfall and then plummeting to their suspected death, it is moments like this that pack the over the top joy that Vanguard delivers throughout its running time.
Moreover, when going into the Movie, the assumption is that Jackie Chan would be the star doing all of the insanity and partaking in the stunts as much as anyone, however he passes the torch to his co-stars Miya Mugi, Ai Lun and Yang Yang to let their impressive abilities shine and give a platform to further their careers. The entire Cast mesh well together, and no one outshines the other as they’re all incredibly talented at performing these dangerous and entertaining stunts and action pieces. However, the story in Vanguard could have been more fleshed-out, but the action more than makes up for those shortcomings.
Vanguard delivers incredible action sequences that pack a punch, with some great Choreography and stunt work by the Cast, creating a fun, over the top flick that will be enjoyed by many.
Gravitas Ventures release Vanguard Friday, November 20, 2020.
*Please ensure you exercise caution in observing COVID-19 protocols if seeing this in-theatre*.