VANGUARD (2020) Reviews of Jackie Chan actioner

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Vanguard is a 2020 Chinese action feature film about a covert company that is the last hope against the world’s deadliest organization.

Written and directed by Stanley Tong, with English dialogue by Tiffany Alycia Tong, the movie stars Jackie Chan, Yang Yang, Miya Muqi and Lun Ai.

“Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. And in this movie’s case, just scale back some of the over-the-top action. It’s a Jackie Chan film, no one will ever think anything bad about a Jackie Chan film with scaled back yet believable action scenes. With that in mind, this isn’t his worst movie, not by a long shot. Nothing could ever be as bad as Bleeding Steel.” Asian Film Fans

” …seemingly written by an overeager 9-year-old (actually 60 years old Stanley Tong), fresh off binging on Hollywood blockbusters. Much like in the dismal Kung Fu Yoga, his last collaboration with Jackie Chan before this one, Tong fails to give the plot any coherence, momentum or depth, instead organizing it around locations and action scenes.” Asian Film Strike

Vanguard is overly dependent on digital effects that render the action cartoony and weightless, the only intentional humor appearing when Chan injects occasional slapstick into his too-infrequent brawls and in a couple of visual jokes, such as a small fleet of Vanguard espionage drones that actually look like bees. Throughout, the martial arts deliver brief jolts of excitement but are neither inventive nor extensive enough to dispel the increasingly plodding conventionality in the story…” Coming Soon

“Despite some questionable CGI lions and awkward dialogue, Vanguard plays it pretty straight, avoiding shticky humor and preachy politics. The big action set pieces are impressive, especially the escape from the Wolves’ stronghold. Clearly, Tong and Chan still work well together. It is an entertaining, but brainless ride that really requires viewers to be brainless (and forget Chan’s calculated betrayal of Hong Kong).” J.B. Spins

“Story-wise might be very standard and as I said above not a lot of room for character development which might be critical for some audience but for me and my wife were not really that important in an action film like this. With some over the top and crazy stunts plus high-quality fight scenes, brief comedic moments but very little drama, I was really satisfied with the movie due to its intensity.” Mike’s Movie Moments

“Mostly, Vanguard plays like a shoddy ripoff of better action movie franchises, with awful visual effects being the heaviest deadweight. Fast & Furious-style car chases wreck festivals and side streets in the mannered way a lot of these foreign action flicks do […] A trip to Dubai and an assault on the bad guy HQ has elements of John Wick and The Raid, but the violence is cranked down to palatable levels and very little stands out as memorable.” Punch Drunk Critics


MOVIES and MANIA rating:

Cast and characters:
Jackie Chan … Tang Huating
Yang Yang … Lei Zhenyu
Miya Muqi … Mi Ya
Lun Ai … Zhang Kaixuan
Zhengting Zhu … Shendiao
Fady Zaky … The Bodyguard
Zhenwei Wang … Vanguard Bodyguard
Sayed Badreya … Abati
Brahim Chab … Broto
Can Aydin … Silver Fox
Kate Hawkins … Fareeda / Reporter (voice)
Mir Sarwar … Kalasu
Barret Coates … Black Bear
Kyle Paul … Admiral Greg Dawes (voice)
Jackson Lou … Qin Guoli

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