VANQUISH (2021) Reviews of action-thriller [updated]

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“She’s got one night to save her life’

Vanquish is a 2021 action-thriller about a mother who is forced to do the bidding of a corrupt retired cop who has kidnapped her daughter.

Directed by George Gallo (The Poison Rose; Middle Men; Bigger) from a screenplay co-written by story originator Samuel Bartlett, the movie stars Ruby Rose, Morgan Freeman (Se7en), Patrick Muldoon (Alpha Wolf; Ice Spiders; Stigmata) and Julie Lott.


A mother, Victoria (Ruby Rose), is trying to put her dark past as a Russian drug courier behind her, but retired cop Damon (Morgan Freeman) forces Victoria to do his bidding by holding her daughter hostage. Now, Victoria must use guns, guts, and a motorcycle to take out a series of violent gangsters — or she may never see her child again…


“Ruby Rose does what she can with the material. Morgan Freeman, on the other hand, falls back on his trademark mannerisms, including over-enunciating everything with his commanding voice, never bothering to turn Damon into an actual character. He’s merely playing his own persona here. It’s a great persona, yet the lack of additional effort is disappointing, and another way in which Vanquish is one of the laziest, most unsatisfying action pictures of recent years.” The Aisle Seat

“The feature becomes a series of scenes, not a cohesive movie. Again, it takes six minutes for the film to begin and a lifetime for it to find a conclusion, with Gallo displaying a remarkable ability to make the worst possible choices with material that would be an easy layup for other helmers. Vanquish doesn’t have to be good, but it’s not even functional, perhaps best valued as the cinematic sleeping pill it truly is.”

Vanquish had the opportunity to have a ballsy ending. Instead, it takes the easy way out. Vanquish is one of those movies you have on for background noise. If you can get more out of it, go for it. If you still believe in Ruby Rose as a credible action lead, you are way more optimistic than me.” Bulletproof Action

“On the surface, Vanquish could have been a thrilling cop drama, but the storyline and the characters weren’t engaging. There wasn’t enough motivation to truly get invested in the story (or the ending), and the acting performances were mediocre at best.” CRP Writes

“Like his cast, director-writer George Gallo has seen better days. Hard to believe that this routine action time-waster comes from the same man who gave us screenplays for Midnight Run and Bad Boys, among others, but he uses every learned trick to keep it moving at a fast pace. At least it is over quickly.” Deadline

“Rose has effortless charisma and she even manages to make some of the dull-witted interactions with paper villains in Vanquish kind of charming. But no actress, no matter how interesting they are, could overcome the stultifying style of writer-director George Gallo whose predictable choices and repetitive direction sink the whole movie to sub-B movie levels. Vanquish isn’t a complete embarrassment but it comes close.”

“Every piece of the production is terrible.  Direction, writing, production, acting, music, cinematography… all awful.  Even the costume design looks like it was done via a straw poll between the actors.  What a pity as well because this one could have had some decent traction with better stars and a new director.  Alas, no, it is what it is and it is heinous.” The MN Movie Man

“George Gallo does some fantastic work with the camera, truly putting you in the mind of Victoria and the ride. One of the better chase sequences you will see in a movie. What ultimately drags the film down is the fact that we have seen this movie about 100 times and doesn’t offer a different perspective on the genre.” Music City Drive-In

“The production design is flimsy […] and Anastas N Michos cinematography lacks style to elevate an already conventional action pic. Rose, Freeman and the entire crew involved deserved better than a half-hazard shoot em’ up sham job that will peak in the check-out line at Wal-Mart.” The Only Critic


Lionsgate will release Vanquish On-Demand and Digital on April 23, 2021. On Blu-ray and DVD on April 27, 2021.

Cast and characters:

Ruby Rose … Victoria
Morgan Freeman … Damon
Patrick Muldoon … Agent Monroe
Julie Lott … Governor Ann Driscoll
Ekaterina Baker … Galyna
Nick Vallelonga … Detective Stevens
Joel Michaely … Rayo
Miles Doleac … Erik
Chris Mullinax … Detective Kehoe
Ele Bardha … Max
Richard Salvatore … Stunt driver, Sniper
Paul Sampson … B.J.
Dylan Flashner … Detective Childs
Bill Luckett … Father Thomas
Juju Journey Brener … Lily
Reg Rob … Johnny
Yvan Gauthier … Marcel
Nate Adams … Rick
G. Tremain Merrell … Billy Smalls
Leonard Waldner … Bodyguard
Marty Wilson … Curtis
Marcus Moss … Marcel Worker #2

Filming locations:

Biloxi, Gulfport, Ocean Springs and Pass Christian, Mississippi

Technical details:

96 minutes


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