By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Coming to limited theatres Nov 20, 2020
Please check local listings
After many months of delay because of a certain pandemic, Jackie Chan’s Vanguard‘s world tour lands in North American cinema. Without his name, this film might get missed. This star isn’t as spry. Ultimately, the younger stars in this film are the ones who shine.
Zhang Kaiyuan (艾伦; Lun Ai) and Lei Zhenyu (rising star 杨洋; Yang Yang) are members of Vanguard, a private global security firm providing the best protection to corporations and dignitaries. They thwart attempts to kill Guoli Qin (Jackson Lou), an accountant, but pretty soon, the terrorists target his daughter Fareeda (Ruohan Xu). This group is led by Omar (Eyad Hourani), and his goals are far worse. Everyone gets involved, including Tang Huating (Chan) who is the head of the organization, and that’s when the action gets amped up.
The stunt and fight choreography (no matter who’s involved) which makes this pulpy Mission Impossible style run a fun to watch. There’s no denying these moments always deliver, and Mi Ya (母其弥雅, Miya Muqi) is the highlight; her prowess is sleek. She’s better than Black Widow (sorry Scarlett) and her beauty is equal to Angelina Jolie’s.
The huge sequence near Victoria Falls combines filming in safer waters, CGI and actual stunts to make the situation tense. Anyone who goes over is not likely to survive. As for where this cat-and-mouse game ends is with who will get the beautiful girl.
I doubt this film marks a new franchise. If director Stanley Tong can do it for the Police Story/ Supercop series–to which he and Chan worked previously together–it’s possible this series will see more of Kaixuan and Lei in the fore. Chan won’t be the lead; Even his film character admits he “trained” them and Mi Ya.
3½ Stars out of 5