‘Vanguard’ Movie Review: Jackie Chan’s A-Team

Jackie Chan was already trying to eliminate action movies in the ’90s. In its own history in 1998, My name is Jackie Chan, he talked about trying to move into drama or at least less compelling action movies that didn’t rely on his martial arts. 22 years later and Chan is still making horror action movies like Vanguard. It almost feels like we are greedy. He’s 66 now, let the man rest.

Jackie Chan in Vanguard
Jackie Chan | Gravitas Campaigns

In fact, Chan was always trying different movies. He made plays like Heart of the Dragon and Crime Story although those still had some action. Vanguard formula is more suitable. Now Chan plays team leader, so his moves are still there, but he can share the load a bit more.

Jackie Chan directs ‘Vanguard’

Tang Hauting (Chan) leads Vanguard’s security team. When the Arctic Wolves, led by Broto (Brahim Chab), evict Vanguard’s Qins clients, the team heads to Africa where the Quins Fareeda (Ruohan Xu) daughter is the next target. Fareeda in Africa meets the poacher Tunda (Tomer Oz).

Vanguard: Xu Ruohan
Xu Ruohan | Gravitas Campaigns

In addition to the martial arts, Tong also brings you fast and furious driving cars, jet ski chase, gold cars and more. Vanguard (Zhu Zhengting) has a murderer on a hover record! Tong directs James Bond-style wild action with some martial arts as well. The second half of Vanguard veers away from the martial arts a bit, but it’s as big and high as Hollywood movies of the ’80s and’ 90s.

CGI lions are no finer than Hollywood CGI, although hyenas are more iffier. It’s kind of hard to see Tong do shakycam like Hollywood movies do. At least it employs that only for gunplay scenes. When the true martial arts begin, Tong lets you see his actors in action. There is just too much craziness in resisting. Vanguard is it all.

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