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Review: Ruby Rose and Morgan Freeman run amok in gimmicky fueled 'Vanquish'

Courtesy of Lionsgate


A film that has as many jump cuts, strobe lights, and canned techno music as George Gallo’s trashy action flick “Vanquish” should be immediately outlawed. Gallo’s gritty roots aren’t lost in “Vanquish” but its obvious he may have studied Michael Bay’s techniques during his tenure on “Bad Boys” a little too closely. Bringing prominent Australian model Ruby Rose and Morgan Freeman down with the ship, there’s minimal inspiration nor a definitive artistic foresight to suggest audiences waste their time with this abysmal endeavor. Not to mention a shameless cameo from “Green Book” scribe Nick Vallelonga is in very poor taste.

Freeman knows an easy paycheck when he sees one, and I’m sure the opportunity to play a former cop who is paralyzed from the waist down, spending most of the film staring at a blank screen was too easy to pass up (His grandchildren’s college funds are grateful). Anyway, he plays Damon, the fallen hero now holed up in his lavish mansion who apparently runs an illicit gambling, drug, and prostitution ring. The police are on to him and now his aim is to collect millions he’s stashed in various outlets before they seize assets, but Damon’s squad of street thugs aren’t giving up without a fight.

Enter Victoria (Rose), a former Russian assassin and drug courier now forced to jump back in the game or risk losing her daughter who Damon is holding hostage. From the start, Victoria and Damon’s relationship is strange: he helped her get out of prison and is helping with the daughter’s medical condition? Meanwhile, Victoria knew Damon was a dirty cop, but the focus of why he sponsored her parole has finally come into focus. Like a more attractive and versatile Liam Neeson, Victoria sets out to use her “special skills” as she zips from checkpoint to checkpoint on her motorcycle, collecting funds from gangsters and hardened criminals. Naturally, things don’t so smoothly, but the headache inducing quick cuts and knock-off video game aesthetics vanquish all hope for a coherent viewing experience.

The production design is flimsy (you won’t see a cheaper looking movie all year) 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.

Grade: F

Lionsgate will release the action, crime, thriller VANQUISH in select theaters on April 16, 2021, on Digital and On Demand on April 20, 2021 and on Blu-ray and DVD on April 27, 2021.


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