Director George Gallo’s Vanquish follows Victoria (Ruby Rose) – a former drug courier blackmailed into doing the dirty work for a retired crooked cop – and Daman (Morgan Freeman), who’s kidnapped her daughter. All she wants is an out, but to get it she must thwart a series of drug deals in one night to double cross Damon’s former partners. However, her criminal past catches up with her on this night, meaning that she’ll have to fight for her own life too.
With her mission at hand, she speeds down an empty road. The screen is tinged with a sickly green while the conversation she just had with Damon in the previous scene echoes through her head as images of her child flicker onscreen. The scene is completely ridiculous and shows zero restraint on subtly – and yet Gallo expects audiences to treat it with the utmost seriousness. This is a running theme throughout Vanquish. The result is an overly silly action movie that plays everything with a straight face and no irony.
Rose once again demonstrates her action chops as the no-nonsense hero. Her character is competent, intelligent and has full control over each situation while the wheelchair-bound Damon provides overwatch from his lavish home. Her likeable screen presence easily makes her the best part of the flick. The issue here, though, is that her character is as mind-numbingly generic as the rest of the faceless villains and conspirators. There’s simply no stakes or reason to care about Victoria or anyone else caught up in the crossfire – and that’s not fun for anybody.
Victoria spends her time moving between Damon’s house and the five deals she’s tasked with infiltrating, with each mission taking viewers to a different part of the criminal underground complete with its own set piece. There are some interesting ideas at play here (sneaking out of a nightclub and being drugged, for example), however each sequence plays out in similar fashion with Victoria shooting her way out of the situation. And in keeping with the film’s ongoing theme, the action is poorly handled. It’s sloppily edited and lacking any impact or thrills.
Topping everything off is a climax that’s introduced in the last few minutes that’s resolved just as swiftly with just as little satisfaction. There’s no intrigue, excitement or enjoyment to be found here. Nor is there any reason to sit through it.
Vanquish is released digitally on demand on 28th May 2021.
Watch the trailer for Vanquish here: