The action movie legend fails to save this spy flick, which, for all its extravagant combat and gadgets, isn’t much fun
There’s an argument to be made that a film featuring a jet-ski machete fight on the edge of a waterfall, robotic surveillance wasps, solid gold supercars, weaponised attack hyenas and Jackie Chan doesn’t actually need to be good, in the conventional sense of the word. And with its multiple locations (London, Beijing, Dubai, Zambia, India) and efficiently packaged moments of nationalistic fervour, this action picture, which pits Chinese covert security organisation Vanguard against the scenery-mangling forces of evil, is clearly aiming for the pulpy escapist end of the market.
But even so, there’s precious little fun to be had in this self-important mess of a movie. Chan plays the head of Vanguard, but spends an awful lot of time in the field with his elite agents. Their mission: to rescue a businessman and his eco-YouTuber daughter Fareeda (Ruohan Xu) from villains who see them as the route to a missing fortune and, ultimately, some kind of genocidal ultra-weapon.
Vanguard review – an outrageous waste of Jackie Chan