Vanguard (2020): Another Wolf Warrior Propaganda film

China is a country which is known for stealing ideas and not respecting copyrights of anyone in the world and also known for deliberately hiding the spread of China Virus aka Covid 19 and putting the entire world to the risk for years to come. Like the typical Chinese mentality which is to knock off better products and make cheaper replacements, the Chinese Communist Government has been encouraging propaganda films. There is no harm in it, the Nazis and Russians did it too and it worked for them. Propaganda films can be interesting if it is engaging otherwise it just is another press release from the Government which no one bothers to read but mainstream media is forced to carry out due to the pressure from higher-ups.

Vanguard follows the steps of Wolf Warrior films which position the Chinese as the guardians of the world and how they bring justice to the enemy by use of force. Interestingly no one even remembers when PLA actually went to war or rescued any nation from democracy to implement the dictatorial communism. Anyway interestingly the film was supposed to release in January 2020 but was delayed due to Covid, the film has got a much bigger release due to non-availability of content across the globe. 

Vanguard reunites Jackie Chan for the 7th time with Stanley Tong. I must say out of their 7 films only first two were entertaining, the third one was bearable while the rest including this movie is unbearable to watch. 

Jackie Chan like all superstars faces the predicament of how can he still be relevant and extend his acting stint and give fans what they want. It is a pressure which few can handle and most of them flounder. Jackie has not done a good job so far, but you go to see his films to experience his charm and goofiness but then in this movie, all of them is missing. 

We have an organisation headed by Jackie Chan which is an international private security firm which for some reason only recruits people from one particular nation. The film opens with a wonderful action sequence in the United Kingdom, but then it nosedives from there. 

The Wolf Warrior diplomacy does not seem to care about geography because we are just said that a girl whom the Vanguard is supposed to rescue is in Africa. I mean come on, Africa is a continent, not a country, but then when did the Chinese care about the territorial integrity of others.

We cannot laugh at the irony about fake CGI lion or the fact that Chinese are shown to be against poaching when we all know how they are responsible for this.  Vanguard which attempts to be a pale imitation of the MI series then shifts its action to the Middle East. You know the makers have no clue when they are casting Indian actors for Middle East actors and to top of it, they speak in Hindi instead of Urdu or Arabic showcasing the ignorance of the makers.

I never thought I would say this for a Jackie Chan film, but the action set pieces in Bollywood films like Tiger series and last year’s Saaho were much better and bigger. I do not know what’s next for  Chan here. He still has a screen presence and there are many people who will watch him given the right film.

I hope he does an entertaining film minus all those jingoism and gives us pure adrenaline rush for 90 minutes like he did previously. For this Christmas skip this and watch Police Story.

I understand China wants to win cultural hegemony over Hollywood and Bollywood to an extent, but at this rate, I wonder if they will succeed even in their nation.


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