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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No real messages here, other than massive amounts of destruction with very little consequence.
Positive Role Models
While there are clear heroes and villains, it's important to remember that the heroes are ultimately getting paid, and that they leave quite a bit of destruction in their wake. Chan is usually a positive role model, but he unfortunately has very little to do here.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of guns and shooting, with secondary characters shot and killed. Brief blood spurts, bloody wounds. Martial arts fighting. Woman kidnapped. Bombs strapped to a character. Slicing into someone's hand to remove a tracking device. Punching in face. Stabbing. Strangling. Bleeding person thrown into shark tank. Falls from high places. Character hit by car, slammed up against wall. Powerful drone weapon, high-powered shooting. Chases. Explosions. Character hit with tranquilizer dart. Lion attack. Hyena attack. (Fake-looking, computer-generated) hyenas injured. Hand burned in hot oil. Dialogue about a man beating up women; photos of a bruised woman. Character's arm in a sling. End-credits outtakes with injuries, stunts gone wrong.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman pretends to be a model to catch villains; slo-mo scenes have her posing for camera in bathing suit, flirting. (This is called a "honey trap.") A villain is described as a "serial womanizer."
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Uses of "s--t," "bulls--t," "hell," "scumbag."
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Products & Purchases
WeChat mentioned twice.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Vanguard is a Chinese martial arts/action movie starring Jackie Chan (though he doesn't seem to have much to do). Both dubbed and subtitled versions are available; U.S. theaters may play one or the other depending on their preference. Expect quite a lot of comic book-style violence, with guns and shooting, secondary characters killed, bloody wounds, martial arts fighting, a woman being kidnapped, slicing, stabbing, punching, chases, explosions, and much more. As typical in Chan's films, the end credits include outtakes and bloopers with stunts going wrong and people getting hurt. A woman pretends to be a model, and there's slo-mo footage of her posing in a bathing suit. Language includes a few uses of "s--t," "bulls--t," and "hell." Cigar smoking is shown briefly. Despite some fun chase scenes, the movie suffers from a nonsensical plot, dull villains, and poor visual FX. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Chan's globe-trotting action movie features a few brief, impressive car chases and other light moments, but it's largely weighed down by poor writing, bland villains, and a nonsensical plot. Vanguard is one of several collaborations between superstar Chan and director Stanley Tong (Supercop, Rumble in the Bronx, etc.), over three decades. You can easily get the feeling that, at this point, they're just coasting. Even with his many years behind the camera, Tong has never quite perfected his skills as a storyteller (his one foray into Hollywood gave us Mr. Magoo), but he's still technically proficient at stunts and slapstick.
Vanguard has several car chases that are undeniably cool, especially when vehicles go flying off the sides of steep hills, or a fleet of cars made of gold goes tearing through the city. Other action scenes are duller, consisting less of Chan's style of fluid, dazzling martial arts and more of guns and explosions. These scenes eventually grow tiresome, given that they're in service of a plot and characters that we just don't care about. The villains are paper-thin, scowling and sneering their terrible dialogue, and it's easy to glaze over. The visual effects are quite poor, too. Chan is easily the best thing here, and his best moment comes when Miya Muqi lands on the back of a bad guy's car and proceeds to wrest control. Chan calmly remarks, "She's on my team."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.