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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 22, 2021



MORGAN FREEMAN is one of the most respected black actors in the U.S. today after having appeared in so many acclaimed and memorable films like “Driving Miss Daisy”, “Million Dollar Baby” (for which he won an Oscar), “The Shawshank Redemption”, “Seven”  and “Unforgiven”. 

So we have high expectations for his new movie, “Vanquish”, touted to be an action-thriller.

Now 83 years old, he plays Damon Hickey, a once top police commissioner in “Vanquish”.  He is now retired after he was gunned down by his enemies. 

He’s just confined to his wheelchair and lives alone in a lavish mansion with a caretaker, Victoria (Ruby Rose), a single mom. 

She was once a drug courier for the Russian mob, but Damon helped her leave her life of crime to go straight with her young daugher, Lily (Juju Brener), who’s suffering from some specified illness, 

But Damon has his own selfish motives for Victoria. He holds her daughter hostage in a secret location and orders her to run five important errands for him in one night. 

It’s a suicidal mission where’s she supposed to get huge amounts of cash and kill some people. She has no choice but to comply, because if she would defy Damon, then she will never see her daughter again. 

Damon knows she is a former hotshot assassin and once notorious as a killing machine. As one character who she is about to kill tells Victoria: “I heard you’ve killed more people than Quentin Tarantino.”

So, let the killing spree begin. 

The movie is written and directed by George Gallo and how we wished he took a workshop first with the “Pulp Fiction” director before attempting to direct a violent movie like this. 

His earlier works, “Midnight Run” and “Middle Men”, got good reviews. So you’d wonder what happened to him as “Vanquish” is barely coherent.  

First of all, the cinematography is so dark there are times you can’t figure out what exactly is happening on screen. 

The pulsating techno musical score is sometimes so loud you feel it’s the movie’s way of keeping you awake as the screen goings on can really induce you to sleep. The movie is only an hour and a half but it feels longer.

We don’t know why Morgan Freeman accepted this movie where nothing much is required from him except to sit on his wheelchair and whisper instructions to Victoria on his headset. 

He has one scene with a priest who turns out to be in cahoots with him in running a criminal operation. Yes, he’s a top cop but also a crime lord and now he has to get back at some of his enemies. 

The lead actress, Ruby Rose, is an Australian who made waves in the hit TV series “Orange is the New Black” and in “John Wick 2” as a mute assassin. 

She also starred in “Batwoman” on TV, but she had to leave the show after she did a stunt and figured in an accident that nearly broke her spine. 

This forgettable movie that’s meant to be female-centric is her comeback of sorts. It’s trying to be stylized but is actually dimwitted and sloppily done, with badly staged shootouts and chase scenes. 

Her bad-ass character is also so thinly drawn you can hardly sympathize with her. Overall, “Vanquish” will definitely not help boost but only vanquish her career.