Vanguard" movie poster
You know, I caught
this one just after the worst one-day drop in the Dow Jones Industrial
Average EVER and I was never so compelled to go out and buy a
couple camping hatchets.
So all is not well
in the future world of The Vanguard--pretty much every dire prediction
you ever heard on Glenn Beck actually comes to pass, and he's
probably sitting in an underground bunker laughing himself stupid
while all this is going on. The last known oil fields are lost
to global war (being run on what, precisely, biodiesel? hard to
run a war without fuel), over-population somehow shot through
the roof in SEVEN YEARS (I guess since people couldn't drive anywhere
they just had lots and lots of babies), food and water is scarce
(food I can understand--no fuel, no tractors, suddenly farm yields
buckle but what happened to the water? What, did the over-population
boon suddenly make people forget how to work a SHOVEL? Dig a well?
Basic desalination from the oceans?). So it's not surprising that
with all this going on, anarchy prevails and we're on the edge
of a shiny new Dark Age.
Of COURSE we are.
And it only took SEVEN YEARS from right now to get there.
And just for the icing
on the cake, somehow, a CORPORATION (boo, Random Evil Corporate
Whipping Boy!) has somehow managed to become more powerful than
any government and operate itself from inside a fortified city
that apparently has sufficient land mass to grow food. Uh...HUH.
And they've got a plan to start killing people and make things
better again due to the reduced population. Well, when you're
more powerful than a government I guess the law really doesn't
apply to you any more.
Oh...and the cake has
a cherry on top. The scientists tasked with making the drug to
kill humanity in that corporate plan accidentally make a drug
that turns people into Biosyns, a kind of flesh eating zombie.
Okay, so one thing
is clear--The Vanguard is going to demand a WHOLE LOT out of you
in terms of suspension of disbelief. The scenario posed by The
Vanguard is so far-flung and so pronounced in so short a time
that not even hardcore doomers can believe it, and that's BEFORE
we get the zombies involved.
And the outlandishness
is not limited to the plot--it will continue on very nicely into
the effects department as the fake blood budget for this movie
clearly exceeds that of, say, certain small countries' defense
budgets. I've never seen a movie where ordinary camping hatchets
are used with such bloody abandon.
On the down side, the
outlandishness will further extend to the acting. Look for lots
of overwrought shouting and scenery-chewing introspection from
Sadly, that's not
the only down side. The Vanguard also has a serious problem figuring
out what to DO with the magnificent huge playground it's built
for itself and seems to want to spend most of its time running
around the woods and hitting other little boys with sticks. Seriously--it's
not like you see much of this Corporation or its fortified city
or anything like that. We're too busy romping around the woods
taking hatchets to each other. It was actually starting to get
a little boring in spots there, except for the fact that it'd
never take too long to come right back around to the beatings
and the bludgeonings and the gunplay.
Though the ending hints
at a sequel, The Vanguard doesn't so much end as it does sort
of clatter to a halt as though suddenly someone threw an anchor
over the side.
The special features
are limited to English subtitles, as well as trailers that are
once again inaccessible from the DVD menu. I'm not sure why this
is the case, it merely is.
All in all, it's a
fair effort from The Vanguard, but it seems to have forgotten
the fundamental purpose of writing, "Show, don't tell".
Indeed, they had plenty to tell, but precious little to show.
Directed by Matthew Hope
Written by Matthew Hope
Starring Jack Bailey, Bahi Ghubril, Farhan Khan, Karen Admiraal
Produced by Steve Dann, Robert Henry Craft, Matthew Hope
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