May 21, 2019 A Vigilante (Movie Review)
What do you do when the trucks won’t stop coming? Talented Actress and Producer Olivia Wilde seeks vengeance for women who have been harmed in A Vigilante, a brand-new Action-Thriller. Lionsgate delivers the film to Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD, and Digital on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.
In Kingston, New York, Sadie (Wilde: TRON: Legacy 2010, The Lazarus Effect 2015) is a woman hellbent on aiding others in escaping their abusive situations. Living in a dingy motel and carefully altering her physical looks, she is a vigilante who steps into homes to save abused women from their heartbreaking circumstances. Give her a call, offer the secret code (hint: it involves trucks), and she is apt to come to your aid.
Of course, Sadie has a story of her own. Something in her past changed the once mousy brunette into a Krav Maga enthusiast and survivalist, the same something (or someone) who has left her emotionally haunted and clutching a drawing with the letter “C” in its center. Every superhero has their secrets, so what are Sadie’s?
Clocking in at 90 minutes, A Vigilante is a feature-length debut for its talented Writer/Director Sarah Daggar-Nickson (Dead Hands short 2010, The Light in the Night short 2011). The film also features the acting talents of Morgan Spector (Homeland series, Boardwalk Empire series), Chuck Cooper (Find Me Guilty 2006, New Amsterdam series), Tonye Patano (The Taking of Pelham 123 2009, Weeds series), Betsy Aidem (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit series, Irrational Man 2015), C.J. Wilson (The Intern 2015, Manchester by the Sea 2016), Cheryse Dyllan (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit series, Law & Order: Criminal Intent series), Kyle Catlett (Poltergeist 2015, The Tick series), and more.
Billed as an Action Thriller, A Vigilante definitely fits this bill though it also contains heavy elements of Drama and issues involving Crime. For those who have been in abusive situations, the movie should carry a serious trigger warning as it deals almost entirely with physical abuse and contains acts of spousal violence. In short, this is definitely not a feel-good story!
A Vigilante is a fairly simple, self-explanatory film: a largely one-woman show that explores the motivation behind one woman’s vigilante form of justice. In this sense, one might make some very loose comparisons to films such as The Bellwether (2019), another intensely-focused film with a message. As this story is so to the point, much of the film has a tendency to meander to fill its runtime, and the exact timeline is more often than not unclear.
In truth, with the help of Sadie’s ever-changing hairstyle (which is largely wigs), it’s not too difficult to discern a rough timeline of events here and the film is never challenging to follow, but it’s not always a linear tale. For those that are looking for action and thrills, well, the bulk of the steady stuff does not happen until the third act as the story builds Sadie’s backstory before her final showdown with her past.
As the film is Sadie’s story, this means that the bulk of the movie’s success falls upon the shoulders of leading lady Wilde. Thankfully, Wilde is an accomplished actress with an impressive resume and she enters A Vigilante with a myriad of experience under her belt. Due to this, she is the perfect actress to portray Sadie’s complexities: she is a woman who has been hardened by her life, and yet a deeply sensitive and caring individual, as well. There’s a fine line to tread here, and Wilde toes it with equal doses of elegance and panache. A victim turned fighter, a once timid woman who has been pushed into acts of violence, Sadie is a superhero for abused women and someone who has taken justice literally into her own two hands. Wilde truly delivers!
A Vigilante is a disturbing tale that is a reality for far too many women who don’t actually have an angel of mercy such as Sadie to turn to; that means that this is an upsetting film, not a feel-good experience by any means. While it certainly does not move at the fast-pace of most Action pieces, that’s because it is, most importantly, a movie with a message. If you are open to that message, you will love Wilde’s fierce portrayal of the titular vigilante. If you have never sang three cheers for sweet revenge, well, A Vigilante might not be your thing. Whatever the case, Cryptic Rock give A Vigilante 3.5 of 5 stars.