New To Blu: Cold Vengeance: A Vigilante (2019) - Reviewed

Justice is served on a cold platter in the new to blu release of A Vigilante starring Olivia Wilde.

As one of her finest dramatic performances to date, it’s another building block for her expanding slate of artistic renderings that further proves her dynamic skill set as an actor. Moving from comedy to sci-fi to smaller indie fare like this. Wilde is quickly becoming a talent that can fill any role with ease. 

Serving the broken, battered, and abused, her character here is a vigilante for hire doing harm to the victimizers and predators of women and children. What seems like it might be a female led version of The Equalizer, the film takes us through many stages of abuse including pain, personal grief, and the finality of inflicting violence on truly bad people.  Through a nearly sterile lens, the focus is set on fighting brutality through the eyes of a woman that’s not only raging back but also fueling the fire of her very own demons. Escaping the bigger budget films she typically stars in, Wilde encapsulates a fresh and modern role that feels both captivating and emotionally charged. Unlike so many other movies that tread on this topic, it’s not all about gunplay or all out violence, but is more centered on her character finding some form of peace through the cursed hand she’s dealing her victims. In her search, she may eventually find her own demise, but she puts it all on the line knowing that she’s helping those that can’t do it for themselves. 

While still suffering from PTSD over an incident in her own life, she’s a dark warrior hoping to bring some semblance of hope to those that are held down by negative forces, both women and men. With a calm and collected presence, Wilde excels at creating a character that’s both heroic in some ways but obviously damaged beyond repair. The equation adds up to a plodding tale of vengeance that’s definitely relevant to the struggles of our present time. With mental health finally being given the attention it deserves, A Vigilante lets us know that consideration is being given through a story that excels in its unique presentation of loss and redemption. Wilde carries the slow pace by bringing a powerful physical performance that relies on her abandoning what we’ve seen her do in past films. This is a much more calculated role that relies on mannerisms and her willingness to drag herself through the muck. The final product is one that won’t quite appeal to all audiences, but is one that requires due diligence on the part of the viewer. It’s a hard watch for numerous reasons, but mostly because it’s so real that sometimes we might want to turn our heads away.

A Vigilante comes home on Tuesday on blu-ray and other formats. If you’re looking to see a film that’s invested in physical reparations for the abused, this is one that carries a wallop. However, with a short run time, there are definitely some things they could have done to extend the story for a bit more effect. The direction is on point, with environments that give the project a nearly European look and feel. Unlike so many of these movies, this one maintains much originality instead of going for the throat as another exploitive Death Wish retread. Check it out! 

-Chris George