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When Luke, a highly successful businessman, is viciously attacked and his fiancée is raped and murdered, he pledges to use every last dollar he has to train himself in deadly hand to hand combat and use it against any wrong doers who dare to cross his path. But little does he know that his own attackers are highly connected to an underworld crime family who has close ties to corrupt police and, unbeknownst to him, are also looking for him!
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The basic plot is typical revenge film formula. A guy gets beat up and his girlfriend killed. It leads to him hitting the gym and learning kung fu so that he can get his revenge. Hence the direct marketing of the title. I gotta hand it to the crew for keeping it meat and potatoes. Most people want to make it more complicated like John Wick where hit men kill people for gold tokens that wouldn't look out of place being put into a ski ball machine to earn tickets. Not so with Vigilante. It's lady gets killed, guy gets beaten up, guy learns confidence, and guy kills dudes.
Admittedly, there's bits and pieces of this that are more complicated. I just don't remember all of them. I also admit that their lack of budget really shows in the sense that all fight scenes were shot mostly in long shot with stuff obscuring the view or that Margot Robbie was probably not all that available and as such thankfully didn't have to go through a full Last House on The Left ordeal that I started worrying was about to hit. Sorry, this is a Death Wish style movie, she didn't have to endure Jeff Goldblum's thug character. A lack of budget producing some accidental good taste.
The main reason most of us probably clicked on this is cause of Margot Robbie being in it. First, bravo to her. You'd think she'd just be blowing this off but she's clearly giving it her best despite having basically no one to help her from a production or really acting stand point. Even more amazing is that she doesn't age. 8 years and there's no mileage. Seriously, someone has been doing some healthy living. Joking aside, she's genuinely trying her hardest here. That's professionalism. It's a good thing too as she won't have to sit back thinking about some embarrassing performance she might have given in the past. She's also got that charisma thing going early too. It's not focused like it is now but it's there. It's also just good casting. I mean you're dating Margot Robbie, she gets killed, and it only makes sense for you to hit the gym for bloody revenge. Imagine how terrifying it'd be if she'd been murdered dating Charles Bronson. She really does build that audience sympathy by just doing her thing. Kind of like Tarzan, she can make a whole lot out of a whole lot of nothing.
There's not a lot to recommend the movie on outside of Robbie. It's filmed on a digital camcorder, the sound design is all off. Other problems are there but why focus on the negative? If you're into DIY style horror movies like Bloodstreams or Phobe, you'll get a kick out of this. Even better, you're even gonna see someone who actually made good instead of sticking around in their parents basement or going back to insurance sales during the week in one of them too. So yeah, 2 star bonus for Margot and ambition. Both should always be applauded.