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Sarah Daggar-Nickson
Olivia Wilde, Morgan Spector, Kyle Catlett
Writing Credits:
Sarah Daggar-Nickson

A vigilante helps victims escape their domestic abusers.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 91 min.
Price: $22.99
Release Date: 5/28/2019

• “Catharsis” Featurette
• Previews


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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


A Vigilante [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 20, 2019)

When it comes to self-descriptive movie titles, it seems hard to top 2019’s A Vigilante, a story about… a vigilante. Sadie (Olivia Wilde) suffers from an abusive husband (Morgan Spector), but she manages to escape this situation.

With this pain as her background, Sadie improves her physical skills so she can assist others in need. Determined to take down as many bad spouses and parents as possible, Sadie goes after vengeance wherever she deems necessary.

Technically, that synopsis proves accurate, but it makes A Vigilante sound much more Death Wish than the final product actually is. While the film does tell the story of a lone warrior who crusades against injustice, it takes a much more subdued, introspective path than we expect from the genre.

In theory, I like that idea, as we don’t need another purely violent revenge fantasy. Although Vigilante engages in occasional scenes where Sadie takes out baddies, these lack the rah-rah cathartic sense of most films of this sort.

However, the film tends to feel more like an attempt to educate than a dramatic effort, mainly via the scenes that depict the suffering of abused women. While these offer powerful moments – especially because writer/director Sarah Daggar-Nickson casts real abuse survivors – they tend to send the movie off of its narrative axis.

Rather than tell an actual story, the first half of Vigilante veers between abuse-related Public Service Announcement territory and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-style vengeance. Heck, the film’s opening scene clearly reflects the opening to Girl in the Spider’s Web, and the two tonal choices don’t really mesh.

During the film’s final act, it becomes more plot-oriented, but it also seems more traditional. I’ll avoid spoilers, but Sadie confronts a figure from her past and the movie takes on an attitude closer to what viewers likely expected rather than the semi-formless, story-free first half.

Wilde offers a good lead performance as Sadie. She forgoes any vanity and embraces the character’s pain and anguish in a compelling, convincing manner.

Unfortunately, the mish-mash of narrative and character choices tends to leave A Vigilante as a movie without clear purpose much of the time. I respect aspects of its goals but the end result lacks coherence and never quite figures out where it wants to go.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

A Vigilante appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not great, the movie offered generally good visuals.

Sharpness was usually fine. A few shots could be a little soft, but not to a significant degree. Instead, the program normally appeared concise and accurate.

I noticed no issues related to jagged edges, shimmering or edge haloes. No source defects marred the presentation, either.

One wouldn’t anticipate bold colors from a tale like this, and Vigilante went with a subdued palette that favored chilly blues and ambers. These choices seemed stark but effective.

Blacks were acceptable, though they could be a bit inky, and shadows were decent. Nighttime shots became slightly problematic, as they tended to be a little too dark. Overall, though, the movie remained pretty appealing.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Vigilante seemed subdued as well, without a lot of real involvement on display. This was a quiet film overall and not one that threw a lot at the viewer.

Music used the speakers nicely, and the occasional “action scene” brought out good activity. Much of the movie concentrated on environmental audio, but the track opened up to other information as appropriate.

Quality appeared positive, with speech that felt natural and distinctive. Music boasted good range and impact, and effects appeared accurate and lively. The audio felt like a “B” to me.

A featurette called Catharsis runs 17 minutes, 43 seconds. It includes comments from writer/director Sarah Daggar-Nickson, producer Andrew D. Corkin, stunt coordinator Manny Siverio, makeup department head Rakhil Shamailov, property master Rebecca Spiro, cinematographer Alan McIntyre-Smith, and actor Olivia Wilde.

“Catharsis” looks at story and characters, research and authenticity, action and stunts, makeup, cast and performances, photography, sets and locations. This ends up as a fairly informative reel.

The disc opens with ads for Dragged Across Concrete, Trading Paint and We Die Young. No trailer for A Vigilante appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of A Vigilante. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Parts of A Vigilante work, but the film feels inconsistent and unfocused. The movie can become an awkward mix of Public Service Announcement and violent thriller. The Blu-ray brings generally good picture and audio along with minor supplements. Despite some compelling scenes, A Vigilante doesn’t hold together as a whole.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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