Move aside John McClain and watch out Black Widow, China has unleashed another strong female hero and this time she is going up against a dangerous terrorist plot.
The worlds tallest building it taken over by terrorists and it is up to Chinese Police Specialist Sunny Liu (Li Ran) to protect the innocent civilians and ultimately save the international tech leaders trapped in the building. Alone and in danger, Sunny works her way through the building in an fury proving herself to be more than a match for the terrorists.
Vixen takes on the classic terrorist takeover story but turns it on its head by casting former stunt woman Li Ran as the lead. It is clear that Li knows her way around the ass-kicking business and there is not a moment that is wasted showing off her incredible skills.
The film itself is fairly well written, well paced and well acted. Everyone in the film nails their roles from Li herself to the South African Terrorist leader, Gaboneze-Chinese actor Luc Bendza. While the actors managed to keep the story from falling into a lull, the pacing of the film really impressed me. There are very few slow moments with action just around every corner, giving Vixen a fantastic energy. While some of the action, and some of the dialogue come across as a little hokey at times, it is clear that the filmmakers put a lot of heart into their production wanting it to be something special. They also were clever enough to recognize that they would be called out on their blatant ripoff of Die Hard by including scenes that actually calls itself out as a ‘Die Hard ripoff with a chick‘ fully acknowledging that it is borrowing from one of the most iconic of American films.
The Bottom Line
All in all, Vixen is a fun film. It is not a AAA blockbuster by any means but it shows that the Chinese Film Industry is making some huge strides in their film making efforts. Sure, as with many Chinese produced films, there is a bit of their Nationalistic tendencies throughout (even portraying the single American character as a spineless chauvinistic man) but at it’s core Vixen is a fun if somewhat campy action film that was a pleasure to watch. Sunny Liu is one part John McClane, One Part Black Widow and all parts hero. I really hope to see more of Li Ran in future films, she is incredible and, honestly, if the rumors of a Shang-chi film are in fact true, Marvel Studios would be smart to consider casting Li as the Master of Martial Arts.
Between this and the recent Lady Detective Shadow, it is clear that Chinese filmmakers understand the growing need for strong female protagonists. Sunny Liu certainly fits the bill.
You can check out Vixen for yourself via Amazon, DirecTV, AT&T, FlixFling, Google Play and more.
Late To The Game 5/12/2019
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