Olivia Wilde gives an unforgettable performance as a woman recovering from her own trauma through helping other women to escape from their abusive relationships in the new thriller A Vigilante, and a poignant and timely anecdote to the highly over saturated super hero genre.
In her feature debut, writer/director Sarah Daggar-Nickson doesn’t revel in the violence of her story about a righteous avenger of those who are seemingly trapped in violent home with a dangerous husband, but instead lets its aftermath speak to the devastation.
Wilde’s Sadie is kind of like a one-woman A-Team or a female Equalizer. If you’re in trouble and there’s no way out, if you can contact her, she can be your ass-kicking angel. It’s a low key super hero origin story made in and for a post-#MeToo world.
Wilde delivers her best work yet as the damaged, determined hero. When her own backstory is finally fully revealed, it becomes clear that the rage was born from not just the horrible acts her husband committed against her, but from the years that she willingly, accepted and helped hide it from their son.
When a twist in the third act turns the tables, the action doesn’t play out how viewers might expect, but that’s because this isn’t really an action movie at all, but thriller made all the more terrifying by how real it all feels.
One of the most powerful scenes in the film is when one of the women in Sadie’s group recounts her story, and it is revealed in a behind the scenes featurette that this women, and many of those featured in the movie, is not actress but an actual survivor of domestic abuse. The featurette runs about 15 minutes and is the only bonus feature included on the Blu-ray, and though I would have loved a full feature length commentary, Daggar-Nickson talks quite a bit how she found her way into this ever so timely story.
Sadie is the hero we need today, and I can’t wait to see what Daggar-Nickson does next.
A Vigilante is out now on Blu-ray, from Lionsgate. (Order it here.)
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