Netflix offers another superhero film with ‘The Old Guard,’ an adaption of a comic book by Greg Rucka, who also co-wrote the film. It was produced by Skydance Media and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. I am unfamiliar with the comic books, so I will only be reviewing this on its merits as an action movie.
Andy (Charlize Theron) leads Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts), Joe (Marwan Kenzari), and Nicky (Luca Marinelli), a group of secret immortals who are trying to do some good in the world while maintaining anonymity. They are hired by former CIA Agent Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to go on a mission, but it is a trap to get footage of them healing from the many bullet wounds they sustain. En route to get revenge, they all have nightmares of Marine Nile Freeman (KiKi Layne) who also dreams of them after surviving a fatal knife wound. She is the first immortal revealed in over two hundred. They recruit her and go in search of Copley, who has sold them out to Merrick (Harry Melling) and Dr. Meta Kozak (Anamaria Marinca) who want to capture them for genetic research.
I found the concept, the action, and the cinematography of the film to be done excellently. There are some good sequences with some very impressive camera-work that are top-notch, conveying the intensity of these moments with ease. Likewise, I thought the cast did a good job. Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, and Chiwetel Ejiofor to a particularly good job with their roles.
However, there were some problems with the film. At times, it got downright boring. There were these moments in the movie where the characters express regret over some of their actions, love for their soulmates, or one lengthy scene where one of them is realizing their powers were fading. These were meant to be touching moments, but they were yawn-inducing. It was not the actors’ fault, but I blame the hammy writing that made these scenes fail on every level.
The following paragraph contains minor spoilers:
I also have to say, Theron’s character is pretty bad as a leader. The guilt she feels over the death of one ally and the capture of another are meant to give her character depth but instead leads to inaction that ultimately hurt the rest of the team. For example, one of the teammates (the straight white male, obviously) turns out to be a traitor. They have an opportunity to prevent him from hurting him more but decide to decide on a lighter sentence that obviously serves as the set-up for the next film.
Spoilers end here.
The movie was not as bad as Polar, a disastrous Netflix comic book adaption. It does have some impressive moments, but it is bogged down by logic problems and plot devices that add nothing to the overall story. For instance, Layne’s character is not as old as the rest of the group. She still has a family and the others bully her into agreeing not to speak with them, despite being allowed to keep her phone. You know, something those chasing them could use to track the group. It just did not make any sense.
Bottom line, The Old Guard has decent acting and some cool action moments, but it gets boring and hammy at times. This takes you out of the movie and reaching for your phone.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong bloody violence, Some strong language
FAVORITE QUOTE: I lead a group of immortals, an army I guess.
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my movie reviews of Bumblebee and Bloodshot. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.