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The Old Guard Review

THE OLD GUARD (L to R) KIKI LAYNE as NILE, LUCA MARINELLI as NICKY, CHARLIZE THERON as ANDY, MARWAN KENZARI as JOE in THE OLD GUARD. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix/NETFLIX © 2020

Immortality is that age-old story that has been told over and over again throughout the years. Those desiring to stay young and live forever and those that are bestowed with such and burdened with its power. It’s not a new idea and more often than not revolves around armies and war. The latest story of this age-old tale is The Old Guard. A story of wanting the power of immortality and the burden of living with it.

Netflix’s The Old Guard is based on the comic book series of the same name. It follows a millennia-old warrior known in modern times as Andy (Charlize Theron). Along with her group of immortal mercenaries, they travel the world helping those that will, in turn, change the world for good. Their latest mission is to help safely find and return a group of kidnapped children in South Sudan.

The mission doesn’t go as expected and the team are captured by a pharmaceutical company to harness what it is these immortals have. But to add to the confusion and uncertainty of their future, a new member joins the mercenaries who just so happens to help save the day.

The first thing is first, The Old Guard is a great movie with some awesome action scenes. The first recovery mission the team venture on is so intense and full-on you’ll be left thinking “oh wow” and wondering exactly what they will do for the rest of the film. And as it turns out, not a whole lot.

The storyline is something to be desired. It’s poorly written, something you’d expect from a Home and Away scriptwriter. Not even Queen of the Screen Charlize Theron could make the dialogue work. When she first meets Copley, the man who gives her the assignment to save the kidnapped children, it’s cringeworthy and something you’d expect from a high school drama class. Because of this hurdle, you’re left halfway through the film debating if it’s worth seeing it through or not.

It is Charlize Theron (Bombshell, Atomic Blonde, Monster) who manages to hold the movie together and bring her kick-ass action fighting skills with her. While I’m sure it was not intentional, sadly every scene she was part of she manages to overshadow everyone else. No-fault to her, everyone else should have tried harder. The action scenes were faultless, Theron making it look too easy to take on 50 armed soldiers. And while she plays a troubled many hundred-year-old warrior, you can see the world on her shoulders. She struggled to connect and in her face, you can see she can’t and doesn’t want to let anyone close.

The Old Guard is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood a name not many would know. She has a bit of a reputation as she has some awards under her belt, mostly from the early 2000s. You can see she has a lot of ideas and wants to express as much as possible. Things like the gay couple in the film is a nice touch but it doesn’t really fit or work with the rest of the film.

Overall The Old Guard is one of those films you can pop on and not have to give it all of your attention. It’s got slow enough spots you can jump on Instagram, have a scroll and not miss anything. There’s plenty of action to keep you interested but you’ll find you already know the story. Charlize Theron plays the troubled hero with ease to the point you’ll think it’s a carryover character from her previous films where she plays an action hero. But what it lacks in the storyline and being a little bit bland it makes up for with good action and a bit of fun.

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