Review: The Old Guard (2020)
A group of mercenaries, all centuries-old immortals with the ability to heal themselves, discover someone is onto their secret, and they must fight to protect their freedom.
Although unfamiliar with the original source material, The Old Guard proved to be pretty entertaining. It doesn't become clear until very late in the film what the purpose of this group of immortals is. They just seem to spend most of the movie as cynical lazy demigods that have become largely disconnected with the rest of the world. As Kiki Layne's character, Nile, becomes the newest immortal; we begin to learn more about this mysterious group and their history and abilities. Through various flashbacks, we catch glimpses of the past histories of each of the immortals, which I found to be far more interesting than anything that they were facing in the present. There are a lot of good action and fighting scenes that sort of reminded me of John Wick, but nothing was truly outstanding or memorable either though. I think this is also the first time I've seen an openly gay superhero couple portrayed on film. I don't think their relationship was particularly interesting though. It didn't add very much to the story but it also didn't distract from the plot either. Perhaps it will play a greater role in the future if a sequel is made. Charlize Theron is definitely a badass though. Seeing her wipe out an entire army single-handedly was entertaining but also not as rewarding as watching John Wick or Deadpool do it. Perhaps that's why they decided to have her character, Andy, lose her immortality near the end. It certainly helped to elevate the stakes for the final showdown but it also complicates things in the future if they decide to make a sequel since her powers never waned in the source material. The casting of Harry Melling as the antagonist was fantastic though. If you can't figure out why you want to punch Melling's character Merrick so badly its because he plays Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films. So the film is worth watching to the end, if not just to see Merrick meet his grisly fate. For all it tries to accomplish though, The Old Guard was entertaining but pretty unremarkable. Its like Deadpool meets John Wick, but minus Deadpool's fun and humor and lacking Wick's intensity and theater. With so many superhero franchises out now, The Old Guard has some tough competition for the future but the ending scenes have me interested in seeing what lies ahead for this group.
Swin: 6.5/10 - Decent new superhero franchise if you have room for one more.
Directed by: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Starring: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli, Harry Melling, Veronica Ngo, Matthias Schoenaerts, Chiwetel Ejiofor
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sequences of graphic violence, and language.
Runtime: 125 min