Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
It’s difficult to say this film breaks any new ground, but it is going to keep fans (who are looking for new Superhero content) appeased, and it features some fantastic action. A covert team of immortal mercenaries are suddenly exposed and must now fight to keep their identity a secret just as an unexpected new member is discovered. The level of intensity that these action scenes manage to hit is impressive, but what I found to be much more interesting was the emotional responses from our characters. Theron owns this role, and she somewhat turns the film into something worth watching. Her presence allows some of the other cast members to get away with some lackluster line-delivery. The cast is solid overall, and they come together to deliver on some interesting lore.
I’m definitely okay with liking this more than most. I completely agree with some of the criticisms of the dialogue, as certain moments don’t quite land because of the script. What I love seeing is a film, that isn’t Marvel or DC, deliver on a sweet and (somewhat) original premise. The lore here is fascinating. Sometimes flashback scenes can give us too much exposition, and that probably would have been the case here, but I honestly wanted more from that. Since they are immortal, I wanted to see more about where they came from and how they used to act. I could honestly eat up an entire movie with them just in the past. It’s just all so entertaining. It’s like a team of Wolverine-powered individuals, but they’re slowly starting to discover that their time may be more limited than they thought.
It feels slightly familiar but fresh in the way that they execute. What put it over-the-top was how they handled the relationships within the group. We have two members with a relationship that I wanted to see more of. One scene in particular broke the tension with something extremely emotional, and I needed to see more of that. The “newcomer” aspect was cool, and even though it’s an easy way to tell us exactly what we need to know, it works. The obvious (major) gripe is how cliché certain aspects are. It does start to come off the rails a bit in the third act, but I was having so much fun that I honestly didn’t mind it. The Old Guard is one of my favorite action movies of the year, and it’s a standout when you look at Netflix’s previous Action-movie efforts.