George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
2020 Releases Ranked-HERE
The Old Guard is an American superhero action/fantasy film directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and starring Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The story focuses on a group of mercenaries who are all secretly centuries-old immortals that are able to heal from any wound however they're forced to live alone and avoid relationships to protect their secret, their lives are uprooted once again when they learn of a new immortal.
First off. we all know this is a small rip-off of a certain Marvel property yet that doesn't mean it has too be bad. In all honesty I quite enjoyed this. The concept has been done many times before but not quite refreshingly as this. The narrative screws might not be the tightest as some points don't work, but its aim is deadly enough to draw you in and that's exactly what it did for me as I was engaged and genuinely wanted to see more of this world, which is surprising given the films we've seen in 2020 thus far. Many people have been longing for more female led superhero films since the success of Wonder Woman and with The Old Guard, Harley Quin and Black Widow being released in 2020, its fair to say this is the year that females are finally noticed for these main roles. For me as a man, that's nice and refreshing to see. I wasn't the biggest fan of Wonder Woman but it was still nice to watch a superhero that isn't led by a male and now with The Old Guard, Gina Prince-Bythewood does a great at portraying Charlize Theron as the powerhouse female action star she really is.
Like any new movie these days, The Old Guard tried to build a franchise based around these characters and in all honesty, that didn't bother me. The Old Guard has everything you could want from a Netflix action movie, straight out of the gate there's quick action, interesting characters and a plotline you want to see more of. Performance wise, Charlize Theron does a fantastic job at portraying her character and is definitely the right person for the role. KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari and Luca Marinelli are all great additions as the other immortal hero's and all portray their characters well. While I'm talking about performances I must mention Chiwetel Ejiofor, I loved every time he was on screen as he works incredibly well in the role he's in and has great screen chemistry with the others when they all meet. Each actor/actress fits their role quite well and ultimately each casting worked for me and I genuinely liked watching the back-story of Ngô Thanh Vân's character as the back-story interested me quite a bit.
I've never read the graphic novel this is based of but as the storyline jumps from Sudan to Afghanistan, Paris and, finally to Guildford it becomes that much more interesting as the plotline develops and characters grow on you the more you watch. The Old Guard shows that, in the hands of a smart writer and director, something can be made in this genre that’s worthy of our attention other than Marvel and DC properties. Where others fail at creating a world you want to see more of, this film mostly succeeds as it was one of only a handful of films from this year I could watch again.
However, as much good as I'm saying about this film. We've seen it all before and it can be predictable at times. It's like the X-Men but a group where everyone's Wolverine and whilst that does make for a good watch, its doesn't exactly make for a unique watch. The predictability can sometimes squander the enjoyment but that still doesn't make this a bad film. The fight choreography for everyone, especially Charlize Theron is fantastic. There's a church scene in this film that comes close to rivalling Extraction for the best fight choreography scene this year as its shot incredibly well. Also this is my 100th Review!
Overall, I genuinely liked The Old Guard more than I thought I would, its not anything unique but it is an enjoyable watch. With an interesting storyline, great cast and a bad soundtrack but it was used good for the scenes it’s playing. The Old Guard proves to be one of the best Netflix releases this year, whilst it’s not a great movie, it was good enough and one I hope will get a sequel in the near future as I would want to see more storylines and events from this interesting world.
What is your all time favourite film Netflix has released?