• Muthukkumaran B

The old guard movie review - Origin story that oscillates between good and bad

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

Image credits: IMDb

Netflix original movie, the old guard, based on the comic of the same name by Greg Rucka. Directed by Gina Prince Bythewood, the movie stars Charlize Theron, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kiki Jayne. It follows a group of immortal warriors and acts as a sort of origin story to the adventures they are having together. And judging by the ending, there seems to be a sequel coming up. The movie starts as a good espionage thriller, with a group of mercenaries accepting an assignment for a dealer. Theron, who is the leader of the mercenaries, is having apprehensions about the job and is having a midlife crisis. And, as expected, the job turns out to be an ambush and they are riddled with bullet holes. But, miraculously all the wounds heal and they kill their assaulters with ease, but they learn that they are being filmed by the dealer. People in the underworld have learnt about their immortality and want to conduct experiments on them. Later we learn that it is the CEO of a pharma company who wants them for conducting experiments. Meanwhile, Theron, playing Andromache of Scythia, is having an existential crisis about the purpose of her millennia of existence.

Image credits: The New York Times

Even though capturing the lives of immortals, the movie is ultimately about mortality and the fragility of human life. There are some moments where people mourn the loss and work really well. However, a lot of these moments feel forced and act as speed-breakers in an otherwise excellent movie. It feels nice the first time, but the movie tries to milk its emotional moments and that acts as a turn off for me. Chiwetel Ejiofor's betrayal was believable, but his reason redemption feels cheap because it is mentioned in one line and just passed over the next moment. But everything clicks together when the immortals are in action. There are a lot of ways, it could have gone, but the action setpieces are excellent and don't feel like a one-way slugfest for the immortals. Charlize Theron rocks as Andy and every action sequence involving her is a riot. The camera work is boosting the sequences with impeccable details and the soundtrack feels great and funky for the sequences. The characters are colourful, with the leader played by Theron, from ancient Greece, and two people from the Crusades era and one from the Napoleanic era, who fought against him. Their backstories, if explored, could have really made the movie better, instead of the sad glimpses we see as flashbacks. Overall, the movie could have been better in its execution and the screenplay, as it tried too hard in making the viewer feel emotional, but the screenplay suffered for that. But, still, it's worth watching for some cool action sequences and Charlize Theron in all her mature and axe-wielding glory.

Verdict: Worth a watch for Charlize Theron and the unique take on the superhero origin

Available in: Netflix

Bingeopedia rating: 2.75/5

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