In Review: The Old Guard (Netflix)

A pretty average action-adventure flick with some strong performances and interesting story ideas, but nothing particularly groundbreaking. 

Synopsis: 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 Story

When a group of immortal mercenaries finds out that someone has been digging around and could well expose their secret to the world. The fight is on to prevent the word from getting out. Things get complicated when Andy their leader discovers a new immortal in the form of Nile. So now the Old Guard has the duel task of finding and stopping Merrick from unleashing their secret while simultaneously showing Nile the ropes so that she can join their team.

 

The Acting

Charlize Theron leads the cast and makes for a convincing immortal who has seen her fair share of death and destruction over a long life. Her scenes with KiKi Layne’s Nile are the high point as we see Theron’s Andy take on a sort of big sister role. This is somewhat bittersweet given that her character rode with another Immortal woman called Quynh for years until they were both tried as Witches and separated.

We also get a solid performance from Chiwetel Ejiofor who plays Copley who reveals the secret of The Old Guard to Merrick who wishes to sample the DNA of the Immortals to see he can prolong human life and sell his formula to the highest bidder, which wasn’t what Copley had in mind. Harry Melling puts in a good effort as Merrick, but the film’s story barely hangs together enough for me to feel all that invested. It just kind of washes over you.

 

Overall

The Old Guard, which is based on the comic book by  Leandro Fernández and Greg Rucka and was released by Image Comics, is not the worst film have ever seen, but its not the best either. Theron’s character of Andy was charismatic and interesting and her relationship with newcomer Niles was the meat and potatoes of this film, but I can’t help but feel that they missed a trick. We got some really interesting flashback sequences from centuries past when Andy rode with a woman called Quynh, but after the two were captured as Witches they were separated and Quynh was drowned in a casket and Andy was never able to find her after she had gotten away. Obviously it is something that haunted Andy as it would anyone. I felt these scenes from Andy’s past were a tad rushed. You didn’t really get enough time with Andy and Quynh to be able to empathize with Andy about her loss. The film would have benefitted from expanding the Flashbacks a little and gone about doing it in a similar way to how the Highlander films did when you got to know the characters a little more. All that said, we get to see Quynh again after the post-credits, which means things are open for a sequel. So perhaps if that gets made. We’ll learn a bit more about Andy and Quynh’s friendship.

Overall. A pretty average action-adventure flick with some strong performances and interesting story ideas, but nothing particularly groundbreaking.

8.9
The Old Guard (Netflix)
  • Story
    8.0
  • Acting
    9.4
  • CGI & Stunts
    9.7
  • Incidental Music
    8.5

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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