THE OLD GUARD (2020) Reviews and overview

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‘Forever is harder than it looks’
The Old Guard is a 2020 fantasy action feature film about a covert team of immortal mercenaries who are suddenly exposed; now they must now fight to keep their identity a secret just as an unexpected new member is discovered.

Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights) from a screenplay written by Greg Rucka, based on the five-part graphic novel co-written with Leandro Fernandez, the movie stars Charlize Theron, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling and Matthias Schoenaerts.

Forever is harder than it looks. Led by a warrior named Andy (Charlize Theron), a covert group of tight-knit mercenaries with a mysterious inability to die have fought to protect the mortal world for centuries.

However, when the team is recruited to take on an emergency mission and their extraordinary abilities are suddenly exposed, it’s up to Andy and Nile (Kiki Layne), the newest soldier to join their ranks, to help the group eliminate the threat of those who seek to replicate and monetize their power by any means necessary…

“Unfortunately, whenever the action stops, The Old Guard sags, with emotional moments that never really land, and big dramatic scenes that lack any genuine drama. Even the action begins to grow tiresome after a while, especially since all of it is scored to forgettable (and often annoying) electro-pop music that sounds more suited for an Express dressing room in the mall rather than a big action movie.” /Film

“Now, there are some plot issues and the exposition used throughout the film is slightly heavy-handed. That said, The Old Guard shines in nearly every other aspect, including in adapting a much loved graphic novel with enough accuracy to satisfy fans yet enough difference to make it feel fresh. The film is also a great watch regardless fo your familiarity with the original graphic novel.” But Why Tho?

“Taking lives bears a heavy price for them, so to enact more violence than required on any mission, in any engagement, is something they feel and rarely forget. This gives much of The Old Guard its pathos, which the film takes its time exploring throughout the runtime without diminishing what most audiences come for: exquisite bloodshed.” Elements of Madness

“Director Gina Prince-Bythewood, for the most part, keeps the narrative moving along effectively although the pace drops in the second third when the action takes a back seat. The fight scenes are down and dirty although nothing we haven’t seen before in John Wick, Theron’s Atomic Blonde and more recently Extraction, but they’re easy to follow with exceptional choreography.” For Your Films Only

The Old Guard might be a superhero film by name, but by nature, it’s more than that. It’s based in the realm of fantasy and the supernatural, layered with elements of a spy thriller, and topped off with moments of stirring drama. It stands out from superhero films that came before it by not having the stakes be a matter of life and death.” JumpCut Online

“With an A-list star and a globe-trotting narrative, The Old Guard has the trappings of the modern tentpole action movie, but it’s very much straight to video schlock. Think of a Mission Impossible movie. Now remove the jaw-dropping set-pieces of that franchise and replace them with blandly rendered shootouts accompanied by R&B music more befitting a Fifty Shades sex scene…” The Movie Waffler

“Rucka’s script delivers action and characterization in equal measure, and that’s important when you’re dealing with people who can do superhuman things. While we’ve seen movies touch on the burden of immortality, The Old Guard really digs in and gives each character a different perspective on their long lives.” Punch Drunk Critics

“With an impressive array of layered performances and action-packed fight sequences, The Old Guard proves an interesting take on the perhaps stale genre. But ending with such an intriguing cliffhanger, teasing a further sequel, the film does seem like it’s merely setting up a larger franchise. With such a rich history to play with, it would have been good for this to be further explored…” We Have a Hulk

The Old Guard may be running alongside other superhero stories at a familiar level, but it delivers on the inner-workings as far as what makes these characters stand out. Exploring what it means to be human by way of people dealing with the fact that they can’t die makes for an intriguing set up. That it is handled with bullets, battle axes, and bruises that heal quickly makes for a fun jolt of action…” We Live Entertainment

Streaming on Netflix from July 10th 2020.

Cast and characters:
Charlize Theron … Andromache of Scythia/Andy
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Harry Melling … Merrick
Matthias Schoenaerts
Natacha Karam … Dizzy
Marwan Kenzari … Yusuf Al-Kaysani/Joe
Van Veronica Ngo … (as Veronica Ngo)
Anamaria Marinca … Yana
KiKi Layne … Nile Freeman
Luca Marinelli … Nicky
Adam Collins … Staff sergeant Raser
Joey Ansah … Keane
Tuncay Gunes … Nelson
Russell Balogh … Second Plainclothes
Obie Matthew … Mercenary
Adam Basil … Large GMS
Alfredo Tavares … Marine
Jorge Leon Martinez … Bodyguard
Peter Brooke … Sergeant Wright
Jill Buchanan … Screaming Woman
Mehdi Lamrini … Reception
Jane Fowler … Shouting Woman

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