The Old Guard
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Producers: Charlize Theron, Beth Kono, Dana Goldberg, David Ellison, Don Granger, A.J. Dix
Genre: Action Fantasy
Release Date: 10 July 2020
Streaming Platform: Netflix
Star Cast: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinell, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling, Van Veronica Ngo, Anamaria Marinca, Joey Ansah, Micheal Ward
Plot: Andy or Andromache of Scythia (Charlize Theron) leads a group of mercenaries who are immortal and have been protecting the humanity for centuries. When their identities are exposed, they are being abducted and the newest immortal in the team, Nile (KiKi Layne) comes to the rescue.
Review: Director Gina Prince-Bythewood has launched a set of new superheroes during the lockdown, emerging to set us free from the ceaseless boredom.
The film pretty much shakes us when Andy and her group are blattered with bullets. Heroes down so early in the film? Something didn’t feel quite right. But they rose within seconds, and ‘The Old Guard’ delivered its most stupefying moment ever! The flick eventually unfurls that these badass characters are as old as time, and have been fighting for humanity, to preserve its hope and future. While Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts) has fought under Napoleon, Joe (Marwan Kenzari), and Nicky (Luca Marinell) met during the crusades, Andy is the oldest amongst them and blames herself for losing the first immortal warrior Quynh (Van Veronica Ngo), she found. James Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is an ex CIA agent who has lost his wife to ALS and is working hand-in-hand with a bigwig pharma CEO Steven Merrick (Harry Melling) to find out the truths behind the immortal blood. In the meantime, the band of immortals comes to know about Nile, a new one of their kind serving as a Marine in Afghanistan. ‘The Old Guard’ certainly picks up pace and heed this time onwards, and keeps you on the edge of your seat till the end.
Based on the graphic novel by Greg Rucka, it is definitely a fresh take on the genre and is superficial and humane at the same time. It builds a connect with the audience while revealing even their undying nature is not forever, death comes to them silently and suddenly, just like to all of us. The American action fantasy does raise the evident question whether living forever is a gift or a curse!
We are moved by Booker’s flashback anecdote where he witnesses his own son on deathbed, struggling with life. Hence, he would rather choose the life of a mortal than fighting for Andy’s noble cause any further. ‘The Old Guard’ subtly touches this ethical conflict between Andy and Booker without digging deeper.
A deeper insight could have elevated the film to a much profound level which it severely missed this time. We also never come to know, despite our fervent wish that what makes these few men and women ageless? How and why are they chosen? Is it destiny or God? A final twist in the tale opens the road for a sequel and it remains to be seen whether or not the second part would be counting in the unanswered areas it didn’t this time.
Action filled sequences, ancient mysteries, non-fancy and vulnerable superheroes, and Theron’s formidable performance - all combined, ‘The Old Guard’ is a solid entertainment watch with a bucket of popcorn if not anything else!