“The Old Guard” sees Charlize Theron return as an action star in the Netflix film.
Theron stars as Andy, the leader of a covert team of immortal mercenaries who are suddenly exposed and must fight to keep their identity a secret just as an unexpected new member is discovered.
One of the latest supernatural original properties to drop on the streaming giant, “The Old Guard” puts the supernatural aspect of the movie on the backburner, opting to focus more on the action side of the plot. Director Gina Prince-Bythewood decided to give the film a more gritty and realistic feel.
However, in doing so, not much time is spent on world-building and establishing the supernatural rules of this world.
The film never explains why our protagonists are immortal; they just are because of unknown reasons. And while it’s not necessary to spoon feed exposition to your audience, you do need to set up the supernatural parameters of your world.
Theron is once again a great lead, giving Andy a lot of layers and depth with action sequences being gripping. Her supporting cast does a pretty good job. The latest addition to the immortal group Nile, played by KiKi Layne, is luckily not an annoying reluctant hero and quickly finds her place in the group.
Pacing wise, the screenwriters did an okay job of giving a moment with each of the main characters. And it was so great that Joe(Marwan Kenzari) and Nicky (Luca Marinelli) are shown as capable mercenaries. Since they are a gay couple in the movie, even sharing a passionate on-screen kiss, it was nice to have open queer representation that isn’t portrayed as tropes or stereotypes.
The overall plot is a bit thin with the movie essentially jumping from one set piece to the next.
And while they did try to give the villain Merrick (Harry Melling) a valid motivation for his actions, the actor pretty much gave a less twitchy version of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor in “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” and becomes cartoony after a while.
The action scenes are good, but are nothing to write home about.
Overall, “The Old Guard” is a cute popcorn film that is a nice distraction for two hours. The movie does end on a cliff hanger so we’ll have to see if it does get greenlit for a sequel.
“The Old Guard” starts streaming on Netflix from July 10.