The Old Guard (2020)

The Old Guard
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Writer: Greg Rucka
Based on: his and Leandro Fernandez’ comic
Cast: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling, Veronica Ngo
Seen on: 4.10.2020

Andy (Charlize Theron), Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts), Joe (Marwan Kenzari) and Nicky (Luca Marinelli) are mercenaries always lloking for a good cause they can lend their considerable skills to. But they also have a rule of not working for the same people twice – a rule they ignore working for Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to rescue children in Sudan. Turns out that this is a set-up and they are killed. Which wouldn’t be such a big deal because they are immortal, but their regeneration was filmed and they have to go on the run. It is just at this unfortunate moment that a new immortal awakens – Nile (KiKi Layne). So not only do the four of them have to track Nile down and integrate her in their group, they also have to figure out what Copley wants from them.

The Old Guard is not bad and it certainly is a fun watch, but I have to admit that I did expect a little more from it. Not much more, but my heart just wasn’t in it all the way.

The film poster showing Andy (Charlize Theron) and the other immortals, as well as Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) as smaller images grouped around her.

The Old Guard gets a lot of things right – starting with the fact that their superhero group isn’t all white and Joe and Nicky are like the most epic couple ever. Out, gay superheroes who love each other and it’s not only text, leaving nothing up to interpretation, but there is also a beautiful declaration of love? Yes, please, thank you, more.

The cast was pretty awesome, too, and what is more: the movie leaves room for the characters to be emotional amidst all the action scenes. While I did enjoy those action scenes for the most part (they were a little gun-heavy for my taste sometimes), it’s those emotional moments that worked best for me.

Joe (Marwan Kenzari), Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts), Andy (Charlize Theron), Nicky (Luca Marinelli) and Nile (KiKi Layne), all looking towards the camera.

That being said, the film does get a little too formulaic at times – betrayals come at no surprise, miraculous turns of events neither. I think that this was probably what kept me from really falling into the film as I would have liked, from really connecting with the characters and fearing for their safety.

But it that’s the reason, then they have every chance of making it work in the sequel they tease at in the post-credit sequence. I’m certainly willing to watch that and see what these guys get up to next.

Andy (Charlize Theron) and Nile (KiKi Layne) talking.

Summarizing: not great, but pretty good.

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