The Old Guard, directed by the great and powerful Gina Prince-Bythewood, is a full length Netflix produced film based on the comic book of the same name. We follow Andy (played by Charlize Theron), and her team of mercenaries who also happen to be immortal as they battle shady governmental agencies and a big pharmaceutical company from gaining access to their DNA, so that their powers can be duplicated and weaponized.
The powers possessed by our main group of characters, though slight rip-offs off the character of Wolverine (slow aging, faster healing etc.), made for some very entertaining action set-pieces. Make no mistake, The Old Guard is meant to be a hardcore action film with a hint of drama added, NOT a philosophical piece that ponders the implications of immortality, while adding pieces of action. The films’ R rating is justified through its large bodycount of mostly disposable mercenary forces who were executed through an elaborate and creative display of blood and goreyness.
Aside from the very entertaining action scenes, I’m struggling to find praise for this film. For one, it certainly presents more questions than it answers, which left viewers like me frustrated. To some extent, I can why the writers chose to do this – to make room for a sequel – yet I would’ve still liked some clarification on how old Charlize Therons’ character was or why some of the immortals suddenly stop being immortal. The main antagonist of this movie is played by Harry Melling, who, fun fact also played Dudley Dursley from the Harry Potter universe. His character was also poorly written in the sense that he had a very cliche motivation for his actions, and seemed to behave like a man-child whenever on screen.
These are my very brief thoughts on The Old Guard. If I were to judge this piece by the amount of entertainment it provides, I would grade it quite highly. The action set-pieces in the film were a joy to watch. However, the film struggled to develop a compelling antagonist or provide clarity to many of the questions it presented during its runtime.