Release Date: July 10 (Netflix)
Starring: Charlize Theron, Kiki Layne, Chiwetel Ejiofor, et al.
As much as I tried not to, I still went into ‘The Old Guard’ with some expectations.
In the days leading up to me finally seeing it, social media repeatedly touted it to be something cut out of a similar cloth as Extraction, another Netflix Original starring Chris Hemsworth; some said it was a better movie, but that’s a discussion for another day. In a sense, they are indeed similar -they both dwell in the realm of action and they both excel at it.
Charlize Theron is, arguably, the ultimate action heroine of this age. Sometimes, it’s really difficult believing she’s 44 with all the new ways she keeps finding to throw bad guys around. I count it a blessing watching her prance around my screen, beating bad guys left, right and center; but even for her, elevating a simple story like ‘The Old Guard’ past what it wants to be, is a Herculean task.
A bunch of near-immortal mercenaries, who’ve been helpful to humanity throughout history, finally meet their waterloo in a nerdy Pharmaceutical Executive, Merrick, working with an unwhelming ex-CIA agent (cum mad scientist played by Chiwetel Ejiofor). Both mad men plan to use these immortals to unlock cures to some of the world’s top diseases by throwing in the age-old movie element of capture and experimenting without consent. While all this is happening, the immortals also have to orientate the latest addition to their small team, Nile (Kiki Layne).
Although The Old Guard fairs well, I thought the screenplay could’ve played out a little different to help elevate the movie. The final product undermines certain character moments that could’ve made for more amazing screentime. The most glaring character on the receiving end of this is Nile, who I believe it would’ve helped if we took a deeper look into the workings of her mind.
Whatever shortcomings (I feel) The Old Guard had with its character development, it makes up for it with some really cool action scenes – a couple of stunt scenes that had me wow-ing multiple times. I saw this movie with a couple of friends, so there were a lot of ‘take it back moments’ which helped heighten the atmosphere.
Was it worth the time spent?
Yes! Some times I crave mindless action other times something entirely senseless. But The Old Guard is none of these. It’s a cool action, plot-driven movie and I enjoyed watching it.
The story sets up a sequel, which I found exciting. Come on, Netflix, what are you still waiting for? We know you’re definitely green-lighting this. Make the announcement already.
Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood