The Old Guard review on Netflix: Same old story for Charlize Theron
You don’t have to read the comic that the new Netflix action film is based on The Old Guard. Just watch the first five minutes and you really know everything about what is going to happen.
Starring Charlize Theron in Fury Road mode, Old Guard streamed on Netflix on July 10. It opens with an elite team of assassins recruited by the CIA to sneak into an alien militia compound – you know the drill. They do the thing where they crab — with their assault rifles, their faces along the walls and then a variety of whips around the corners. They shoot a man and then throw his body into the ground, throwing him in the dark. Yes, The Old Guard is assembled out of the oldest old action and spy film cliche.
The bewildered leader goes against his own rules for one last job. Men with beards and sunglasses say things like “local tomorrow afternoon” and “confirmation of personnel at the last overfire site” in African markets. There is momentum in the Hummer Desert, then we go to London where a CEO in a hoodie “Find them!” Directly from the press conference. On some mercury in a glass corridor. People drown in body armor, and more. A clear traitor is evident.
If you’re being charitable, you could argue that writer Greg Raqqa is breaking the action movie trope in a script adapted from his own comic (co-produced by artist Leandero Fernandez). Because there’s a big fantasy twist: Globotrotting mercenaries have swords. Because they are frickin ‘ Immortal.
The trouble is, Old Guard’s twist doesn’t really twist the action. Stabbing and stealing is really no different from Theron’s bulletproof crookOr in his own stylish killer . Identifier Rogue CEO May Be Straight Out or . The action is slow and fast paced, but you’ve seen it a million times before. How can something be so bloodless with so much CGI blood sputter? Are we really going to be excited about an invincible hero going through another mob of faceless stuntmen in tactical gear?
I know, I know, it’s dumb B-film entertainment. But the real crime is that it is one of those bubbles, where the backstory is more interesting than the films on screen. Brief flashbacks and passing mentions hint at the history of witches in iron coffins and a pair of rival crusaders who keep killing each other until they fall in love. Which seems very nice.
To be fair, The Old Guard tried to pack some emotional punch amid the hackneyed action. After yet another frightening gunfight sequence, the dead Swat men lie on the floor, with director Gina Prince-Bytewood holding the camera to Theron’s face as he contemplates the endless terror of her extended life. Each of the prodigal protagonists in their own way faces the pain of immortality, and the diversity of the group and their experience is stirring. This leaves the film’s most emotional moment as Marwan Kenzari makes a speech, making it almost single-handedly elevate the film above others of its kind.
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The emotional dilemma of eternity haunts the latest recruits of the ranks played by KiKi Layne. Leyne’s character provides one of the few intriguing and surprising moments in the film when Theron hands him a gun. Apparently there is a moment in every film, where the work of scriptwriting keeps shifting between the heroes – which will be the “forbidding call” part of the classic hero’s journey – but the usually reluctant recruits end up with readymade violence. She comes to hug him. . Here, for a tricky moment it seems that our protagonist rejects the violent path, as a concept from the action film. now That Would be a great sabotage.
Obviously it does not last. We are coming back to business as soon as possible, double-tapping people in Balaklava and making speeches about the sanctity of life while at the same time shamelessly massacring dozens of random people.
Yes, you know the drill. Old Guard is kinda fun. But mostly it is the same old, same old.
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