The Old Guard ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
This film would not have been as good without Charlize Theron. It’s based on a graphic novel, which I haven’t read, but seems to harvest all too familiar tropes. Are these creatures werewolves or lycanthropic in origin?
Netflix’s “The Old Guard,” on the surface, seems like it gives us what the summer has been missing. It’s a starry, big-budget adaptation of a graphic novel about a band of immortal warriors led by Charlize Theron. And to a large degree, it supplies much of the absent superhero stuff. Visceral action sequences. Torrents of bullets. A blatant setup of future installments.Movie review: In ‘The Old Guard,’ the comic movie gets an overhaul | Lifestyle | gloucestertimes.com
… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …
Screenplay by the creator of the comic series
It’s usually a bonus whenever the original creator of the source material writes the screenplay.
Irrelevant pop-synth music
Whomever decided upon the soundtrack needs not be hired for the sequel, if there is one (more on that below). It’s loud and brash, but not in a fitting way. It’s like you’re trying to have a conversation at a bar and the music is too loud and doesn’t fit the scene.
Multiple times the music in this film actually took me out of the story. That rarely happens even once that music disrupts me like this, but it happened here multiple times. Terrible.
Sequel is setup
The ending leaves this open for more movies featuring these characters. Whether or not there is a sequel, it’s ready for one in the future. I wonder about movies like this that maybe play it safe with the stories and characters so that there can be more movies. Less risk = less interest, but then this is fairly commonplace in comic book adaptations.
Reviewed by Others
What do others think of The Old Guard?
- badblokebob: “Despite the poor dialogue and certain familiarities of concept, The Old Guard is more blandly acceptable than 6 Underground.”
- Brett / Graphic Policy: “…an entertaining film that doesn’t use its twist in too many ways to make the concept not seem interesting. It also adds just enough reasons as to why it doesn’t. It’s the rare actBaion film that has some moral questions underneath and themes to it that makes it a bit more than the fantastic action sequences.”
- Cinefiles / Alex Brannon: “This film’s premise is intriguing, but, despite some well-directed sequences, the execution of its narrative is clunky.”
- Critics w/o Credentials (Grade: C+): “…was decent but its lack of character empathy, development, and emotional investment kept too much distance from being able to fully enjoy the entire film. It strives to be more than the sum of its parts but can never break from beyond the tropes that were used to help the story but end up hindering it from being different.”
- Doc / EYG / Embrace Your Geekness: “I enjoyed this movie and I feel as if the film does a really strong job of adapting the comic to the screen. Part of that, I am sure, is that Greg Rucka wrote this screenplay. Neither the film or the comic dives deeply into how this happens to these people, but that was not important. There are references to their past, just enough to not load the movie.”
- Ferdosa Abdi / Screen Queens: “is a finely tuned action thriller with a stellar ensemble, great writing and directing. It can only go up from here and hopefully, Netflix takes the initiative to see what is possible with building this story out, hopefully with this same creative team.”
- Irfan Nordin / Irfan Reviews Films (8/10): “The Old Guard is occasionally restricted by genre conventions, but director Gina Prince-Bythewood brings a sophisticated vision to the superhero genre and some knockout action sequences led by Charlize Theron.”
- Kate Sanchez / But Why Tho? A Geek Community: “Now, here are some plot issues and the exposition used throughout the film is slightly heavy-handed. That said, The Old Guard shines in nearly every other aspect, including in adapting a much loved graphic novel with enough accuracy to satisfy fans yet enough difference to make it feel fresh. The film is also a great watch regardless fo your familiarity with the original graphic novel.”
- Moshfish Reviews: “Overall this was more The Losers than The Avengers, but in terms of the more “realistic” superhero comic adaptions it was definitely one of the better ones. A standout cast and hard hitting action punctuate and elevate what could have easily been a standard comic book adaption.”
- No More Workhorse: “Not as earnest as it wants to be, but not as silly as its premise suggests, in a summer lacking the usual blockbusters due to the current CoVid crisis this definitely fills a gap and clocking in at under two hours it doesn’t outstay its welcome.”
- The Not Left Handed Either Film Guide: “Part of the reason I rate this film, aside from Kiki Layne, is due to how diverse it is. As well as having a formidable woman as the great leader of these legendary fighters it also has a number of central players who are black and three of the heroes who are gay. All of this is also done as it should be, completely incidentally. None of this is about being a woman, being black or being gay, it just has people who happened to be those things. I wish this wasn’t something to be celebrated but it definitely still is and films like this move us toward a time when it won’t be. “
- TL;DR Movie Reviews & Analysis (3.5/5): “A solid action flick, with an interesting premise, that lands from start to finish.”
- Trailer Trashed: “So I am still not certain about the plot. But the characters, writing and direction are all excellent, that it will be ranked as one of my favourite Netflix films I have seen this year.”
Not Recommended (or on the fence)
- Darren / The M0vie Blog: “None of the central ideas in The Old Guard are ever truly explored or developed, because that might mean that some other angle would get a short shrift. The result is an action film that is largely functional, which isn’t entirely satisfying but is also never completely frustrating. It’s a solid and sturdy film that largely avoids a potential identity crisis by declining to commit to a single identity.”
- Franz Patrick / Franz Patrick’s Film Archive (1/4): “I felt no purpose in this, no passion, no deep thought or even a modicum of originality. It’s just junk food—not even the tasty kind but one that’s flavorless, leaving a chalky taste in the mouth.”
- Keith & The Movies (2/5): “…director Gina Prince-Bythewood can’t wrangle it all together and Rucka’s script leaves too many questions while offering characters who need more heft. So you’re left with the action which offers a smattering of ‘wow’ moments with an occasional touch of style. Sadly there aren’t enough of them to rescue the film from its more mediocre genre impression.”
- MoodyB / The Cinema Cynic (4/10): “…a disjointed narrative and lazy script that lack any focus or originality means this one has to ultimately go down as a wasted opportunity – though just about watchable, it is overlong, predictable and highly forgettable. This has to go down as yet another wannabe Netflix franchise that may finish before it has even started!”
- nathanzoebl (Grade: C): “…lacks the same transformative ability and fight choreography. It’s just thoroughly fine, at best, and I kept wondering if they were saving themselves for a big finish. Sorry to disappoint, it’s just more office hallways with limited gunplay. The energy level is lacking and the music choice throughout the film affects this as well, with the same kind of downer tracks playing again and again.”
- Peggy at the Movies (Grade: C+): “In truth, it’s yet another Netflix release that falls into the usual category; not a classic by any stretch, but definitely a passable and watchable two hours.”
- Phil The Bear’s Film Reviews: “With a clear set up for a sequel and a new set of comics to base it on perhaps The Old Guard will grow into a memorable franchise. Right now its an entertaining diversion.”
- SCOTT WILLIAM FOLEY: “It’s too long, too contrived, too cliched, too obvious, and the dialogue is too lazy.”
- Writergurlny: “That being said, the movie was merely ok. It was somewhere in between underwhelming and not a bad way to spend two hours of my movie watching time.”
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