Netflix newest release over the weekend shot to the top of their most watched list. The Old Guard stars Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne as a group of immortal mercs making heir way through time. Kiki plays Nile, a US soldier recently killed in combat, except not only did a knife o the throat not kill her, but the wound completely vanished. Theron plays Andy, the leader of the immortal merc group who must not only grab Nile before other parties, but must also keep their group’s existence a secret. Here is my The Old Guard Review.
The Old Guard Review: Haven’t We Seen This Before?
There really is not a whole lot new with TOG. Honestly, they spend so much time on Nile being captured by Andy that it felt very much like the Highlander reboot that is supposedly coming. The immortals must sweep up the newest initiate before the world finds out about them. Meanwhile they are chased by the Watchers, who instead of recording them are now hunting them down.
In the role of ‘the watchers’ is a science group led by Merrick who wants to capture the immortals and tear them apart for science. We also have the stereotypical ‘man-too-smart-for-his-own-good’ played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Copley pieced together Andy’s existence over the centuries and shows interest for curiosities sake. Of course his work leads Merrick straight to Andy and the gang.
The Old Guard Review: Cast Does Its Duty
The cast is mostly newer and unknown actors save Charlize Theron and Ejiofor. Theron does a decent job with this role. Her problem is the role itself. Andy has lived for many centuries. So long she has burned out on her role and purpose in life. When the main character is so emotionless or Vulcan-esque, they can be hard to follow unless they have a sidekick that brings the emotion and energy. Nile does not do this. Then again she really isn’t meant to as she is a trained soldier being brought into the world of the immortals.
Ejiofor also gives an adequate performance, but it lacks the punch and stand out of most of his other roles. You could plug anyone into the Copley role and lose nothing. The only real life brought to screen are from Andy’s three side kick immortals Booker, Joe and Nicky played by Mathias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari and Luca Marinelli respectively. Their roles are the only ones who bring some heart to the movie.
The Old Guard Review: Did They Copy Sixth Sense?
I remember hearing how great The Sixth Sense was. I did not see it til video. When I did finally sit down to watch it, I was bored silly for almost the entire picture…til the end. Obviously it was the ending everyone talked about and why the movie felt so good. TOG plays out very similarly.
Through most of the first two-thirds of the movie I found my self bored and doing dishes. The story felt too Highlander-ish and There was no story. Andy kept having to kill and persuade Nile to join them. I dragged on for way too long.
The story also lacked a credible bad guy to square off against. The greedy scientist bit is old. In fact I just watched Warrior Nun and it had a similar component, save they did a good job changing the role. By the way, did that creepy scientist seem a little too familiar to any one? Triple is weight, think spoiled brat with a pig tail.
The Old Guard Review: An Ending Worthy of Rememberance?
Much like The Sixth Sense, the ending kinda saves this movie. The fighting leaves nothing lacking. When the immortal Mercs clear the science building in the climax, the way they moved militarily looked very exact and believable. The action moves fast and crisp, and when Andy uncorks her millennia of fighting knowledge watch out! The choreography is bad ass.
There are also some mechanic-ings with the story that I cannot talk about without spoiling things, but it makes one sit back and do a double take. One part doesnt fit very well. The other happens so fast I need to watch it again.
The Old Guard Review: Final Thoughts
Overall this is not a bad movie by any stretch, but the story lacks in many areas. The start drags on for way too long, the bad guy and purpose of the group are weak and hidden for most of the movie, and it just felt too been there – done that.
This is worth a watch however. The ending draws people in and it sets up more movies to come. The next one just needs more focus and could use a real bad guy or threat instead of the purpose we are given for Andy’s existence. Her true purpose, while good, makes it hard to follow, story-wise. Oh wait….then again there was that last scene.