The Old Guard (2020)

Posted in Reviews by - July 11, 2020
The Old Guard (2020)

In this contemporary-set action fantasy based on a graphic novel by the scriptwriter, Greg Rucka, Charlize Theron plays the world-weary leader of a group of immortal warriors who have seemingly been involved in every major injustice throughout human history; from the Crusades to the Salam witch trials to the Napoleonic Wars to terrorism in the Middle East. Despite such strong lineage, their centuries-old secretive operations have now been sprung by a CIA turncoat (Chiwetel Ejiofor) working in cahoots with an obnoxious tech millionaire-turned-mad-scientist who wants to use their regenerative powers to make a load of money. The film never quite gets into gear, clunking between a melancholic study on the meaning of death, relationships and regret, and a silly supernatural action film. Theron adds gravitas; she’s the kind of classy actor who can say a line like, “I lead a group of immortals; an army, I guess,” without laughing. Her resigned, haunted portrayal as the central protagonist Andy lands squarely in her wheelhouse when it comes to tough, mysterious, sexually ambiguous action heroes (see Atomic Blonde and Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road). The violence is clean, tactical, and filmed in the John Wick style; close-quarters gun fu, grappling and takedowns arranged by Marvel fight coordinator and stunt veteran, Daniel Hernandez. Despite its mad premise, what the film lacks is a sense of fun. If Netflix fully commits to the more bonkers aspects of its superhero set-up, there may be life in the franchise yet. As it stands, it is an easy way to pass a couple of hours.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

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