The Old Guard: when a hero lives forever

The Netflix film directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and starring Charlize Theron explores the lives of four immortal warriors trying to do some good. While bringing some freshness into the genre of superheroes, The Old Guard fails to ultimately deliver a completely innovative look on it by falling into some convention and cliches.

(SPOILER-FREE REVIEW)

Eternal life could sound exciting at first, but the reality is harsher that what it could seem. The Old Guard, based on a graphic novel series written by Greg Rucka (who also wrote the screenplay for the film), explores the theme of immortality through the lives of four immortal warriors that lived through centuries of human history. The drama of outliving all of your dearest ones is well treated in the film and it is indeed the main theme throughout all its length. The main character, Andromache The Scythian or, more simply Andy, is greatly supported by a good Charlize Theron that perfectly suits the badass figure that Andy is meant to be, but overall all the cast does a good job fitting into the story as it is.

While Andy’s character is quite well analysed during the film and we get a chance to know more about her and her millenary past, the same can’t really be said for the other main characters, with little or no story background at all: this is quite a shame as it would have been interesting to find out more about them, too. The good exposition of the emotional side of the characters and their internal misery is not often well accompanied by the screenplay, which sometimes falls into cliches (like the case of the character played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) and some decisions that are not always supported by valid motivations or explanations. The story is quite simple itself, too, but the good directing is the key to a painless and enjoyable viewing of the film.

The action sequences are well-structured and comprehensible, even if the soundtrack accompanying them is quite weird: a selection of electro-pop and dance tracks that often feel out of place and wacky, and that will probably feel already dated in less than a year.

Overall, the film is quite enjoyable and is highly suggested if you are looking for a couple of hours of good entertainment, with a juicy side of emotional topics that it is definitely the most powerful weapon of the film: in a summer where there are no Marvel movies it is good to have something to enjoy while waiting for the next big superhero movie.

6.5/10

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