The Old Guard

Based on a comic book series, ‘The Old Guard’ attempts to add something new to the genre. That’s no mean feat given the plethora of similar films already available. Most follow the same pattern with action and expensive CGI usually their saving graces. ‘The Old Guard’ benefits from a talented ensemble successfully pushing against the increasingly stale tropes in which the genre finds itself.

Andy (Charlize Theron) is an ageless warrior in charge of a group of immortal mercenaries. Their inability to die have seen them secretly protect earth for centuries. During a mission their abilities are exposed and trouble swiftly ensues. Along with new recruit Nile (Kiki Layne), the group must defend themselves against a hoard of evildoers determined to obtain the group’s special gift for their own nefarious needs.

Gina Prince-Bythewood directs ‘The Old Guard’ with confidence. Whilst the story is more low-key than most in its field, Prince-Bythewood fully embraces the central concept. The idea of world-weary immortals dealing with centuries of losing loved ones and seeing the best and worst of humanity is intriguing. The script successfully explores these ideas adding a layer of emotional intensity.

Led by Theron, the performances back up the solid story. They more than handle the action scenes which are excitingly staged with a feeling of genuine danger. Although slow moments occasionally creep in, the depth of characterisation and steady direction keep things moving.

Watching a comic book film shouldn’t always be an empty headed exercise. ‘The Old Guard’ has enough thoughtful interest amidst its explosive incidents. With a possibility of a sequel on the horizon, it will be interesting seeing how the series develops with the enthusiasm to see what happens next high.

Rating out of 10: 7


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