Charlize Theron leads a team of immortal mercenaries in Netflix’ latest superhero action film, The Old Guard. Based on the critically acclaimed comic book of the same name, the movie is available on the streaming platform since July 10, 2020.
Should you skip it or watch it? Read on this review to find out.
Another Comic Book Adaptation, Hmm?
I was so hyped when I first saw the trailer for The Old Guard last May of this year. The cleanly choreographed action scenes and the premise of having immortal warriors/mercenaries roaming the Earth for centuries genuinely piqued my interest. (Also, Charlize Theron is a personal favorite, so…)
Then I found out that it was actually a comic book adaptation and that kind of worried me. And for good reason, Hollywood has not been very successful when it comes to movie adaptations of comic books with a few exceptions, of course.
Thankfully, for The Old Guard, that is not the case and that is in the most part due to the production’s decision of keeping The Old Guard comic book author Greg Rucka in charge of the screenplay. I think that it’s always a great idea to keep the original author involved any time you turn a written or illustrated material into a movie. No author would want to see their brain-child getting damaged, after all.
So as far as comic book adaptation goes, The Old Guard is definitely one of the better ones.
Great Characters, Beautiful Story-telling
Director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees) did an amazing job. Story-telling is great and perfectly captures the soul of the movie. The film feels like a river flowing ever so gently, it takes you from one scene to another in with a lot of suave. Not taking anything away from Prince-Bythewood but I would think this is also one of the many advantages of having the original author Greg Rucka by your side throughout the filming process.
Rucka created such deep characters, investing heavily on the immortal warriors led by Andy (Charlize Theron, Monster) along with Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts, Red Sparrow), soulmates Joe (Marwan Kenzari, Aladdin 2019) and Nicky (Luca Marinelli) along with Copley (Chewitel Ejiofor, The Lion King 2019) and Nile (KiKi Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk). The cast all gave life and justice to their characters thanks to the vision of director Prince-Bythewood. Everything, from the direction to the writing to the cast down to every minute detail, just works.
Spotless Action Scenes
As I said above, this is what initially stood out for me when I saw the trailer. And, sure enough, the trailer lives up to my expectations. Action scenes are cleanly choreographed and complete with gun fights, sword fights, hand to hand combat, you name it. It’s all in here. It may not be as intense as the action scenes I saw on the action-heavy Netflix film Extraction but the execution of the stunts and action are spotless. It should have been messy with immortality in play but it’s quite the opposite.
To the stunt and visual effects teams, you have my praises.
Skip or Watch?
Let’s just catch to the case. The Old Guard is an absolute must-watch. It is one of the best film adaptations of comic books out there and is essentially a master-class on how NOT to destroy your source material.
The cast and characters are as deep as they are awesome. The action scenes are fresh and spotless. The story-telling is smooth.
I enjoyed watching this and I certainly wouldn’t mind if this becomes a franchise. In fact, let this writing stand as a petition for a sequel.
Here is salida|etc’s rating for The Old Guard.
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