The Old Guard is a mid-budget film which should have had a better execution and more money spent on it in order for it to achieve the kind of success that leaves one in a trail of happiness and satisfaction. But the Netflix production didn’t live up to its own expectations. The Old Guard was released on July 10, 2020 on Netflix and was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.
The movie is based on a comic and everyone in Hollywood is now running behind various comics just in order to come up with something that makes their adaptation a legacy. But there is no singular formula for making a good film and The Old Guard was a frail attempt at yet another superhero universe that cannot compete with Marvel or DC.
The Old Guard revolves around a group of immortal mercenaries who go around revenge missions and helping people in need but their immortality is not permanent and they just stop regenerating suddenly without any warning. This absurd premise develops into a more complicated storyline that might not be able to hold everyone’s attention promptly.
Cast and Characters
- Charlize Theron as Andy/Andromache of Scythia, the oldest immortal and leader of the group
- KiKi Layne as Nile Freeman, a U.S. Marine who serves in Afghanistan
- Matthias Schoenaerts as Booker/Sebastian Le Livre, once a French soldier who fought under Napoleon
- Marwan Kenzari as Joe/Yusuf Al-Kaysani, a Saracen who fought against the Crusaders, and Nicky’s partner
- Luca Marinelli as Nicky/Nicolò di Genova, a Genovese knight who fought in the Crusades, and Joe’s partner
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as James Copley, a former CIA officer grieving the loss of his wife from ALS
- Harry Melling as Steven Merrick, the wealthy CEO of a pharmaceutical empire
- Vân Veronica Ngô as Quỳnh, an immortal ally from Andy’s past
- Anamaria Marinca as Dr. Meta Kozak
- Joey Ansah as Keane
- Micheal Ward as Lykon, the only known immortal to have died
- Natacha Karam as Dizzy, Nile’s friend who serves with her in Afghanistan
- Mette Towley as Jordan, another friend of Nile who also serves in Afghanistan
What Is the Storyline and the Plot of the Old Guard?
Andromache “Andy” of Scythia, Booker, Joe, and Nicky are centuries-old warriors who seem to have the powers of regeneration without any proper explanation which forms a certain loophole and makes the story feel a little chaotic.
These people end up breaking their rule of not working for the same person twice which leads to them getting tricked by a CIA operative James Copley, who kills them and then records their regeneration under false pretenses of a fake mission that never did exist.
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A new immortal is then discovered and she is a U.S. Marine named Nile Freeman. She shares a disturbing dream with the other immortals and this makes the team aware of her existence but she is not forced by the team to join their mission because she is confused and must figure out her own path instead of being forced into this life.
Copley shows the video of the ambush to pharmaceutical executive Steven Merrick, who sends operatives to capture the team. After a lot of back and forth, they are captured by Merrick after being betrayed by their own teammate Booker. However, Nile remains separated from the group and isn’t caught.
Copley later realizes that Merrick is gonna put these people through torture for the sake of his experiment and has a change of heart. He and Nile save the entire team while Booker is banished and is not allowed to contact the team for the next 100 years. He is sentenced to loneliness but the movie ends on a note where it’s obvious that there is going to be a sequel and hence, the fans must not lose hope.
In spite of the dull story and a rather dull title, The Old Guard does show that it has been made by a female director who understands consent as Nile is not pushed into becoming a part of the team and is given the chance to figure out how she wants to handle this. The movie’s absurd premise makes it possible for the movie to go in various directions without the fear of being labeled as chaotic.
This is the advantage of creating movies that have some sort of unexplainable superpower involved. Anything that cannot be explained has its own perks of traversing through the roots of versatility. The silliness of the movie helps it in a lot of plays as the brilliant cast navigates through their characters smoothly.
There is a major point that the movie covers as it shows an emotional frustration that the immortals go through as everyone they know eventually dies while they live on and keep saving the world again. They might be physically not getting affected by this but the cycle does get emotionally exhausting and the movie skillfully addresses that and that is what makes it emotionally sensitive and driven.
Director Gina Prince-Bythewood brings a nuanced version to an otherwise robust and gaudy superhero genre along with brilliant action sequences led by Charlize Theron. The movie receives mostly favorable reviews from critics and has an average performance.The film’s portrayal of LGBT characters within the superhero genre was praised and the acknowledgement of queer romance is appreciated by the critics.
Although not too successful, The Old Guard did perform well and the talk of a sequel is something that might be on the cards as the protagonist, Charlize Theron was heard saying that since the makers and the cast of the movie are interested in a sequel, it might actually happen. Charlize played the role of Andy in the film which displayed a multitude of emotional changes and dilemmas the character goes through. One can say that her character was motherly as well as tough along with fighting her own battles in order to deal with the whole immortality angle.