• Kelly M. Hudson

The Old Guard Fights!


Andy (Charlize Theron) leads her veteran team of warriors into a dangerous situation where they’re trying to rescue some kidnapped kids in a Middle Eastern country when they find out it’s a trap. They get gunned down and killed but the funny thing is, death doesn’t stick. Turns out Andy and her little elite group are kinda immortals, and they come back to life after dying, over and over again, some of them living for centuries. They’ve dedicated their lives to doing good things around the globe, and most of those good things happen to involve guns and shooting bad guys. Now they’ve been found out, and even in the midst of discovering a new “immortal” like themselves, they have to flee and fight to avoid capture. It seems a big, mega-rich corporation has set its sights on the group, hoping to capture and study them, learn from their genetics, and create a better world for all of humanity. Andy and her group aren’t particularly down with being lab rats, so the fight is on.

You ever see a movie that’s pretty danged good, that you like quite a bit, but just a couple of things keep happening that make you grit your teeth? This one was like that for me. I thought the action was good, if a bit generic (I kept getting Underworld vibes), the acting was great, the story itself was interesting and compelling, but the damned soundtrack really almost ruined it for me. Mostly it was just generic but there were moments when battles would take place and this swelling emo hip-hop pop would rise and I just went “ugh.” It was so obvious, the lyrics reflecting the “emotional” moment of the film, but not in a cool and poetic way, more like “this is a shortcut to create emotion rather than actually build that emotion authentically through the actions of the characters.” It doesn’t ruin the movie, and probably no one else will even notice it. But I sure did. In any case, what we have here is a cool exploitation flick that Hollywood took and bloated up a bit in an effort to create a new franchise. They mostly succeed, because I would definitely watch more movies with these characters. The best part of the film, for me, was the two lovers/immortals and their playful bantering and their powerful love for one another. We get only flashes of this, glimpses because they’re not the main characters, but they really steal the show. Oh, and the villain is true dreck, the kind of bad guy you can’t wait to see die and die horribly.

The Old Guard is a good flick worthy of a watch but I’m not sure how much staying power it has. It’s better than your standard, empty Hollywood action flick, where you watch it once and then promptly forget about it. But I also don’t know if this is rewatchable, either. It falls somewhere between. If you like action and you like Charlize Theron and you like odd, not mainstream stories, then you’ll be quite happy with this. Just don’t expect it to blow your doors off.

★★✮☆


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