[Film Review] The Old Guard

Notice: No Spoilers.

Charlize Theron as Andromache (“Andy”) of Scythia (The Old Guard, Netflix, 2020).

The Old Myths & Old Gods

Legends and myths all come to play in this latest comic-book-to-film entry into the Netflix catalog. The latest film by director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Cloak & Dagger and Love & Basketball) brings her together with Academy-Award-winner Charlize Theron (Monster) for the latest comic book film, The Old Guard, based off the Image Comic by writer Greg Rucka.

The Old Guard Issue #1. Published February 22, 2017.

The comic book debuted back in February 2017 and was a limited series of five issues, which has gone on to make two volumes on trade paperback for Image Comics. The film uses the source material as a strong foundation for the film; however, it misses the mark on strong connective storytelling for the film medium. As the film has a strong lead, Charlize Theron, it does solely rely on her presence and mysterious character, “Andy” —Andromache of Scythia — to really drive the story forward.  

Charlize Theron and crew members on set of The Old Guard (Netflix 2020).

The action of the film really brings you into this world and allows you to wonder how far they can push it. Although the abilities of their immortal powers are not really overtaking the film, with a heavy amount of VFX, viewers are provided a glimpse of what the character is experiencing without having to consistently throw it in every scene.

L to R: Marwan Kenzari (Joe) , Matthias Schoenaerts (Booker), Charlize Theron (“Andy”), Luca Marinelli (Nicky) & KiKi Layne (Nile)

Music Video or Movie?

The SFX of the film draw you right into the action, and the action sequences seem to be the real set piece of this film. However, the movie is pushed more as a music video with overused commercial music than actual driven scores to move the narrative forward. The budget of the film was only $70 million, and that could possibly be one of the elements that they decided to bypass.

Conclusion

Overall, the film delivers a very open-ended world with no real conclusion, where the primary character has no resolution at the end but has opened a door for, possibly, more sequels. The real antagonist of the film was overshadowed by building up the world rather than telling a strong narrative. In the end, the film delivers an interesting introduction on Netflix, which is a perfect opportunity to grab new subscribers to the platform during the COVID-19 pandemic and expand the comic book film genre on more streaming services.  

You can also about a potential sequel here.

The Old Guard Official Trailer (Netflix, 2020).

2.4 out of 5

  • Literary = 2
  • Directing = 3
  • Visual = 3
  • Editing = 3
  • Sound = 1

Film Review Rubric

The film is scored on a five-point rubric. The film score is a cumulative score out of five film aesthetic elements, with a total score of 25. It is then divided by the five elements to give a final score out of five.

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