Hello, there! I’m dos Santos, and this is Ulven Reviews, with Movies and series from all over the world and all eras. Today’s review is of The Old Guard.
The Old Guard is a Superhero movie directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and tells the story of a group of nearly immortal warriors discovering a new member for the group after centuries.
Andy (played by Charlize Theron), leads a group of highly-skilled warriors who virtually can’t die and heal fast. The remaining members are Booker (played by Matthias Schoenaerts), Joe (played by Marwan Kenzari), and Nicky (played by Luca Marinelli).
The four, are hired by former CIA agent, Copley (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) to rescue a group of girls from South Sudan. However, getting there, they’re ambushed and massively shot by a pack of soldiers. Quickly, they heal their wounds and obliterate the soldiers, all that while being filmed.
Copley is working for Merrick (played by Harry Melling A.K.A. Harry Potter’s cousin, Dudley), who wants to capture the immortals. His plan is to use them to create a medicine for profit.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, Nile Freeman (played by KiKi Layne), an American soldier is kinda killed during a mission, but then, resurrects and heals all of her wounds. While unconscious, she has visions about the immortals, and they do about her.
Andy then goes after Nile, to help her make sense of the weird situation and join the group in their efforts to survive without being caught by a greedy company.
As Wikipedia says, The Old Guard is a superhero movie. It’s based on a comic book by Greg Rucka, also responsible for the screenplay of the film version of the story.
I can’t define a superhero movie with precision, but The Old Guard seems to fit the genre. It’s based on comics, has altruistic super-powerful individuals using their skills to protect or improve the world.
Another usual trait of a superhero movie is the generic plot. And The Old Guard fits this description as well, but it’s not bad. It seems this movie is the first of a possible franchise, so it has the function of setting things up, so the generic-superhero-movie-plot is acceptable.
In addition to the generic yet acceptable plot, the movie has few flaws, but many redeeming qualities to make us entertained throughout the movie’s duration. Among these positive aspects, the characters and especially the acting.
The movie is fast-paced but never reaching an annoying point, or making me lose interest. It’s packed with outstanding action sequences, nearly reaching perfection, wasn’t for something that I’ll talk about later.
I know the right-wing snowflakes get really offended when we talk about diversity and representativity, still, The Old Guard has a lot of it. A female duo in the leading, a gay superhuman couple, people of color with prominent roles, you get the picture.
While we’re talking about representativeness, there’s a relevant individual in the immortal’s past, shown in flashbacks, Quynh (played by the Vietnamese actress Van Veronica Ngo). The backstory involving this character is very compelling and something to look forward to in the next installments.
Some characters are a little generic, Merrick, for example is the typical greedy, immoral man doing whatever it takes to become even more wealthy than he already is. And Doctor Meta Kozak (played by Anamaria Marinca) is the typical person of science rationalizing their despicable acts.
However, the other characters have more personality, even the ones with less protagonism, like the three male immortals and Copley. Andy is probably the one receiving more attention in general, particularly because of Charlize Theron’s performance, but my favorite character was Nile.
Nile, as the new girl, has a function to the story: She is the way to explain shit to us. However, she surpasses the task and becomes a very compelling character. She proves to be a real superhero. Smart, powerful, and with a moral compass.
KiKi Layne’s performance is great, what I wasn’t exactly expecting because I didn’t know her before. She’s best known for Barry Jenkins’ 2018’s movie If Beale Street Could Talk, which I still didn’t watch.
All the other performances seemed good enough for me. Chiwetel Ejiofor is satisfactory as well, but he didn’t have much screen time or a role that demanded him too much.
The star of the movie really is Charlize Theron as Andy. Even though Nile is my favorite, Andy was also very compelling and benefited by Charlize’s excellent performance, displaying a lot of emotion even in a tough character.
Most of the technical aspects are okay, with a typical Hollywoodian professional quality, yet nothing too remarkable that worth mentioning, except for the costumes of the ancient flashbacks with Andy and Quynh. These costumes were exceptional.
There were only a few things that stood out to me negatively. The opening scene is absolutely unnecessary, and it would not change anything if it was left out. Also, some of the special effects seemed off to me, especially in this opening scene.
However, the worst thing of all is the score, and that’s what bothered me during some action scenes. The songs are the generic and annoying trendy type of pop, but they also disturb the mood of the film. A moment that could use silence or at least some tense music has over the top pop, it’s awful.
The question here is not my taste in music, it’s how the songs chosen, disrupt the mood of the scenes. In many other reviews, I talk about how the score enhanced the intended feeling, The Old Guard’s music has the exact opposite effect.
The Old Guard is a positive, slightly above average Superhero Movie. The technical qualities are satisfactory and have only a few flaws. The best thing about it is the human factor, full of diversity, with compelling characters and performances. With all of that said, I’ll give The Old Guard 7 Moons.
Thanks a lot. See you in the next video.