Netflix’s The Old Guard Review: A Soap Opera Level B Action Movie

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Movie title: The Old Guard

Movie description: The Old Guard tells a story about a team of immortal mercenaries, led by Andy (Charlize Theron), who've been living for centuries helping people. After they are exposed and hunted, they must fight against an unknown enemy and keep their identity a secret. At the same time, they'll discover an unexpected new member.

Genre: Action

1.5

Summary

The Old Guard is a silly and overlong B action movie that takes itself way too seriously with soap opera level material.

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights)

Cast: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling

Genre: Action

Year: 2020

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The Old Guard, a new action movie from Netflix, is an adaptation of a comic book of the same name written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Leandro Fernandez. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Old Guard tells a story about a team of immortal mercenaries, led by Andy (Charlize Theron), who’ve been living for centuries helping people. After they are exposed and hunted, they must fight against an unknown enemy and keep their identity a secret. At the same time, they’ll discover an unexpected new member.

To be honest the premise of this one sounded really dumb to me and the trailer looked pretty bad. But due to the fact that Extraction, a previous action movie from Netflix, was a pleasant surprise and that The Old Guard received positive reviews, I decided to give it a chance. What a mistake. The Old Guard is an overlong PC B action movie that takes itself way too seriously with soap opera level material.

That’s the biggest problem of the movie. They approached this material too seriously like it’s some very deep and touching drama about the meaning of life. It’s not. The premise is silly, the script is not especially good and it’s filled with many eye-rolling lines, dialogues are mostly bad, and characters are actually not well written or interesting. As I said, it’s actually almost a soap opera level bad. Unfortunately, The Old Guard is full of these dramatic scenes that lack any genuine drama or moments that were supposed to be emotional but they are not. Everyone is so serious and the movie lacks any attempts at humor that would actually help this type of material. One more really bad thing in this movie is the soundtrack featuring some cheap electronica and teen trendy pop songs that feel out of place. Simply, it’s trash.

The Old Guard was praised by some for the action sequences. I don’t know did any of the reviewers actually watched any other action movie in their lives. Yes, the action sequences are mostly solid and better than in your average action movie, but it’s a far cry from the best entries in the genre. The filmmakers were clearly influenced by John Wick or Extraction, and the action here is an obvious copy of some better movies. If you want outstanding or insane action sequences go watch John Wick, Mad Max: Fury Road or Extraction or even better some of the Asian movies like The Raid, The Raid 2, The Night Comes for Us, or Ong Bak. Or any of the action classics in the last 30 years. You’ll have a better time than watching The Old Guard.

Also, the movie drags for too long – there were scenes that added to nothing and I was just waiting for them to finish. One more big problem I have with The Old Guard is that it feels like a setup for some better and bigger adventures. This is even more evident by the end of the movie.

As I said,  The Old Guard is an overlong action movie that takes itself way too seriously with soap opera level material. There are a couple of decent action sequences and moments, and Theron is solid in the main role but that is not enough as almost everything else in this movie is bad. Even the villains are not memorable or interesting.

Just skip it.

 

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