Cut them with bullets, and they are in place and at the enemy’s throat a few moments later. Grenade direct hits take a little longer. This opens up the possibility of a lot of exhausted explosions and tours, but in this regard, director Gina Prince-Bythewood and Greg Rucka (who wrote “Stumptown”), who wrote the screenplay and the series of graphic novels on which the film is based, choose precise combat choreography as opposed to blockbuster blockbuster augmented by CGI.
Restraint defines and elevates “The Old Guard” into something more than a typical summer superhero film. If a defining characteristic of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or DC Comics films is the senseless escape or the thrill of fantasy, “The Old Guard” consciously veers the other way by planting its boots on the ground of reality. This insistence on remaining attached to the reality of the human being and of this world makes Andromache the Scythian of Charlize Theron – Andy, to his companions – one of the most refreshing figures of a genre that feels more more saturated.
Andy has lived for thousands of years and, as one of his companions notes, has forgotten more ways to kill than most armies have ever learned. Despite her character dating back to Antiquity, Theron determinedly describes Andy as a woman at that time, devoted to her family of circumstances and, at the start of the film, more determined to keep them safe than exposure to risk through risky missions, no Regardless of the nobility of the cause or the reliability of the source.
By his side, Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts), picked up at the time of the Napoleonic wars, and Joe (Marwan Kenzari) and Nicky (Luca Marinelli), a couple who met and fell in love after killing themselves during the crusades. The quartet is content to keep their ranks tight until they discover the rise of another immortal, a young American Marine named Nile (KiKi Layne) on deployment in Afghanistan.
Wherever higher beings exist, there must be people who drive them away. Here, the opponent is the CEO of a pharmaceutical company named Merrick, which British actor Harry Melling serves with a large amount of Martin Shkreli oil.
Although he and his death squad are problematic, Prince Bythewood and Rucka choose to pay more attention to the bond that Andy and his brothers and sisters in arms share, particularly after they have brought the Nile in the lap.
Prince Bythewood isn’t just making history here by becoming the first black woman to make a big budget superhero film, by the way. It changes the paradigm of what such films can be and how their heroes can manifest. As Andy, Theron wears strength and athleticism, an air of cynicism and weariness driven by heart and purpose. The secondary of these senses leads her and her team to trust a mission entrusted to them by a former member of the CIA, Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who is going predictably.
The plot of “The Old Guard” is not so original, but by drawing our attention to who these characters are rather than relying on the impressive movements they can achieve, the film chooses to be rich in resonance emotional as opposed to lousy with jokes and explosions.
And that marks history not by the seemingly superhuman power of its heroes, but by the recognition of the limits of what they can do. It is not just their lack of numbers that dogs them, but the time and nature of life. Theron plays Andy with armored exhaustion, someone for whom living through the centuries is more like a pain than a gift. Against this, Nile, whom Layne transmits with a sustained intensity that emanates from his physique and his dialogue, is a renewed boost.
A more disturbing fear for Nile as she struggles with her new immortality cloak is the truth that she will outlive her family and friends, all that is familiar and loved to her. Even so, his new family also reminds him that in the same way that they have no idea why and how of their sudden inability to die, they also receive no indication as to when this power will disappear.
Everyone in the main cast is well matched, and the romantic bond between Nicky and Joe is particularly dynamic in the face of so many doubts, retaining its poignant character even when the bullets fly. But the boredom that hangs over these heroes never slows action. Instead, it highlights the coolness of watching an apparently powerful protagonist contemplate what it really means to have power and the best way to use it, inviting the audience to reflect on how even a handful of extraordinary people, almost immortal, can have an effect on a world. increasingly torn apart by conflict.
An inability to overcome time seems right at this moment, in a way, or at least as relevant as the recognition of the tale that the world is so lost and humanity so determined to its destruction that even warriors who can live forever can only get a fair drop of clarity. in a morally polluted ocean.
And it may very well be that “The Old Guard” will find a way to explore this more fully in future installments. The film ends with another classic comic book movement, abandoning a post-exciting end-of-card scene that suggests where the story can go, if it receives the grace to continue. Unlike many other movies that choose to be so daring, chances are you really want to.
“The Old Guard” is currently streaming on Netflix.