Noob Reviews: The Old Guard
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is The Old Guard?
Throughout the ages. Working behind the scenes. There have been warriors from all walks of life that when struck down, have failed to die. Instead, with wounds healed, and life restored, they have kept the fight going. Whether it has been assisting in hostage rescues, overthrowing regimes or other covert actions - a select tight-knit group of immortals have banded together over the ages to form a mercenary team like no other. Consisting of four members and led by Andy, they take the missions no others can. They accomplish what others can not. But when they break their own rule of never working from the same person twice, their secret for what makes them so successful is about to be discovered.
On their latest mission, put to them by a CIA agent named James Copley, the team are hired and sent into South Sudan to rescue a group of kidnapped children taken by a local warlord. However, all is not as it seems. And the team soon learn that the children were mere bait to lure them into an ambush so that agent Copley may provide evidence to his associate, immortals do exist.
Unfortunately for both agent Copley and Steven Merrick (head of the Merrick pharmaceutical empire), the team survive and seek not only retribution but to wipe their very existence from any records their attackers may have on them. As an exciting plot twist, at the very same time, deep within the Afghanistan desert a US Marine by the name of Nile Freeman is severely wounded in the line of duty by an enemy combatant her team are hunting. Only to ‘survive’ the attack and return to full health without a scratch the next day. Leading Andy to break away from her team to go recruit Nile - before Merrick and Copley can find her.
Now you may be asking, why does Merrick want to get his hands on the immortals? And the answer to that is simply power - the ability to create his own immortals. And by extension, charge for the luxury for as much profit as possible.
The only problem for Andy and her mercenary group is before they can face Merrick and Copley head-on, there is a snake in their midsts. One who would put their own gain and goals before the team and is willing to betray all they have ever known or called family. Will they survive the betrayal? Will Merrick get his hands on the immortals? I guess you will have to watch to find out!
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- Official trailer linked from Netflix’s YouTube channel -
You can also find the listing on Netflix here.
When did it come out?
The Old Guard was released in July 2020.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
Charlize Theron (Andromache of Scythia aka Andy)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (James Copley)
Harry Melling (Steven Merrick)
KiKi Layne (Nile Freeman)
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of The Old Guard?
Released only last week, The Old Guard is one of the most recent additions to Netflix’s original IPs, and they are continuing on strong. From the first time, I saw the announcement trailer I have been really excited to see The Old Guard, and I was not disappointed.
At first, I thought the story was something along the lines of Highlander, but it turned out to have its own unique aspects, twists and depths. Enough so to make it stand out. I loved the fact that although the ‘immortals’ have lived for hundreds if not thousands of years, without warning and without knowing why out of the blue, their powers can just leave them one day. And we are given several examples of this happening in the past. And (spoilers) when it happens to Andy partway through the film, I genuinely felt the rush of fear and panic you could see her try to process while at the same time not showing weakness to the team.
When it comes to casting, the cast was absolutely fantastic, Harry Melling as Merrick made a great nerdy Blofeld who was putting resources and his own private military forces into the field but at the same time when confronted face to face crumbled. Chiwetel Ejiofor as agent Copley played a smooth, level headed agent that when you discover the reasons for his own interest in the immortals hit me in the feels. And Charlize Theron as Andromache could seriously give Kate Beckinsale’s Selene (from Underworld) a run for her money. Think of Kate as the James Bond of spies whereas Charlize would be the XXX (Vin Diesel/Ice Cube) of the spy world, the down and dirty type of spy. Andy (aka Andromache) also has a great story and character development arc where throughout the centuries she has performed great deeds that have had a ripple effect saving millions of lives. Unfortunately, she has been unable to see what her deeds have done as sometimes the benefits of her actions do not occur until several generations down the family tree of the person she helped. Seeing her reactions when all of this is laid out before her towards the end of the film. Was a really heartwarming moment.
With regards to the film beyond actors and story, there is so much to enjoy, one thing I would like to give the nod to is the music. Throughout the film, whether it be action sequences, special moments or just background - the soundtrack to The Old Guard really fits in well with the moment and serves beautifully with the atmosphere. The action sequences are phenomenal and the fight scenes, both melee and gunfights are excellent. I loved how smooth the transition was between melee and gunfight when the mercenaries collided and there is a particular scene where Andy engages a large group of Merrick’s private army in a church that instantly made me think of the fight scenes from the film Equilibrium.
Overall it is hard to put forward just how fantastic this film is without some quite significant spoilers. Still, it is yet another Netflix original I can not recommend highly enough. I am also very excited at how the film ended as I was thinking to myself ‘we can really do with another one of these films.’ And the first Old Guard has finished perfectly, and given enough new content in just a few moments of screen time, to base a second film off of.
What rating would you give The Old Guard?
I would give The Old Guard a rating of 5 out of 5 bananas.
The Old Guard is well balanced with smooth transitions, a fantastic soundtrack and excellent cinematography that all build a sense of immersion that sucks you into the film from start to finish. Highly recommended.
Thank you very much for checking out the review, and if you are interested in The Old Guard and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion, you can check it out here.