The Old Guard (2020) Film Review: (Prospective) Netflix’s New Franchise


Like Black Panther (2018), sculpted by Ryan Coogler, Gina Prince-Bythewood introduces the film The Old Guard in her own style. The “Love and Basketball” director takes the world of Netflix’s newest superhero even more emotionally. Plus a slick story interspersed with suspenseful action scenes could be the start of Netflix’s newest franchise.

The film The Old Guard tells the story of a group of mercenaries who often receive assignments to kill. The difference is, they are part of the chosen people who cannot die. The origin of this power is still not explained. But they could feel each other in the dream.

This group is led by Andy (Charlize Theron), an immortal human who has lived for more than hundreds of years. Andy and his group find a new immortal, Nile (Kiki Layne) and invite him into their group. At the same time, there is an organization that knows Andy’s abilities and wants to capture him for experimentation.

Based on a superhero graphic novel
Even when the premise offered sounds familiar, Prince-Bythewood as the director manages to bring out the energy of the action genre with a diverse cast, a solid story filled with slick battle scenes. Makes it feel like a superhero action movie, but more realistic.

Filling the void of mid-year action films, this film is quite suspenseful with captivating action. Although it has not been able to beat the adrenaline of another Netflix film, Extraction (2020). Plot and story development feels dynamic. Where this film also includes touching moments between the action scenes.

Charlize Theron is indeed a master for action films. Starting from Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Atomic Blonde (2017), as well as the Fast & Furious franchise, making her one of the top action actresses not only for drama films but also for action in Hollywood today. Theron presents Andy’s character who is more emotional but still firm as a leader.

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The other actors are no less interesting. Diversity or diversity echoed by Hollywood can be felt in this film: women in action films to various minority characters. The addition of Nile offers a more dynamic plot. Although there is still much that can still be extracted from the character.

Ready to be a new franchise
Rucka, who wrote the Wonder Woman series, also served as a scriptwriter. Makes the film version feel like a more cohesive edition of the comic mythology series.

Different from the standard of other action films, there are many new things that are presented in this film. Such as female leaders and mentors, as well as various character identities in the story. Meanwhile, the story continues to move forward, interspersed with battles to prevent the audience from getting bored with the narrative.

It’s hard to adapt an extensive comic series into a 2-hour film. Many scenes are cut and the story development is too fast. But Prince-Bythewood and cinematographers Barry Ackroyd and Tami Reiker deliver action scenes in a straightforward but not confusing way.

At the end, there are still many things that have not been explained along with a cliffhanger as a bridge for the second film. Like other Netflix productions, The Old Guard seems set to become Netflix’s newest superhero franchise. There is an interesting twist seen in the post credit scene.

The Old Guard film can be one of the choices of action films that launch in the summer of this year. The film about an old mercenary army comes with various refreshments in terms of stories, characters, and themes that show the human side of those who live eternally: immortality is often torture.