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THE OLD GUARD - CHARLIZE THERON as ANDY in THE OLD GUARD. Cr. AMY SPINKS/NETFLIX © 2020

Movie Reviews

‘The Old Guard’ review: Some great action sequences and lots of talking

Why watch a movie when it can just tell you what is going on?

Charlize Theron has long since proven she is a great actress. Along the way, she has also shown her range as an action movie star. It is a winning combination that makes any movie she is in must see viewing. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, The Old Guard stars Theron as a woman named Andy. She leads a group of mercenaries who have fantastic healing abilities and are seemingly immortal. When someone learns their secret they must fight to protect their lives as they know them.

The premise may be silly, but it is a fun one for an action movie. Instead of just one bad ass warrior, The Old Guard gives the audience four. On top of that, they can withstand it any kind of punishment. Both aspects are seen early in the film when Andy’s army infiltrates a base that ends up being a trap. This set up also lends itself to some awesome action sequences.

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Make no mistake about it, The Old Guard is filled with fantastic fight scenes. Guns, swords, and knives are just some of the weapons used. The group also have some unique melee weapons, but they are sparingly used. What the movie lacks in creativity, it makes up for in choreography. Scenes are like a deadly dance that will keep the audience engrossed.

It is unfortunate the same cannot be said about the plot. The main problem is the amount of exposition. The combat will constantly impress, but these moments are few and far between. At a runtime of over two hours it seems like The Old Guard is explaining every single thing that happens. The audience is not so much watching a movie as they are being lectured about one.

Ironically, despite the amount of talking, little is actually explained. There are many moments where a big event will happen in one scene and essentially be waved away in the next. For example, a major trait of one character is their hatred of killing. By the end of the movie, they are expertly nailing fatal headshots with no remorse. There is no character development or breaking point. It just happens.

The soundtrack also does not really fit The Old Guard. Modern dance and hip hop may be suited for many action movies, but it never seems to work here. More often than not anyone watching will comment on the music. It usually seems forced in. A part of this may be the decision to use songs at the oddest time such as an uneventful elevator ride.

'The Old Guard' review: Some great action sequences and lots of talking

THE OLD GUARD (2020) L-R: Kiki Layne (“Nile”), Charlize Theron (“AndyÓ). Photo Credit: AIMEE SPINKS/NETFLIX ©2020

Much of this may be forgiven in the film’s climax. It is an action filled battle that takes place on multiple floors of a high rise. Theron is at her peak during these moments. She takes over every scene she is in. The choreography is also at its best here. The end of the battle is the highlight of The Old Guard. This was the perfect opportunity for things to end on a high note.

Charlize Theron in an action movie about a group of immortal mercenaries sounds like an easy winner. The premise sounds interesting and she is more than capable of maximizing the fun factor. Regrettably, a nonsensical script and obnoxious plot make The Old Guard a chore to watch. The action sequences stand up with any similar film in recent years, but there is little else here.

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