Reviews | Written by Jack Bottomley 10/07/2020

THE OLD GUARD

CERT: 15 / PLATFORMS: NETFLIX / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Netflix’s The Old Guard, inspired by the Greg Rucka (who pens the screenplay here) and Leandro Fernández comic book, may be another adaptation to get lost in the many others. However, director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s film is a potential franchise starter that deserves to be met with the utmost enthusiasm and we’re sure it will be.

The story sees a team of secretive mercenaries uneasily take a job that threatens to reveal their huge secret to the world but is there a new hope to be found in a young woman, who also has their “gift”?

Much of the hype has kind of spoiled the film’s early reveal (that fans will be aware of, obviously) but for the sake of upkeeping that revelation, we won’t ruin the surprise for anyone not in the know. The Old Guard has been praised for its action sequences (and they are superbly choreographed and exciting) but what makes the film and its premise really bloom is how the story doesn't hold back on the toll time can take and the lingering effect of its sometimes cruel choices. Boasting a Highlander-esque quality, the movie’s subject is not a new one but the stakes increasingly introduced are real, and when raised later in the movie, it only adds to the well developed drama accompanying the excellent action.

Charlize Theron - as always - is superb at the head of a really fantastic ensemble - including a brilliant KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli and Chiwetel Ejiofor, in a film that has a compelling lore and diverse characters you genuinely care for and about. On this evidence, the anticipation-raising sequel suggestion left at the end is a very welcome prospect indeed. Out with the new, in with The Old Guard!

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