The Old Guard – Netflix – Review
My Rating – 3 out of 5
Plot Summary of the Movie Review
OK, let me start with a disclaimer. This wasn’t high on my list of priorities to begin with, before I realised that since the start of the Lockdown and the widespread panic of the Covid-19 Pandemic, I haven’t watched a single new release movie except 1 or 2 old ones which streamed on Amazon Prime. So this, technically, was the first Hollywood release that I watched after a long gap!
To put it in one line – a bunch of humans with super powers of immortality come under the radar of a psychotic Bio-Tech Mogul, who wants to experiment with them and get the technology of immortality for his own good and how this bunch fight against that. Cliched, did you say? I thought so too, about an hour into the 2 hour 5 mins runtime. But not quite… there are subtle nuances, which set it a little apart from the hundreds in this genre. The flimsy storyline gets some flesh in the second part and the climax is note worthy in its subtle twists and turns. Before going further into my review, watch the trailer here :
The cast is headlined by Charlize Theron (as Andy) and her crew consists of Matthias Schoenaerts as Booker, Marwan Kenzari as Joe, Luca Marinelli as Nicky and new addition to the Team KiKi Layne as Nile. Their ex-CIA contact Copley (played by an unusually subdued Chiwetel Ejiofor) gets them jobs to save humanity, in different parts of the World. For example, their first job now is to rescue teenage girls abducted from their school in South Sudan by Terrorists. But, it turns out to be a set-up!
It now becomes apparent that a Bio Research cum Pharma Major called Merrick – and its CEO who it’s named after (played by Harry Melling) want to capture all of them to research with their DNA and discover the secret to their immortality. He has a private army at his disposal, all dressed in SWAT gear and replete with an armoury, the Mossad will be proud of! So, after a lot of subterfuge and unexpected betrayals, the two sides come face to face for the showdown…
In between, the Immortals (for lack of a better collective noun), pick up their newest member, Nile, a US Marine in a combat role, from the badlands of Afghanistan, where her throat slash and death was miraculously reversed! Bear with me… She then reluctantly accompanies the Immortals, only to abandon them at a later stage.
The story meanders a bit, the premise not quite believable (here, a Spider-Manesque explanation of how they came across their immortality, in detail, would have helped). The action sequences are fluid, the acting adequate and the cinematography quite good but according to me, the flimsy story line is a bit of a dampener…
Here, an unusual GOOF is noticed…When Andy, Booker and Nile arrive at Copley’s house, they are driving a silver coloured Audi Sedan, with a yellow rental plate. After a while, they reach Merrick’s HQ, in the same car, this time with a white plate! But, never mind, I’m splitting hairs in the movie review!
Conclusion of the Movie Review
The climax, and a little before that, wins it for me! A bit of delving into the personalities happen, besides the bang bang, what they have been through, their fault lines, families, ties etc. So, it ends on a much more poignant note than it began on, one of mindless violence and cliched storylines. But cosy up on this weekend, and watch this for fun, leave the questioning for the scientists!!