With Disney, Marvel, and Warner Bros refusing to put out their blockbuster comic book movies onto streaming there has been a real dearth in action movies this year. Specifically comic book related action movies. That’s changed with Netflix teaming up with superstar comic writer Greg Rucka to produce an adaption of his series The Old Guard.
Out of all the big comic writers Rucka is the one I know least of his work. The only thing of his I really read was his Wonder Woman stuff, both pre-Crisis and Rebirth. All to say that I don’t know this source material and how it’s viewed. I can tell you that the premise of a group of immortal soldiers saving lives throughout time is unique.
The setup for the film and premise centers around Charlize Theron’s Andy and her group of immortals, but when they are found out and betrayed on their last mission they are on the hunt for the people after them, mainly a pharmaceutical company who wants to torture them and find their secrets. Everything gets more complicated when they all get dreams of a new woman, a Marine named Nile, who is selected to be the next person to become an immortal. Now Nile must find out the burden of living forever while also helping save the rest of the team from being lab rats.
The classic new person gets powers story mixed with a one last job story shouldn’t work but makes complete sense by the end of it. Tying Andy and Nile’s character arcs together in an interesting way sets this movie apart. It’s a shame that is really the only thing that does. Well that and an immortal gay couple who met during the crusades when they were killing each other.
That’s not to say the movie is bad. It’s a fine enough action movie. It has a couple of really unique fights in it. The ending tower siege is a lot of fun and has a great twist on the Hans Gruber falling out of the window thing. The problem is that there are no real standout fights that separate it. Even the incredibly boring Extraction had the “one take” action set piece. This movie isn’t as boring as Extraction, but doesn’t have anything that stands out.
I think where the movie missteps the most is how it delivers its exposition and when the characters get their moments. So many of them are really just dropped onto us whether it works or not. The real reason feels like it’s a combination of a couple scenes from the comic book that are combined to make sense in a movie structurally while not always making sense in the scene. The best example is when Nile learns about the previous members of the Old Guard. That is kind of just thrown at her cause she had a dream when maybe it could have been done in a more interesting way.
It is hard to talk about a movie that is just kind of okay. I really wanted to like it more. I like what I’ve read of Rucka’s Wonder Woman. He is a good writer and I want to support those comic writers make it to bigger audiences and get to write their own adaptions of their stories but this one just was not the best attempt at that. It has an interesting setup for if it gets a sequel. But Netflix hasn’t done movie sequels so we’ll see.
I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!
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