Runtime: 125 Minutes
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Writer: Greg Rucka
Stars: Charlize Theron, Kiki Layne, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ngo Thanh Van
By Emily Gunn
Charlize Theron is the somewhat kinder-hearted real-life Vinnelle for us in films. She gazes down the lens; controlling every angle of power in “Hancock” (2008), “Atomic Blonde” (2017) and now “The Old Guard”(2020). Directed by a notable filmmaker – creator of “Love and Basketball” (2000) and “The Secret Life of Bees” (2008) – Gina Prince-Bythewood opens up Gregory Rucka’s comic book and spray paints her brilliance across the epic myth.
The opening minutes of this movie throws you off the highest diving board into the face of murder. Emerging into a deep sense of mystery as we fall back in time, Andromache of Scythia (Theron) drags us through Morocco in her combat boots and blacked out sunnies. Assisting with the dumbfoundedness of humans taking selfies, we instantly became aware of Andy’s superiority within the world.
Gina’s uniqueness of directing seeps through at the beginning by the uncommon dynamics between the characters. Addressed by her male apprentices as ‘boss’ in every comma within the script, the film highlights her hierarchy from punch to punch. Not only is she a respected and admired lead within her team, her opening kicks of action level with the years of Tom Cruise’ bullet dodging expertise.
“A unique and pleasurable experience to witness a group of black female soldiers defeating arsonists for this gender neutral depiction.”
Betrayal is at the forefront for this Netflix war thriller. Witnessing the team being set up and annihilated by loveable British Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, the heroes are forced to uncover their supernatural abilities and individual tales of immorality. Actor Kiki Layne appears to set a new course of adventure; reversing previous representations of timidness seen in “Beale Street Could Talk” (2018); as the new eternal hand signalling gun shots in Afghanistan.
A unique and pleasurable experience to witness a group of black female soldiers defeating arsonists for this gender neutral depiction. Not wanting to leave behind her hold on normal life, Nile (Kiki Layne) showcases her own talents in combat, taking matters into her own hands as Andy (Charlize Theron) takes them across the world on an empty shell aircraft lined with illegal drugs.
Using impeccable post production cuts and CGI to spit out steel capsules, death spills across the screen throughout; whilst the riches of the world turn up in France to capture two of the recruits for testing. Witty humour from the men lift your spirits against the harrowing fate of the individuals, leaving you smirking with their one line jokes.
“A warming mix between the close tied team of “Inception” (2010) and Joyle’s fighting sequences in “Salt” (2010), “The Old Guard” is living proof of the billboards of signs for equality within cinema.”
There’s a constant pulse of badass tunes accompanying the massacres which create a heightened feeling of fist pumping musical synergy to drive the storyboard. Female musical artists such as Blithe, Chaii and Elle King intensify the drama; a saluted detail that expresses the director’s own admiration for supporting minorities. Just as you gain a connection with a trusted assistant of the short black haired ringleader, the movie cleverly flips all hopes of happiness when Sebastian (Matthias Schoenaerts) gives up his comrades to the money-grabbing child billionaire back in London.
Flying camera cranes off towering glass offices, and breaking bones across the city centre skyline, the team are left to gain their control back as Nile (Kiki Layne) finds her feet to help with the destruction. The movie teases Marvel lovers with a glimpse of prospect at the end, as asian actress Ngo Thanh Van returns from the sea, sitting comfortably in frame; showcasing the thoughts for a second sequel.
A warming mix between the close tied team of “Inception” (2010) and Joyle’s fighting sequences in “Salt” (2010), “The Old Guard” is living proof of the billboards of signs for equality within cinema. With three main black actors in high profiled roles, a wholehearted gay romance between male fighters, and more female empowerment than Erin Brokovich can applaude; it’s the far-reaching grenade of our year.