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"The Old Guard: (2020) | Sam Gall Movie Reviews Issue #59 Gem Mint 10.0

“The Old Guard“ (2020)

Director: Gina Prince-Blythwood

Writer: Greg Rucka (screenplay & graphic novel series by), Leondro Fernandez (illustrated by)

Starring: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling, Veronica Ngo

Rated: R for sequences of graphic violence, and language

Runtime: 2h 5min

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

A covert team of immortal mercenaries are suddenly exposed and must now fight to keep their identity a secret just as an unexpected new member is discovered.

You might like this if you like: action, fantasy, science fiction, medieval, swords, martial arts, historical, alternative history, superheroes, comic books/graphic novels, Charlize Theron, "Mad Max: Fury Road" (2015), KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling, Veronica Ngo

Charlize Theron in "The Old Guard" (2020)

Ever since I saw the ads I’d been wanting to watch “The Old Guard” (2020). I’m just down with whatever action movie Charlize Theron does next. That’s seriously all I needed to know before seeing it. Also, that it vaguely looked like an independent superhero story. By the time I actually found the time to watch “The Old Guard” (2020) I had completely forgotten all the ads and remembered only what I had just mentioned above.

Going in, I was immediately down for the music. I’m not normally searching for that type of music but you could just tell instantly this was the tone and sound of the movie right off the first cue and I was ready. As the film went on I began to remember the moments from the trailer of their immortality and correcting my original, more ‘capey’ superhero preconception. I was thrilled by the opening action sequence and loved the use of bladed weaponry in modern, firearm combat. You put Charlize Theron together with an axe and you’ll chop my wallet right in half!

Charlize Theron (left) & Kiki Layne in "The Old Guard" (2020)

She was absolutely killer in this movie! I was so happy that she just keeps going above and beyond with all these awesome roles! A shining newcomer I fell in love with was Kiki Layne who played Nile Freeman, the military soldier. She was insane! Top notch action and just a great new presence I look forward to seeing more of! I loved that they made ALL the heroic male characters (3 in total, all supporting two awesome female leads) gay which I had never seen before especially in an action movie. Charlize Theron and her badass crew of boys. Matthias Schoenaerts, Luca Marinelli, Marwan Kenzari all did a fantastic job! Marwan and Luca in particular. Chiwetel Ejiofor I had known from a few films, always know that face. He was fantastic, I loved his character arc.

"The Old Guard" (2020)

What I love most about this movie though was the mythology. It was such a rich and exciting backstory to where all these people came from, how their powers worked and the world they built around them. In a time when almost everything gets turned into an episodic series, which could still happen for this one, I’m surprised it didn’t get picked up right away or hang on a sequel cliffhanger. But even for the shows and franchises that do exist most barely hold a flickering candle to the universe that writer, Greg Rucka, came up with.

Graphic Novel by Greg Nucka & Leondro Fernadez for "The Old Guard" (2020)

On top of that it’s got some of the most insane action! Both Charlize and Kiki are in my highest of action spotlights now up their with some of the great martial artists. “John Wick” (2014-2019) with swords is kind of what I thought, but like medieval swords, axes, blunted weaponry. I know “John Wick 3” (2019) has katanas. I love that scene. Beautiful film, beautiful message and a really superb action film heading the genre in a bright and exciting direction.

Written by Sam Gall on 09/27/20

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

"A+ Action describes Gina Pince-Blythewood's debut in the superhero film lane. The Old Guard is adrenaline junkie dream right along with Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne stomping all over the big boys at every turn! Loved it!" - Carla Renata, The Curvy Film Critic

"It's an exciting first film in what hopefully will become a franchise for director Gina Prince-Bythewood and these characters." - Paul McGuire Grimes, KSTP-TV (St. Paul, MN)

"'Old Guard' offers up a fresh look at an action film where women are respected and the tropes that usually weigh them down are left behind." - Jonita Davis, The Black Cape

"Love the big action pieces as well as the quiet, introspective moments... thanks to Gina Prince-Bythewood's competent direction. I'm down for the sequel, especially with this fantastic director & cast!" - Ruth Maramis, FlixChatter Film Blog

Official Trailer:

Available on Netflix

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