The Old Guard
After being discovered, a group of immortals have to fight to stay hidden from those who might try and exploit them.
As the title suggests, the sound design is really cool. This, of course, is different from the soundtrack, which didn’t fit the movie at all. There’d be a fight scene and a ripoff Billie Eilish song would start playing. The sound design is the way in which noises (punching, gunfire, etc.) sound. That was really good. As far as this movie’s saving graces, it pretty much begins and ends there.
Okay, so there’s one more positive quality about this film, and that is the fight scene choreography. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen an action movie in a while, but those fight scenes were really entertaining to watch. There’s something very satisfying by seeing very quick action sequences where an overpowered character brutally and efficiently destroys their opponent. I feel like whoever choreographed the fight scenes deserved a better job then working on this film.
This is probably one of the very few cases in which having the author of the source material write the screenplay is a bad idea. This movie is based off of a comic book, and a lot of the dialogue could’ve very easily worked in that format. When put into a movie, it sounds off-putting, and a little cartoony, and not in the good way. You could tell the film was trying to take itself seriously. The other big problem with the writing is that I feel like the writer could’ve been more inventive in creating tense situations. Because the characters are immortal, tension is harder to generate, and in this movie there’s little tension at all. A perfect example of causing tension in a universe with immortal characters is an anime called Ajin: Demi-Human, which you all should check out if you think this movie’s concept is cool and can stand animation. Characters do extreme things to get what they want, even if it means taking on large hordes of enemies that have superior weapons.
The only thing worse than the writing is the directing. I’m all for female directors, but I’m not for this one given she never allowed the poor camera person to put down the camera. Seventy million dollars and they couldn’t buy a tripod. The camera shakes throughout the entire movie, never once being steady throughout its entire two hour running time. This is jaunting at certain times, dizzying at others.
One of the biggest issues with this movie is that it’s very hard to root for the main characters. This next part is a spoiler, so if you don’t like spoilers, skip to the next paragraph. The goal of the villains is to exploit the immortals to try and cure all human diseases. Yeah, they’ll be tortured, but I feel like the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few in this situation. It’s hard for me to want the freedom of a few bland people over the cure for Alzheimer’s.
I don’t think anyone actually edited this movie. If I had a dime for every time there was an awkward pause or weird transition, I’d be able to pay off my college loan debt. There were certain scenes where I felt like I had to go back and rewatch it as it was so noticeably bad. “Maybe the character’s facial expression changed”, I thought to myself. No. It was just that bad.
Although there isn’t heap loads of source material, there was a lot that wasn’t adapted into the movie, and the plot definitely suffered. The film has several characters with no distinct arcs or personalities. The main villain is a stereotype to the highest degree, with nothing that sets him apart from any other action movie villain ever. However, these arcs and personalities are present in the source material. I feel as though this would’ve been better as a series, with each episode adapting a different issue of the comic.
There’s one thing about this movie I will never understand, and that is why Charlize Theron ever decided that it was a good idea. She had just come off of Bombshell, which almost got her an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. How she looked at that script and decided she’d do it I’ll never know. Maybe the only two factors she thought about were the quality of the fight scenes and the sound design. That’s my best guess.
Despite a few saving graces, this movie is ultimately not worth the watch.
The Old Guard: Well… the sound design is cool?
Writing - 6/106/10
Storyline - 5/105/10
Acting - 7.8/107.8/10
Music - 6.3/106.3/10
Production - 7.7/107.7/10
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