2020, Movies

The Old Guard (2020, Gina Prince-Bythewood)

This is a decent action movie with an interesting soft science fiction/fantasy premise which falls apart whenever you think too hard about it.

I didn’t know the premise before watching so I’ll assume it’s a spoiler and say SPOILERS

So, the premise: they’re immortal, or nearly immortal. Theron’s character has been alive for millennia, perhaps, though it’s never specified and the others have been alive for centuries. This is revealed pretty quickly but I actually thought it could have been handled better: like many movies and shows lately, they reveal it immediately and then do a bigger reveal later. Why not only reveal it later? Anyway…

As an action movie, it’s got plenty of shooting and fighting and all of that, and has more story than most. And it mostly works as long as you don’t think about it.

The problem arises any time you think about it: the backstory has holes as as Theron is not exactly the right actress for someone as old as she supposedly is, both her look and her accent make no sense whatsoever. And there are many other instances where things don’t make a whole lot of sense. But to pick just one (well, two): why does Pharma Bro have his own private army and why does it take the police like 20 minutes to respond?

On the other hand, the movie smartly never tries to explain why they are (nearly) immortal. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this as so many movies get lost in stupid mythology that doesn’t hold up. Sure, it gives the end of the film a bit of a religious feel but I’d rather have the characters not knowing something than having everything be explained away, especially if that explanation is unsatisfactory (as it usually is).

So, if you can turn your brain off, you’ll enjoy it.


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