The Old Guard (2020) by Gina Prince-Bythewood

Immortality is a fascinating concept that has been the topic of discussion for many civilisations. All humans are aware of death and this, in part, motivates us to live fully. And yet we fear death so much that we have evolved to not consider it as a possibility (as per this research). We fear death so much that we come up with countless fantasies on achieving immortality; and each person who has dreamt up a fantasy has at some point realised that being immortal would…suck.

The Old Guard does the same thing, here it follows four people who were born in different points in history and are immortal. While they tackle the pain of their existence they must also face down the evils of modern civilisation that seek their power for simple profit.

The film is action packed with a mix of gunfights, knife fights, axe fights and yes, sword fights. Starring Charlize Theron in the lead, it has a sufficiently fun story, which is elevated by good action choreography. However, while the film gets its action down well, the editing has a few lapses that even my unobservant eye could catch. Some cuts don’t come soon enough and others jump an angle that is needlessly jarring. Furthermore, while I welcome the philosophical questions it raises and don’t mind its overly dramatic tone in a few scenes, the film’s dialogue and its delivery of said dialogue does not do the tone of the scenes justice. Put bluntly, they feel a bit on the nose and insincere. The film is best when it is sarcastically morbid or in the throws of a gunfight.

That said, they should make a sequel and if they do, they should try to get some stronger writers in. Cause I think the potential is there.

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