I’m not naturally attracted to action films. If you met me you’d probably realise straight away why. So when I first saw the Charlize Theron fronted The Old Guard advertised a few months back my natural reaction was “meh” and paid it little attention. Then release day came. I had some time on my hands (lockdown life!) and I stuck on what I presumed was going to be another generic Netlfix action flick. Boy, I was wrong.
Within the opening 10 minutes – owing mostly to a very eye-catching supernatural action sequence involving lots of bullets – I knew I’d been too quick to judge. The Old Guard is a lot of things, but it’s not generic. With Charlize Theron bringing those Atomic Bomb kick-ass vibes to the table, I had a lot of fun with Netflix’s latest offering. Okay, it has issues: firstly that it clearly suffers with ‘first-in-a-franchise’ syndrome in regards to storyline and secondly that it involves a ridiculously hammy Harry Potter star as its main antagonist. However, it has some really good performances (Theron especially), it has plenty of sass, some very effective fight sequences and a LGBTQ+ relationship that rubs the online homophobes up like nothing else; what’s not to like?
Not often am I enthused by an action film or potential action franchise, but I’m really intrigued as to where The Old Guard is going to go. Extraction – Netflix’s previous big action flick – was enjoyable enough and received some solid reviews, but Gina Prince-Bythewood’s work is a real step up. Check it out.