If you had told me that one of the best films I’d see all year was an action film about a group of immortal super-soldiers, I’d have probably laughed.
And then along comes Netflix’s The Old Guard, based on a series of graphic novels by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez, which manages to not only be a great action romp but also carries a surprising amount of depth.
The movie follows a group of centuries-old immortals, led by our own Charlese Theron, who have decided to use their immortality to fight evil throughout history.
They soon come across another immortal like them, played by KiKi Layne – the first in 200 years.
While they’re busy trying to help her adapt to her new powers, they also have to deal with a shady pharmacutical CEO (Harry Melling) who is looking to harvest their immortality to make billions.
There is so much to love about this movie.
First of all, the action is done incredibly well, mostly by remembering its heroes are still human.
While they may be immortal, they can still get hurt and feel pain so it’s not just a bunch of Superman-wannabes blitzing through bad guys like they’re nothing.
What truly elevates this film, however, is the in-depth character drama that director Gina Prince-Bythewood and Rucka have managed to inject into the story.
In between pulse-pounding action are scenes where the characters have serious discussions about their situation, especially how being immortal has affected them and those they care about.
If this had gone to cinema, these would probably have been cut for time but thanks to Netflix’s looser constraints, we are treated to some truly emotional moments that help The Old Guard to stand well above a lot of other films in the genre.