The Old Guard (2020)

0
22

The plot follows a team of independent mercenaries with the mysterious ability to not die, who travel the world and fight for what they believe is right. The team takes on an urgent mission, and on this occasion their extraordinary abilities are exposed to people who see an opportunity to cash in on them. Newest member Nikki (KiKi Layne), still unaware of the significance of her gift, suspiciously joins the team, and together they must confront a man who sees them as laboratory guinea pigs for his own ends.

I must admit that before watching, I did not expect the protagonists of the story to be immortal superheroes. The problem with such characters in action movies is that all stakes are automatically eliminated because they will easily overcome any injury or death, and we are left to watch how long it will take them to overcome all the obstacles in front of them in order to achieve what they want. This film has five such characters, but we realize pretty quickly that the story is not so predictable that it relies only on action scenes and the occasional joke.

The author is aware that no matter how much action there is, the result will always be the same and that the ending will represent a climactic battle with the main villain and his comrades. That’s why it gives these superheroes a dose of humanity and presents their ability to be immortal as a burden that these characters are getting harder and harder to cope with – while one half of the team realized that their love exceeds the learned hatred, the other half lost those they love and live long ago a lonely life that has no end.

The dynamics and choreography of the fights keep our attention, but they are repeated with predictable results. Instead of fearing for their lives, we see these characters as people who have been fighting for what is right for centuries, while the world looks worse every year, and thus the action in the action movie becomes secondary. Inserting Niki into the story gives the other characters the opportunity to say what they have and to get to know them better, to hear their conflicting feelings about immortality, the details of their history and to express their dissatisfaction with the state of the world, but it all seems too boring.

These characters are more important than their physical capabilities or the actions they perform, so a relatively fine foundation has been laid for the sequels, which are inevitable. Even though the characters have a chance to breathe, that background is still done according to a predictable formula and at times quite shallow, but in this genre you can’t expect anything unexpected. Given that the film is in the superhero genre, and there are scenes that do not deepen the plot but are there to see the effects of immortality on our characters or their existential pain, I think that this film will remain a faint memory for almost every viewer. Those who want action will be tired of the dialogues, while those who are more into drama will be disappointed by the mediocre, routine plot.