Throw: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling, Veronica Ngo and Anamaria Marinca
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Evaluation: 3 stars (out of 5)
It’s hard to be immortal, Andromache the Scythian (Charlize Theron), known to his army simply as Andy, owned it when his latest discovery, young US Marine Nile Freeman (KiKi Layne), said that ” there is not a good thing in this. ” The young soldier talks about living forever, a power whose protagonists The old guard own. The film itself has more than one good thing. Charlize Theron and Layne, alone and in tandem, are definitely part of it.
The eternal warrior who heads the five-member army The old guard, a movie streaming on Netflix, is one of a kind – a timeless superhero who is so good at his job that she can admit that she is tired of saving humanity without running the risk of being believed. Such is the delicious irony of the occasional blows of this invincible warrior with erased skepticism that it only makes the otherwise indomitable figure all the more fascinating. Adapted for the screen by Greg Rucka from his own series of graphic novels of the same name, The old guard gives the genre a refreshing new twist, avoiding CGI’s heavy-handed action in favor of an emotionally charged adventure drama involving a small group of immortal soldiers who do their share of blood spatter as they fight to protect the secrecy of their powers for sale by a pharmaceutical company.
Eternal fighters have secretly protected mankind from time immemorial, but they themselves now face a huge risk posed by the greedy leader of a pharmaceutical company, Steven Merrick (Harry Melling) who, with the help of CIA agent James Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor), hatch a conspiracy to steal the genetic code of the immortal soldiers “to push the boundaries of science and make a little profit”.
The old guard, made with an impressive plume by Gina Prince-Bythewood, is wonderfully light on its feet. Its rhythm is dazzling, but when it slows down from time to time to let the characters give free rein to their persistent anguish, it does not lose steam. No small feat.
The adventures of Andy and his team are bound to be violent. They are gunned down and injured, and they hurt and moan, but life does not escape because they heal almost instantly and get back on their feet to shoot down their opponents. But, as Andy reminds us on several occasions, survival against all odds is a burden that is not always easy to carry. Booker (Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts), who died fighting in the army of Napoleon before discovering the power of immortality, said to Nile: “It is not because we stop living that we stop suffering . “
Sorrow and pain have kept them company for centuries. Booker reminds the Nile that living forever also means having to lose loved ones who have a limited life. He remembers that his own younger son, one of the three boys he fathered, died of cancer at the age of 42. Tears in Booker’s eyes as he remembers the untimely death and The old guard ceases to be another film about invincible warriors who fear neither death nor disease.
Yes, it is an unusual fish pot. The fighters here are not an unshakable and boastful lot that goes about their work without ever being confronted with questions whose answers elude them. In fact, everyone, especially Andy, who has worked there since the birth of humanity, is fully aware that one day their immortality will end. There will come a time when they will stop healing but they do not know when or how.
Charlize Theron is in great shape as the leader of the pack, a great woman who knows that the time that flies is not as important as the time that remains in the form of memories. Not that she was able to remember when it all started for her, but she was torn apart by the guilt of having let one of her oldest helpers perish before her eyes. The past, as distant as it is, hangs over her, as well as the others who fight alongside her.
KiKi Layne (by Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street could speak). as a new immortal who negotiates a steep learning curve as she tries to break into the mysterious group, is, to say a word, fabulous. The process of initiation and progressive acceptance that she undergoes creates the potential for sequelae in which she could well enter the role of Andy as patron of the immortals.
For the moment, of course, Andy is the undisputed boss because she is the oldest, having been joined by Joe (Lebanese-Dutch Marwan Kenzari) and Nicky (Italian Luca Marinelli) during the crusades (when the two men killed each other then continued to fall in love through the ages). She has to face a certain weariness. “The world is not getting better. It is getting worse. The world can burn for anything I want. I’m finished,” she said after a mission in which they were roped up.
At the other end of the spectrum, Corporal Nile Freeman, who must now turn his back on the United States military and his mother and brother, is initially skeptical when his ability to defy death by accident during of a skirmish on the ground in Afghanistan. But as she begins to get into the swing of things, she exudes the kind of youthful confidence that excites Andy without end. However, outbursts of mistrust continue to assail it.
The struggles of the two women have an interiority that is not that of an action film. The old guard is full of violent clashes and shootings, but one thing that is not is trivial.
The main objective of The old guard is about friendship, loneliness and their “resistance to capture” because none of them wants to spend “forever in a cage”. Andy has fought thousands of battles alongside his immortal colleagues and the arrival of a new soldier in their ranks after a gap of two centuries is cause for joy.
The greatest joy of watching The old guard lies not only in the fact that it never ceases to be entertaining, but also in the emphatic way in which the film demonstrates that a superhero actuator does not need to be a clone of a pole of studio. The old guard has a whole new sparkling sensation.