When the first trailer came out for Netflix’s the old guard back in May I thought to myself why not check out the original Greg Rucka comic. I like Greg Rucka the trailer looks cool and it’s only a five issue miniseries an easy quick read. I thought was pretty darn good it it’s very much the type of independent comic that comes out these days which is basically a pitch for a movie or TV show. It’s not as blatant a pitch or as aggressive a pitch as Mark Millar for instance does he crammed so much into in to his pitches that they very much read more like a pitch pamphlet than its own thing. I would say that the old guard comic can’t exist as its own thing although it is obvious it’s trying to be a movie or a TV show. It succeeded because I’m reviewing it as a movie uh and that’s just the way the comic book industry is right now in terms of these smaller projects people go and make these independent creators on projects with the hope that they do get picked up as a movie or a TV show and these days many of them do.
I enjoyed it enough thought there was enough potential there which is I think the movie has a lot of potential – interestingly enough. Anyway I picked up the sequel they’ve already written a sample – the old guard it’s not done though only the first four issues have come out it’s also a five-issue miniseries and the final issue comes out July 15th and I will be reading it largely to find out what probably will happen in the old guard – which I hope they make but anyway watching this nap Netflix adaptation I was shocked and how faithful it is to the source material in fact I would say that it’s the most faithful adaptation of source material that I’ve ever seen. It was when I watched it I felt like I was seeing the story for a second time like I’d already experienced it was that close to the original it’s amazing so I have to say though I have mixed feelings about telling you to go read the comic book first why well on the one hand you’ll know all the twists and turns in the story and a lot of this is some surprises so it’s very reliant on that yet the comic is more fleshed out than the movie. So I finally know what it feels like to be a Harry Potter fan because I’m okay with the adaptations broad strokes because I already know all the details from reading the source material I also have to say that the old guard reminded me very much while I was watching it particularly in the first half of a comic book version of extraction which is funny because extraction of course is made in front of him behind the camera by a lot of people from the m’s dia and we all hope that Charlize Theron would be a Captain Marvel of course and many times people watching every time I see Charlie was there in an action movie I’m like she should have been Captain Marvel anyway both movies feature big Hollywood stars walking around desert settings wearing sunglasses and looking very cool but extraction is very much on the shoulders of Chris Hemsworth it’s very much a star vehicle.
I would say that the old guard while Charlize Theron is front and center it’s more of an ensemble she shares the screen quite well with a very strong cast and in fact one of the strengths of this movie in addition to its action is its acting and we’ll discuss both those things but first I do want to point out that it doesn’t point out the scope of a theatrical release it does I have to say feel like a streaming movie and that’s because there are quite a few flashbacks in the original comic to the old guards past throughout history they are very old and the comic of course could show all of them because they just had to be drawn and of course a big studio movie would have had the budget to show them to us as well and we do see a few here but they’re smaller in scope and scale and some of them we just have to hear about rather than see and that’s a little bit of a letdown especially if you’re a history buff like myself now also in the comic.
Andy has a number of sex scenes but those have been taken out of the movie which I cannot totally understand and it does play very much like a choice from Charlize Theron who produced this movie and the type of role she wants to play at this point in her career it’s very sexed up in the comic. I think overly so and I think that was probably helped try and sell it as a property for movies and TV. I think it’s interesting that the movie actually decided to dial that back because it was who produced it I reckon that was because it was its the actress who would have to do those scenes but don’t worry and is been given something else to worry about and kind of um add some dimension to her storyline but I’m not going to tell you what it is no spoilers and it’s not in the comic they do allude to her backstory though which is explored in the second miniseries and maybe they’ll show it if this movie gets a sequel and it very much sets up a sequel at the end with an end credits sequence that I was particularly excited to see because then again I’ve read all the comics. So I knew it was coming and the end credits scene is so faithful to the comics again I like couldn’t believe it I was like wow you’ve like literally filmed this comic also this is a Greg Rucka comic and he has always been a very strong ally to the LGBTQ community for instance he created the current version of Batwoman so just like the comic and I wasn’t sure if the movie would do this. I know this is this is a benefit of being on Netflix instead of being a big studio picture because the old guard prominently features a gay couple Joe and Nikki and it’s not for Laughs they’re a very serious cool couple and they have a fantastic backstory that I won’t spoil here we hear about it only.
I wish we could have seen it because it’s really cool but it’s a huge step forward to see a gay couple who are action heroes smack in the middle of a movie like this it was very well done now while this movie is stripped down significantly to be lean and mean it has two big things going for it besides again an interesting hook with the story again I can’t do it full credit for the story because it doesn’t flee explore those flashbacks but they start they get the they get the ball rolling so as I said the two biggest strengths are the acting and the action now the action sequences are very well choreographed and plentiful I hate it when I’m promised an action movie and then they only really have something in the third act there’s there are action sequences through act and when you’re watching it really starts to pick up when you see those act you know like okay now we’re cooking with the action sequences that’s when it starts to really feel like a movie and it’s a joy to watch these immortal soldiers working together think of a team of Wolverines because they have healing factors a well-oiled machine that after centuries of fighting side-by-side know how to work together and they use both modern weapons but also older weapons that they are most comfortable with from you know when they lived I loved the idea that the only soldiers are given this gift or curse depending how you look at it and that’s discussed in the movie to join this this team and I wish that maybe that was explored a little bit more it’s not even that explored in the comic. I do think it’s very interesting to pluck soldiers from different centuries and put them all together and see how that would work. It’s interesting because of the way that the speed of like old film and the way old photographs you know technology makes us feel like people at different eras were very different from us but the reality is that it’s exactly the same you know except for like cavemen and women you know it’s really just the only thing that changes this technology and style right like fashion and stuff like that and so it’s interesting to have these out of time people you don’t quite feel the out of time this as much as I would have liked. I will also say there’s a female viewer in particular I can’t tell you how much I appreciated seeing Theron and Kiki Lane kick but I also like seeing lanes off female unit briefly in Afghanistan and it’s not woke or anything like that it’s an all-female unit because of course of the religion in Afghanistan and they have to have only women deal with you know women female locals it makes sense in the context but the female team was very cool it brought a tear to my eye it was very well done really cool very organic very real very natural loved it
Charlize Theron, Kiki Layne, Matthias Schoneaerts
So let’s talk about the cast one Charlize Theron has become a genuine action star and it is a joy to see her work as it always is she has the build of a model of course but has done the work to make herself a convincing fighter similar to a gal gadot is so successful as Wonder Woman but Ferren is more vicious and with much more experienced thing to do we’ll see how Godot handles herself in Wonder Woman 1984.
Theron handles the fight choreography like a seasoned pro very good a Kiki Layne what an actress an amazing actress you would never guess this is the same woman who co-starred in if Beale Street could talk she totally changes her demeanor and body language holding her own next to Theron. She does a really nice job representing the US military she was fantastic loved her really you know she’s really new she’s really fresh she’s with a lot of other actors here who people are familiar with and she totally leveled up to level up with them immediately really liked her here. Marlon Coons re is much better than here that he was in Aladdin so that’s a good sign free from the Aladdin sequel that Disney is developing. Jafar does indeed return and Luca Marin Ali who blew everyone away including myself and FX is trust I knew we’d see him again well he’s here and he’s just as magnetic as he wasn’t that miniseries Mattias show notes and chortle egfr are always good they’re seasoned pros in terms of being dramatic actors. I think they really deliver as well as Harry Melling is also perfectly cast as a Mark Zuckerberg type figure and that’s all I’ll say well Veronica nago shows up briefly but makes a very strong impression I liked her quite a bit the old guard will particularly appeal typique fans as I said in action fans it has a lot of potential to continue as a franchise but I just hope that going forward they get a little bit more money so they can really do the back the flashbacks justice to make you feel more like you’re with a group of immortals and how long they’ve been alive.
I mean I think it makes sense that they are a little modern like there was one thing for the comic they didn’t use where you know they had a little now all of them were very good with technology because you know it’s relatively new to them and this in the scope of their lifespan and so the youngest of them was the best with tech I thought that was an interesting thing from a detail from the comic that they didn’t use here. I would have liked it I felt the immortality just a little bit more so I think they’re almost there this is a very good start so that’s my review of the old guard. I definitely think it’s worth a watch I found it very entertaining it’s available on Netflix starting July 10th which gives you just enough time to read those talk books if you want to they’re available on comiXology wit which is where I read them.
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