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Netflix's 'The Old Guard' Has Lost its Way

Janeen Mathisen

Posted on July 21, 2020 00:46

3 users

Good intentions do not a good movie make.

The Old Guard is on Netflix's charts this week. But merely being on its Top Ten is not an indication of true quality.

In a single word, everything about this movie is misplaced. Its characters simply are in the wrong story. The plot centers on four immortals forced to go on the run from an evil corporation just as they suddenly discover another immortal to add to their ranks.

It's simple, exciting, and has a small cast: it was ripe for an intimate story about the price and pain of losing those close to you. All the ideas were in place, and it would've been perfect, resulting in a fresh and unusual superhero movie for adults — all the scriptwriters had to do was succeed in the execution.

However, it is abundantly clear that the screenwriters had zero talent to make this happen. Every character is so flat that they could only hope to be one-note. The main immortal, Andy, is whiny, mopey, and all-around unlikeable for the entire duration of the movie. Her personality is almost non-existent. She makes Batman look positively cheerful. She gives up fighting for justice and gives up rescuing her friend, trapped in the ocean for centuries, because it's too hard. She is the epitome of unlikable. Future scriptwriters, take note: liking chocolate for only two scenes does not equal a developed personality.

All of these characters have no reason, logic, or motivation for anything they do. One of the immortals claims they fight for what they think is right, but it’s such a vague notion that there is no sense of tension. You don't see them fighting for what is right. They just run away from things, and their supposed motivation is never expanded. Confessions of love between two characters are laughably bad, both due to the delivery and the fact that we don't care about them, so the emotion completely fails to land.

On a sentence-to-sentence level, the script is painfully blunt, telling viewers things any other filmmaker would know to demonstrate visually instead, or at the very least, write more subtly.

Furthermore, the film's internal logic about the immortality is non-existent, as the writers make rules up as they go and then constantly forget about them. The climax is agonizingly boring and long. The entire thing operating under the ridiculous logic that someone with a gaping stomach wound can successfully take down an armed man in body armor.

Even if viewers did care about these idiotic immortals, the constantly changing internal movie logic hampers that every single step of the way. In a film that is theoretically about the consequences of immortality, this film has no tension and no consequences for its characters.

Let The Old Guard molder.

Janeen Mathisen

Posted on July 21, 2020 00:46

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