Review: Comic-book thriller ' The Old Guard ' puts the 'human' back in superhuman
Charlize Theron and KiKi Layne play a memorable mentor-and-protegee duo in this action adventure.
Violence isn’t the answer? Tell that to Andy, the leggy, deadly serious leader of a mercenary gang in “The Old Guard.” Adapted from Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernández’s graphic novel of the same name, this speculative action thriller possesses more gravitas than the average comic-book fantasy, although it traffics in similar supernatural powers and arcane interior rules. Much of the interest in this well-crafted but overfamiliar piece of world-building is how the movie parcels out crucial information to the audience, about who Andy and her cohorts are and why, precisely, they’re so intent on cutting a murderous swath through every corner of the Earth they’re called to.
Those corners include Morocco, South Sudan and Afghanistan, where this un-merry but hyper-competent band meets a U.S. soldier named Nile, played with flummoxed solemnity by KiKi Layne. It bears noting here that Andy is portrayed by Charlize Theron, reprising the badass persona that made “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Atomic Bomb” such entertaining kicks in the pants. When Layne and Theron are together, “The Old Guard” transcends its pulp provenance to become a soulful, emotionally grounded portrait of female mentorship and mutual respect.
Directed with intelligence and finesse by Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Love & Basketball,” “Beyond the Lights”), “The Old Guard” hews to the same metronomic rhythms of exposition and explosive action that its genre-mates observe (the most recent example being the John Wick movies). As capably as the fight sequences are choreographed and staged, they become repetitive as the story’s plot moves from the African deserts to the antiseptic glass-and-steel of a London high rise. Although Layne and Theron form the beating heart of what could have been a disposable diversion, Prince-Bythewood provides ample support by way of an ensemble that includes Matthias Schoenaerts, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Marwan Kenzari and Luca Marinelli.
Once the full context of Andy’s mission becomes clear, “The Old Guard” takes on a sober, even touching sense of impending grief, and Prince-Bythewood makes sure to give her plenty of moments to reflect on that reality; unlike similar flights of escapism and potency, this one never loses sight of the “human” part of superhuman. Layne, who delivered a breakout performance in 2018’s “If Beale Street Could Talk,” is particularly impressive in a role that makes the most of her quiet, watchful focus even while putting it into a wildly counterintuitive context.
If “The Old Guard” feels overlong by the time Andy faces her final mano-a-mano showdown, the movie earns its running time by creating memorable characters who are perfectly poised for a sequel. Without giving the game away, let’s just say: Time is on their side.
Election 2020 live updates: Trump, Harris campaign in battleground Arizona
President Donald Trump and Sen. Kamala Harris are separately campaigning in Arizona on Wednesday as both campaigns eye the battleground state.
Marvel Sets Winter Comic Book Event 'King in Black'The storyline spins out of plot threads in 'Venom' and 'Absolute Carnage,' and will be Marvel's third multi-title event storyline of 2020. One of the reasons I stopped collecting was the 17 multi titled 'events' marvel did every year. The spec market must be losing their minds.
Comic-Con ‘At Home’ Saturday Schedule Announces ‘Bill & Ted,’ ‘Constantine’ Reunion, Guillermo del Toro,This year’s virtual Comic-ConHome has announced its schedule Keanu Constantine comeback set in stone I assume it will come just in time to delay the movie yet again. peep through..lol
Comic-Con at Home: The TV LineupFor the first time in the event's 50-year history, the annual fanboy convention will be held virtually after the novel coronavirus scrapped the San Diego event. 💙💙💙 JDMorgan
Army launches broad review of Fort Hood after Vanessa Guillen's deathThe Army has launched a broad review of Fort Hood's command climate and culture in the wake of Vanessa Guillen's murder. as always with the army, and sex, barn doors come to mind Aha ? 'broad review' hmm... Americas standards has sunk so low.
Army launches civilian review of Fort Hood following Vanessa Guillen's killingThe US Army is assembling a panel of four civilian consultants to review the 'command climate and culture' at Fort Hood in Texas, in the wake of the killing of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy announced Friday. They will order everyone to stay silent We all know the outcome. Fake News ALERT. JUSTICEFORVANNESSAGUILLEN 🖤
‘Greyhound’ on Apple TV Plus: Film ReviewTom Hanks shows what a commanding actor he can be from the first taut combat sequence of “Greyhound,” when the title warship, leading a convoy through the North Atlantic in the early mo… ❤️ Hmm, telling people to wear a mask gets you stellar reviews. Good to know.