There is no doubt about it - female combat movies never get spotlighted in the same way as their macho-male ego massaging counterparts. It took a long minute navigating Netflix’s gruelling letter by letter search function to find ‘The Old Guard’. Directed by a humble and credited film maker Gina Prince-Bythewood, the film circles around an immortal motor biker killer who, after rallying similar eternal species like herself through the decades, fights against the money grabbing scientists trying to gain her secrets in our gruelling modern world.
Talking from the heart, the action sequences in this film are astounding. Charlize Theron's pixie hair, black jeans and dark ray bans make any viewer dazzle as she swats her on screen enemies like flies across the screen. One of the most unique parts of the script is the constant reference to her character as the 'boss' which is rarely written in action genres with female leads. It breaks away from usual superhero film hierarchy, giving women the or credibility to be seen with power.
Another driving factor is Gina's impeccable choice of thrilling songs throughout the fighting sequences. You feel as if you part of a video game intwined within a music video, as she edits in female artists such as Blithe, Chaii and Elle King, to heighten your senses. The winning casting award goes to Kiki Layne who shines as the respected army officer in Afghanistan; a somewhat mirrored image of her shy and timid character in “Beale Street Could Talk” (2018). The male actors were equally brilliant in each storyline and the film had a link within the characters similar to "Inception" (2010). Inserting a loveable gay relationship between two of the main men was also an outstanding attribute by the director. One scene that stood out was the rehearsed fighting sequence inside the falling aircraft between Charlize and Kiki. The continuous beating expressed a shocking reality about the violence which was mesmerising as an audience member to experience.
Almost all of the cast deserve some serious kudos for their character portrayals. All apart from Harry Melling. His Jimmy Neutron stylised villain character was off-putting and made for an overly childish gripe in an otherwise mature and well-guided narrative. The villain should have been balanced against Charlize by someone of age and power - not mimicked as a young rich tech-head - which gave the impression that female superheroes aren't able to fight against the same calibre that male warriors so often do.
Charlize Theron was born to play this role. Her guidance and power with Kiki makes the movie a warming and talented watch. The thrill and suspense never crossed into the realms of unrealistic fantasy, a direction in your usual big-screen Marvel blockbusters that often loses the more discerning viewer. If you thrive off bullet wounds and sarcastic one-liners, then this Erin Brockovich inspired superhero movie on speed is a watch you’re bound to revel in.