Since the release of the impressive “Atomic Blonde” in 2017, Charlize Theron has now become a highly skilled Martial Arts actor, that now also includes the new Netflix movie “The Old Guard”.
The Old Guard is one of those science fiction action movies that requires the audience to suspend all common sense, because this story is about a group of immortal soldiers who have been alive for about 1000 years. They cannot be killed, even when they are shot in the head or riddled with bullets. The one trick in this plot is that, after being killed unknown number of times these soldiers are no longer able to come back to life. Due to all of this absurd life and death complexity, this film runs a fine line from being entertaining mostly because of the Martial Arts action to being ridiculous because the immortality angle mostly does not work.
Originally there are 4 soldiers led by Theron who have been traveling the world for centuries fighting in wars and saving lives, but through their common dreams they find out about a new immortal soldier Nile, currently in the US army, played by KiKi Layne. What follows for the rest of this story are events we have seen before including a scientist who wants to capture all the soldiers so they can be studied and fighting various enemies with gunfire and Martial Arts. The last quarter of this story is mostly about the group’s ongoing attempts to evade capture by this evil scientist. At the very end of this story, there was a very strong suggestion that this is the first of a series of movies with these characters, that will probably be determined based on the Netflix ratings for this first installment.
Despite the strong 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I give this movie a 70% rating and a very marginal recommendation, mostly for fans of solid Martial Arts action.