[REVIEW] ‘The Old Guard’ provides much needed diversity in the comic book movie genre.

Netflix’s latest comic book adaptation stars Charlize Theron as the leader of a band of mercenaries who just so happen to be immortal.

(Image Credit: Aimee Spinks/Netflix ©2020)

I’m a huge fan of superhero films and, like most fans, grew up on them. In recent years, there has been a visible increase of representation in the genre, especially in comics. However, the same can’t be said about their film counterparts – especially the tentpole blockbusters which seem to be glaringly white with a token black character here and there. Enter ‘The Old Guard’.

A show directed by a female director? Check.

Black female lead? Check.

LGBT representation? Check, check, check.

Netlfix’s ‘The Old Guard’ movie is a faithful adaptation of the comic book by writer Greg Rucka (Wonder Woman, Batwoman). The only big change that I’ve noticed was one character’s nationality was switched from the original Japanese to Vietnamese – this was a request by the actress who is Vietnamese.

The story of ‘The Old Guard’ is pretty straightforward and we all know that sometimes, all you need is simplicity. One complaint that I have about the movie however, was the soundtrack – it did try to be contemporary with its choice of music but in doing so, ended up being too heavy-handed and at times, the music didn’t seem to mesh well with the some of the scenes.

As action movies go, the movie has dialogue that’s brusque but at the same time, it’s with feeling as well. In fact, my favourite dialogue – and I’m pretty sure this is a crowd favourite as well – has to be this very Shakespeare-esque declaration of love by Marwan Kenzari’s character Joe to his long-time love, Nicky (played by Luca Marinelli):

You’re a child, an infant. Your mocking is thus infantile – he’s not my boyfriend.

This man is more to me than you can dream.

He’s the moon when I’m lost in darkness and warmth when I shiver in cold, and his kiss still thrills me even after a millennia.

His heart overflows with a kindness of which this world is not worthy of. I love this man beyond measure and reason.

He’s not my boyfriend.

He’s all and he’s more.

I absolutely love that Charlize Theron has found her niche in playing battle-hardened characters with heart – from Furiosa in ‘Mad Max’, to Andromache in ‘The Old Guard’. I do hope she continues down this path and saves us from all the ageing hyper-masculine action heroes.

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