Wednesday, September 23, 2020

“The Old Guard” (Review, Plot and Ending Explained)

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Everyone loves two different genres combined. This is exactly what Netflix’s “The Old Guard” is about. This new release based on the comic with the same name tells the story of an immortal woman named Andy (Charlize Theron) and her army of 3 immortal men ready to do whatever is asked from them if the price and cause are right. During this lockdown when it’s hard for movies to release on big screens, this Netflix comic book adaption is a good movie to binge. 

Movie Information:

  • Director: Gina Prince-Bythwood
  • Based on: The Old Guard by Greg Ruck, Leandro Fernandez
  • Release Date: July 10, 2020
  • Budget: $70 million
  • Ratings: 6.7/10 (IMDB), 81% (rotten tomatoes), 4/5 (Common Sense Media)
  • Actors: Charlize Theron, Kiki Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Luca Marinelli, Marwan Kenzari, Chiwetel Ejiofer, Harry Melling and Ngo Thanh Van  

Plot:

The movie starts off with Andy (Charlize Theron) walking through the streets of Morocco where she meets Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts) who asked her to work for James Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofer). Later, joining Nicky (Luca Marinelli) and Joe (Marwan Kenzari) they met Copley and rescue girls who were going to be kidnapped. But upon reaching there, they got shot to death instead. But being immortal, they all got up and shot Copley’s people instead. It revealed to them that they were set up by Copley. Because Copley had found out about their immortality and struck a deal with Merrick to help mankind live longer (at least that’s what Copley thought). They set out to find Copley to get revenge on him.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, a marine named Nile Freeman, who is stationed there, got her throat slit open, while saving a terrorist and almost died. But when she wakes she finds out that she is still alive and her the wound on her throat has fully healed. Which made not only herself but everyone around her suspicious of her. While she was sleeping, she has visions of Andy and her army. And on the other side, the same happened to Andy and her Army. Andy gave directions to the team to find Copley whereas she will find the new member being she was the Boss and Oldest of them all. Andy went to Afghanistan because Nile was the first to appear in 200 years, who would’ve been confused and scared, wanting answers and saved Nile from the American army. She Brought Nile on a plane to take her to Paris. In the plane, they had a brief fight and Nile got hit by Andy multiple times until she finally listens and be part of the Army.

When they reached Paris, Andy took Nile to a 50-year-old abandoned church and introduced her to everyone. When Nile was sleeping she had clear visions of a woman drowning, trapped in a metal box, going crazy, and struggling hard to get out, which upon waking up and telling everyone about her, she was told it was Quynh, Andy’s friend in the past. Who along with Andy was put on witch trial, was put in an Iron Maiden and was thrown in the ocean because they were ‘too strong together’. 

Copley showed Merrick the video he made during that combat in Morocco to prove their immortality and Merrick ordered him to get all four of them so he experiments on them and helps ‘mankind’ live longer.

Copley found out their location and attacked Andy and her Army to capture them while Andy and Nile were taking a walk outside the church. When Andy heard the blast, she went back into the church and found Booker completely knocked out on his sofa with his stomach open. She woke him up and learned that they had taken Nick and Joe away.

Being the oldest of them all, and forgetting more ways to kill than any army will ever, she killed all of Copley’s minions. And escaped the church with Booker and Nile and hid in a cave. 

In the comics, Andy’s immortality never got away, but in the movie, Andy’s immortality was gone and she can die easily now as her shoulder wound wasn’t closed and she needed a bandage. Booker, being an electronic expert, found out about Copley’s location. Andy, Booker, and Nile went to save Nick and Joe from laboratory tests.  

Andy stopped at the front of the place where Nicky and Joe were supposed to be and refused to go with them because she wanted to be with her family. Andy let her go and went alone. When she reached the room, she found Booker and Copley there and got to know that Booker was a traitor and he told Copley about their location because he wanted to help humankind. Merrick came and took her away along with Booker. 

Meanwhile, Nile came back to save Andy because the guns Booker left in the car were all empty. Copley told Nile about all the good Andy and her Army did in the past and that he was ashamed of revealing their secrets. Nile took Copley with her and saved Andy and everyone else. Also, she was the one who killed Merrick by jumping from the top floor with him.

After that everyone demobilized Booker because he betrayed them all and meet where they parted after a century. Until then, he has to live alone. 

Details of the movie:

Story:

As per in the movie’s story, just like in comics, Andy is the boss and is ‘very old’ among them. She goes with the name Andromache. She and her Army of 3 all have the same superpower, a power that Merrick and his crazy scientist friend wanted for the profits, the power of not dying. In the first scene, they were set by Copley and were shot to death by his minions. They rose on their feet again, wounds quickly healed by themselves, then killed all the Copley’s minions (that was very cool). When they found out about Nile, it was revealed that Nile also shares the same superpower of not dying.  When Andy rescued her, she joined them (after fighting with Andy) and later helped them escape Merrick’s clutches. Copley realized he made the wrong decision of joining hands with Merrick and promised Andy that he will help them work that is ‘suitable for them’ and remove all the traces of them afterward. 

Cinematography:

The skills of the director and cameraman decides the future of a movie. A good director makes any movie hit the spotlight. Director Gina Prince-Bythwood and cameraman did a good job of making this film interesting. They captured all the scenes so perfectly, fight scenes, emotional scenes, and basically all other scenes. Lightning they used to explain different emotions was impressive. Like for sad scenes, when Andy was saying their goodbyes to Booker, they used blue filters and too bright emotions, like when Andy was eating Baklava and guessing the flavors, yellow filters were used which showed everyone one was happy. Such little details made the movie interesting and don’t let viewers leave their seats. 

Acting:

If we talk about acting, everyone did a decent job, but Charlize takes the crown, mostly. As compared to the comic where Andy is a bitter character, in the movie she is shown to have emotions and enjoys small things like Baklava. And Charlize portrayed her nicely to make her loveable character for the viewers.

All the actors showed superb acting skills in most of the scenes because some of them were crappy. Especially when they’re getting shot. A viewer can tell that they are trying hard. Like, really hard.

Makeup:

No matter what genre of a movie or drama we’re watching, makeup is a very essential part of it as it can add intensity to it. Good makeup can make characters look appealing whether its normal face or a special effects makeup. In this movie, the body makeup, especially when showing wounds, the makeup artist did crappy work there. There was no depth and one can tell easily that it was a makeup portrayed as a wound. 

Script:

“We fight for what we think is right,” says Nicky.

This movie has some of the coolest dialogue. And the script overall is enjoyable. There are some curse words like a**, b***h, etc.

When Nicky and Joe’s capturers asked Joe if Nicky was his boyfriend he replied with romantic lines. 

“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 thrills me, even after millennia. His heart overflows with the 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”  

To which Nicky says “you’re an incurable romantic.” (after that both shares a kiss) 

Deep Aspects:

There were some deep aspects of the movie. Such as Nile’s and Andy’s beliefs in god.  When Nile got on the plane, she grips the crucifix and prayed to which Andy said,

“Are you praying? God doesn’t exist.” And Nile firmly replied, “My God does.” 

Andy completely ignored the existence of god and said, “You should keep following that illogic. You’re already on board with the supernatural.” 

This conversation shows how living for a long time made Andy atheist. And Nile believed that God can save her and help her fight whatever was going on with her. 

Another deep aspect of the movie was that we might that being immortal is a bed of roses, but the reality is opposite. All the immortals have their fair share of pain themselves. Watching their loved one die in front of their eyes multiple times in different eras, being accused of witchcraft (in Andy’s case), not able to die at all, running, and hiding to avoid getting caught are just a few of the deep conditions of being an immortal. 

Ending explained:

The old guard is full of thrills from start till the end. The ending of the movie was predictable for most of the part, but that last scene put viewers waiting for more. 

Booker betrayed the team to help Copley. He put the team and himself in hands of Merrick until Nile shows up and saved them from Merrick’s tests. Andy and her teammates gathered in a café and exiled Booker for the next 100 years. They would not meet Booker for the next 100 years to which Booker said, “I hope for less, but expected more.” After that, they exchanged emotional goodbyes. Andy lost her immortality and has become mortal, so might not meet Booker again. 

Andy has taken a liking to Copley because he researched their lives and finding out about their 150-year-old history. She teamed up with him and told him to find jobs suitable to them. 

“When we leave a footprint in the sand, in the snow, in the ether, you’re going to sweep it, you’re going to protect us from those who want to put us in cages, and you’re gonna find those jobs that are best suited to us.”

Six months into the future we see drunk Booker, bottle in hand, living in Paris, enter his place, and broke a bottle. When he enters his key into the door lock, he found the door already opened. Besides being drunk, he is still aware of the fact that there’s an intruder in his home. He enters while holding a gun and finds Quynh pouring herself water from the bottle and says: 

“Booker. It’s nice to finally meet you.”

Ending of the movie lead to many possibilities. Andy will meet Booker again sometime. Also, Quynh will be the next Antagonist in the movie and most probably stronger. As she might think Andy abandoned her and would want revenge. As Booker sold the team once, with Quynh coming back Booker might join hands with her and they become partners. It’s clear that “The old guard” is going to get a sequel. But it will take some time because of Coronavirus restrictions in Hollywood. Also, Charlize and the director haven’t confirmed it yet.

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