‘The Old Guard” solidifies Charlize Theron as an action icon

by Gordon Shelly

When did Charlize Theron become a bad ass action superhero? I mean, she had a bit of a fight scene way back in 1996 in 2 Days in the Valley. Then in 2003, she was the sidekick in The Italian Job.  She won an Oscar in 2003 for her dramatic role in Monster, then tried her hand at action again in the lackluster 2005 flick, Aeon Flux. For most actors, that would have been enough, but Theron kept moving along, finding herself in the mediocre Hancock  in 2008 and returning to the genre again in 2012 in Prometheus, arguably her first successful bid in the genre. But in 2015, she became Furiosa, a full-fledged action hero, going toe-to-toe with the iconic Mad Max in Fury Road. In Atomic Blonde she solidified her standing as an action super star and proves herself once again as a leader in the gerne in Netflix’s The Old Guard.

The Old Guard is not a great movie, but it is a very fun and highly energetic action movie. It tells the story of Nile (Kiki Layne), a modern day soldier who suddenly discovers her own Highlander-esque immortality on the battlefield. Soon she finds herself under the mentorship of Andy (Theron) and a small band of immortals who work as mercenaries fighting for the greater good of humanity. Of course, there are villains such as Merrick (Harry Melling) who would love nothing more than to harness the power of these immortal warriors. But there are also those like Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who border on good and bad, who follow the story in a role unclear until the outcome.

There are numerous holes and countless devices that simply don’t work in this movie; however, if you can give yourself to the moment, and sit back, relax and take a ride on this Theron led roller coaster, the outcome is most enjoyable. Take The Old Guard for what it is, and enjoy the ride.

Gordon’s Grade: B-