The Old Guard Review

The Old Guard movie posterSynopsis
A covert team of immortal mercenaries are suddenly exposed and must now fight to keep their identity a secret just as an unexpected new member is discovered. (via IMDb)

Review
Charlize Theron has shown again and again that she can be a kick-ass action star and that continues in The Old Guard. Theron is the leader of the group and has the presence and attitude to back it up. Relative newcomer Kiki Layne, and the new immortal, held her own opposite Theron. This is the first film I have seen that stars Layne and I was impressed at her handling of the emotional moments as well as the action. Everyone did a good job in their roles but the two leading ladies stood out among them. It is obvious that a lot of work went into the action sequences. The stunt work looks fantastic! You can feel the impact of each punch and the way the action is framed is great. Maybe it’s just me being selfish but I would have liked to see a few more action scenes thrown in throughout the movie.

Despite the characters being immortal, which can often lead to flat characters when it does not feel like there are any risks for them, every character in The Old Guard feels well fleshed out. They each receive a good amount of screen time and backstory. The film also does a good job of adding stakes to the film regardless of the main characters’ immortality. The biggest downside to this film is the main villain. He doesn’t make a splash until over halfway through the runtime and he comes off as very generic and somewhat cartoonish. There are shifting motivations from other characters to keep the film interesting but the big bad ultimately falls short.

I thought The Old Guard was GOOD 🙂 Overall it feels like your fairly generic action flick but the exciting and well shot action scenes, good acting, and a surprising amount of character depth makes the time spent worth while, stumbling only when the main villain becomes more prominent. The ending leaves open the possibility for a sequel and since this is based on a comic book series, I’m sure the material is there for a follow-up. I wouldn’t be opposed to visiting this world of these immortals again.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Gina Prince-Bythewood – Director
Greg Rucka – Writer
Volker Bertelmann – Composer
Dustin O’Halloran – Composer

Charlize Theron – Andy
Kiki Layne – Nile
Matthias Schoenaerts – Booker
Marwan Kenzari – Joe
Luca Marinelli – Nicky
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Copley
Harry Melling – Merrick
Van Veronica Ngo – Quynh
Anamaria Marinca – Dr. Meta Kozak
Joe Ansah – Keane

Lightning Review: Prometheus

This review was originally posted for MovieRob‘s space-themed genre grandeur.

Prometheus movie posterSynopsis
Archeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover clues to mankind’s origin and takes a ship and crew to an alien planet, thanks to the Weyland Corporation. At their destination, they find more than they expected, and may end up causing the destruction of the Earth.

Review
Prometheus exists in the same universe as the Alien movies and acts as a pseudo-prequel, supposedly hoping to answer the questions about the origins of the xenomorphs. However, in the end, it creates more questions than it answers. It follows a very similar format and pacing as Alien (not surprising since they both come from the mind of Ridley Scott). We meet the crew of Prometheus as they come out of stasis. Then they go to the planet’s surface, where they enter an alien structure. All of a sudden, the crew must fight for their lives against an alien creature. It’s almost exactly the same as the aforementioned Alien, but it lacks the atmosphere that made the 1979 film a classic.

That’s not to say it isn’t entertaining, it just offers a slightly different experience given their similarities. Micheal Fassbender is the highlight of the film. He plays David, an android very similar to Ash in Alien. He is creepy but sophisticated at the same time. Noomi Rapace is the Sigourney Weaver of this film, proving that women can kick just as much alien ass as the men can. The first two acts are mostly set-up and exploring the environment and catacombs. It’s fairly slow until the last third, then it really picks up once the alien is revealed. At times it seems to attempt the horror aspect of Alien, but it feels out of place compared to the rest of the film. Prometheus is an enjoyable film, but if it’s goal was to clear things up about where the xenomorphs came from, it fails. But hey, at least it looks pretty, right?

Rating
3.5/5

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Ridley Scott – Director
Jon Spaihts – Writer
Damon Lindelof – Writer
Marc Streitenfeld – Composer

Noomi Rapace – Elizabeth Shaw
Logan Marshall-Green – Charlie Holloway
Michael Fassbender – David
Charlize Theron – Meredith Vickers
Idris Elba – Janek
Sean Harris – Fifield
Rafe Spall – Millburn
Benedict Wong – Ravel
Emun Elliott – Chance
Kate Dickie – Ford
Guy Pearce – Peter Weyland
Ian Whyte – Last Engineer