Gina Prince-Bythewood’s, The Old Guard is rife with possibilities for expanding the universe. This is her first feature-length film in the action genre and she is clearly comfortable within it. The film is based on graphic novels by Greg Rucka who also penned the screenplay. With multiple time periods, interesting characters, and unique subject matter, The Old Guard is set up for more rich stories to come.
Lore and History
One of the clever elements of The Old Guard is its lore. The story spans multiple historic time periods and events. We come to know the group of old guards and get a general understanding of their backstories. Their stories tie directly into various historical moments in time. While some background information is revealed, most of the details are left out. The possibilities for further storytelling are wide open.
An Old Family
Another great element of The Old Guard is its array of rich characters, particularly the main group of protagonists. Aside from their backstories, the dynamic of the group is enjoyable. You immediately get the sense that they have spent a lot of time together and have become a family.
At the head of the family is Andy (Charlize Theron). She is the matriarch of the group and leads from the front. She is perhaps the most interesting character because of her backstory. It is the most fitting for a prequel or spinoff series. Nile, (KiKi Layne) is the heart and soul of The Old Guard. She brings out the best of the characters around her. Joe and Nicky (Marwan Kenzari, Matthias Schoenaerts) have a deep connection and provide a touch romantic flair. Finally, Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts) finishes off the group with a callous weariness that offers some grit to the group.
The most interesting element of The Old Guard is the direct subject matter that it tackles. Primarily the notion of life, death, and the effects of immortality. In general, we often dream of immortality. The idea of being able to experience vast amounts of time without fear of death has allured us for centuries. This film tackles the subject very differently and exposes many of the short-sighted notions of immortality. The way the characters deal with that phenomenon is part of what makes them so interesting which plays a key role in the story’s plot.
Ultimately, Gina Prince-Bythewood has set up a franchise with huge potential.