SPOILERS FOR A MOVIE STILL IN THEA–ERR, I MEAN, NEWLY RELEASED ON NETFLIX
GONNA BRING UP SOME SPOILERS FOR THE MOVIE AND THE COMICS IT’S BASED ON AT THE END
I first heard about this movie on Facebook when a (gay) friend had posted an article about it and the preview image was two male characters kissing. That was really all I needed to know, so I logged onto Netflix and watched it. And that, as it turns out, was the right decision!
The Old Guard follows a group of immortals–Andy (Ms. Charlize Theron), Booker, Joe (Marwan Kenzari, AKA Jafar from the live action Aladdin), and Nicky. When a mission given to them from former CIA agent Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) turns out to be a setup, the group decides to get some revenge while trying to erase all evidence of their existence and powers. But before they can really get started a new immortal is revealed to them in the American soldier Nile. Seeing visions of each other, Andy goes to get Nile while the boys go hunting for Copley and Merrick (Harry Melling, AKA Dudley Dursley now all grown up), the pharma bro douchebag who he’s working with.
The main characters are fascinating in that outside of Nile, Booker is the youngest, having discovered his immortality in 1812 while he was in Napoleon’s Grande Armée. Andy identifies herself at one point as Andromache the Scythian, a tribe that flourished around 7th to 3rd century BC, meaning she is VERY old (and in the comics she’s revealed to be much, much older). And then there’s Nicky and Joe, the reason I found this. Nicolo of Genoa and Yusuf ib Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn al-Kaysani (their full names are given in the comics) first met each other during the Crusades on opposing sides. After trying to kill each other several times and failing, they stayed together, ending up a couple that has lasted the centuries. They give me life. In fact, Joe has a beautiful monologue about how much he loves Nicky, and that’s the cutoff for spoilers. After the quote I’m going to talk about the comic source material, how close the movie stuck to it, and where it WILDLY deviated.
“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 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.”
Still here? Okay, so SPOILERS.
The movie follows very closely to the first series of The Old Guard comic. There are a few differences, like how in the comic Merrick is more of a sociopathic bro and Copely doesn’t redeem himself much. There’s a big plot thread lifted from the sequel series, The Old Guard: Force Multiplied, but it’s teasing the eventual sequel (I can’t imagine this isn’t getting at least 1 sequel). But the major difference is Andy herself. In the comics she reveals she’s 6732 years old, which makes a very white Charlize Theron look out of place. But her character arc in the movie? That her immortality has finally run out? After reading all 10 issues, there’s none of that in the comics. Sure, we hear of Lykon so we know that it runs out at some point, but it happening to Andy is just for the movie. Now, it could be a plot in the upcoming third series, The Old Guard: Fade Away (the title sure seems like it might), but considering the final issue of Force Multiplied came out July 15th (as I am writing this), we won’t know for a while.
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