Netflix Pick of the Week – Writing With Cats Edition: The Old Guard

Trying to get writing done with cats around is a challenge. Especially when two of my four cats are kittens. Finn and Bubs absolutely cannot resist getting in to whatever I have lying around my work station. Particularly Finn.  As I wrote this blog post, Finn stepped on my laptop, stole my pen, chewed on my charger cable, nibbled on my chin, and headbutted me for snuggles. In fact, at this very moment, as I type these very words, Finn is lying across my wrists and arms (he keeps alternating between my left and my right arms). It is very , very challenging to write like this.  So, this Netflix Pick of the Week has been brought to you by Finn and is dedicated to all of the wonderful, helpful, snuggly kitties out there.

The Old Guard Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood – Action, Adventure, Fantasy: Based on the graphic novel series by Greg Rucka. After a mission ends poorly, a group of immortal mercenaries find themselves going up against a big pharma company that wants to exploit them. As they fight to maintain their freedom, they discover that a new immortal has appeared for the first time in a long time.

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Pros: This film has strong female characters and strong female leads who are absolutely badass. Andy and Nile are fantastic and their fight was really well choreographed (as were the other fight scenes and action sequences in the film). The main cast is diverse and there is POC and LGBTQIA+ representation. There is no unnecessary romantic subplot to interfere with the action or weaken the female characters. In fact, the only romantic relationship portrayed is beautifully handled. Joe’s speech about how Nicky isn’t his boyfriend (because he’s so much more) is really wonderful. I haven’t read the comics, but I want to now.

Cons: Although I liked the music in the film, I didn’t always feel like it belonged. I feel like the song choices were good in terms of how the lyrics fit in with the scenes, but the music just never felt properly integrated into the movie. The plot was also predictable. The world of the story is explained to the audience through the presence of a newcomer, Andy pines over lost teammates, and the outcome of the initial mission at the beginning of the film isn’t at all surprising. (Spoiler) Booker’s betrayal of the group was a little bit of a surprise when it happened, but it’s not exactly a unique moment; those kinds of betrayals are already an established trope in action films. And, although I’m sure it was meant to be a kind of twist ending, Booker’s last scene of the film was not surprising at all.

Final Thoughts: I really liked the use of religious imagery throughout the film. Faith in God or a higher power was so prevalent in many of the immortals’ backstories, as well as the fact that they hide out in a church made me think that the concept of faith was going to play a much larger role in the film. I was hoping for some sort of grand reveal at the end where Andy regained faith in herself and in her cause. I suppose that regaining of faith was there in the end, but it didn’t seem to be as big of a moment as I thought it would be. Still, this was such a fun film to watch. I’ve read somewhere that a sequel might happen and I really hope it does. I would love to see more of these characters.

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