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Old Guard, New Cinema

Posted on Friday, July 10th, 2020

Dave!If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that movies based on comic books are a mixed bag. Sometimes they do a great job of translating the source material... other times they do a horrendous job. But in every case, there's always changes that get made.

Marvel Studios has been the most successful in respecting the original comic books with their films. When they make changes, they are usually in the service of the story and are made so that the essence of the characters and stories will work in an entirely different format. DC had some very good Batman movies with Christopher Nolan's take on The Dark Knight, yet their current movies have been worse than shit. And then there's the 20th Century Fox X-Men movies, which were awful to extreme levels of bad, and about the worst comic book translation you'll find.

You just never know.

So when I heard that Netflix was creating a movie based on The Old Guard, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I loved the comic book. Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez told a great story in a cool way and it had incredible potential for a movie. So when Netflix unleashed it, I tuned in with a mix of both excitement and dread. How much of the story would they butcher? How many senseless changes would they make?

Turns out they did a fucking amazing job.

This story of immortal beings working as mercenaries stars Charlize Theron, which was reason enough to watch. She has never disappointed. And she absolutely does not disappoint here. She kicks copious amounts of ass and delivers exactly as you'd expect her to. That much was not surprising.

What was surprising? Not did Netflix keep two of the major characters gay... but they did not reduce their characters to platonic shells as what usually do. Take this scene between them from the comic book, which was incredibly touching and romantic as it gets...

A page from The Old Guard comic book.

And compare it to The Old Guard movie...

The scene is not just faithful... it's word-for-word faithful.

There was a time not even ten years ago that this would likely have not been the case. If the characters of Joe and Nicky were allowed to stay gay, they would have been neutered or played for laughs. And then there's the fact that the two leads of an action movie are women... and one of them is a Black woman. Don't see a lot of that, even in 2020.

And so...

Highest possible recommendation. If you like action movies, it's definitely worth a look.

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Categories: Movies 2020Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Christopher Stogdill says:

    I generally HATE having gay characters in films and TV shows these days because, well because it usually feels tacked-on just for the sake of having a “diverse” cast and often it feels fake to me, probably because they were just going through the motions. Sometimes it starts off feeling fake and then the characters start to get fleshed out and the relationship starts to feel real. I liked The Old Guard in general and this couple specifically because it felt genuine to me. First off, their relationship wasn’t a big deal…..it just was. Now when the chips were down and things were looking grim for the characters, yes….the did get a little over-the-top expressing their love, but even then….still felt real. I could totally see a hetero couple (and probably have) do the exact same thing. Hell, I think I’d expect that to happen.

    But I could be off-base…..I could be secretly 10-90% homophobic and subconsciously don’t like the other depictions because of it.

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