Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Old Guard


Don’t much care for comic books or graphic novels, but every so often one comes along that is intelligent and worthwhile as an action movie. This is one, very much so. Greg Rucka wrote the book and the screenplay, and it is about a small group of “immortals,” who can recover from any injury. This is unexplained, and unlikely, but qualifies as the One Big Given that any SF story is allowed. The oldest of them is Andromache of Scythia (Charlize Theron), known as Andy, who is about 6,700 years old and dreadfully tired of living. The youngest fought for Napoleon. The four have been trying to do one simple thing over the centuries, and that is to make the world a better place, as any good super-hero should do. They do good as much as they are able, but just look around you. Have they really made a dent in the evil in the world? Not so much. But what else is there to do?

A new immortal is born in Afghanistan, a Marine named Nile. She is quickly made to see that many, many burdens come with her new ability to heal from any wound. She can no longer contact her loved ones. She is a deserter, and how would she explain that she never gets old while everyone she cares about ages and dies?

It never gets stupid, and the fight scenes, which are normally a ho-hum for me, are pretty amazing. Theron is on record saying she had injured herself more doing her “thoughtful” movies than the action adventures she is also so good at. But it’s a relative thing. The article on her at Wiki is rather hair-raising.

And the laws of physics are not violated. At the end, two people jump from a 15-story building and land on a car. Hint: They don’t get up and dust themselves off and go about their business, as if the car roof was a trampoline. Or at least the non-immortal one doesn’t. The car is pretty much destroyed. I recommend this one strongly, if you have Netflix.