How ‘The Old Guard’ Showcases A Modern Movie Problem

THE OLD GUARD (L to R) KIKI LAYNE as NILE, LUCA MARINELLI as NICKY, CHARLIZE THERON as ANDY, MARWAN KENZARI as JOE in THE OLD GUARD. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix/NETFLIX © 2020

Last weekend, I watched The Old Guard, the new movie on Netflix. It stars Charlize Theron as the leader of a group of immortal warriors. The movie is fine. Honestly, you can skip it, but these days it is harder to skip on stuff if it’s even adequate. However, there is one beef I have with it. This is sort of a spoiler, but also isn’t. I figured I’d just let you know before I delve into my point.

The movie doesn’t end with the story ending. It ends in the way it seems like every movie that isn’t a prestige drama ends. Namely, the end is really just the beginning of a purported ongoing series. That, frankly, sucks. The Old Guard ends by setting up both the future path of the protagonists and also established the antagonist of the next movie. No note of finality. Just a bunch of preamble.

I’m tired of this. Movies should end. I’m not against series. I’m not against sequels. I am against seemingly every movie being served up as nothing more than the setup to the next movie. The conclusions are all tarnished. The stories are all muddled. It’s annoying as all get out.

Maybe Marvel is to blame, but at least they wait until the credits to do the setup scenes. I’m not saying you can’t weave in some seeds of the sequel or the ongoing story. Just please give me a true conclusion. I want a movie to be a story. Give me a beginning, a middle, and an end. Think about how many movies finish with a grand conclusion. You go out on a high note and you feel good. The end of The Old Guard fell flat. It made me roll my eyes.

Compare this to, say, Knives Out. They are doing a sequel. They let it end on its own merits, and the ending is great. It didn’t stop them from telling future stories. When you end your movie setting up your next film, it just feels desperate.

I won’t be watching any sequels to The Old Guard. It’s partially because I didn’t like the movie that much, but it’s also because they ruined the ending by caring more about setting up a franchise.

About Chris Morgan

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