Original Content podcast: 'The Old Guard' is extremely dumb fun

THE OLD GUARD (2020) L-R: Kiki Layne ("Nile"), Charlize Theron ("Andy”). Photo Credit: AIMEE SPINKS/NETFLIX ©2020
THE OLD GUARD (2020) L-R: Kiki Layne ("Nile"), Charlize Theron ("Andy”). Photo Credit: AIMEE SPINKS/NETFLIX ©2020
Anthony Ha, Jordan Crook and Darrell Etherington

Even though we did a lot of arguing about Netflix's new action movie "The Old Guard," we're mostly in agreement: The movie is both reasonably entertaining and astonishingly stupid.

We didn't take issue with the basic concept, which sees Charlize Theron leading a small group of immortal mercenaries. But the plotting feels arbitrary and lazy (yes, even by the standard of Hollywood action), with lots of clunky, on-the-nose dialogue — all the more disappointing since the screenplay was adapted by acclaimed comics writer Greg Rucka from the graphic novel he created with artist Leandro Fernández.

The debate, then, was whether "The Old Guard" remained delightful despite its dopiness, or whether the film's virtues — Theron's charisma and her commitment to the kinetic action scenes — only made it passably entertaining.

In addition to our review, the latest episode of the Original Content podcast also includes discussions of NBCUniversal's newly launched streaming service Peacock, Ted Sarandos' appointment as co-CEO of Netflix, as well as mini-reviews of "Palm Springs" on Hulu and "Greyhound" on Apple TV+.

You can listen to our review in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

If you'd like to skip ahead, here's how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:34 Peacock launch discussion
2:21 Ted Sarandos discussion
13:25 "Palm Springs" mini-review
18:20 "Greyhound" mini-review
26:44 "The Old Guard" trailer
43:01 "The Old Guard" spoiler discussion

More From

  • Watch SpaceX's stunning Starship prototype 'hop' test flight and landing

    SpaceX achieved a big win in their Starship spacecraft development program on Tuesday evening, flying the SN5 prototype of that future vehicle to a height of around 500 feet, propelled by a single Raptor engine. The test, which took place at SpaceX's rocket development and testing facility in Boca Chica, Texas, marks the first time that a full-scale Starship prototype has left the ground. The company released a video of the whole test, including footage captured both from a drone's-eye-view, as well as from a camera mounted on board Starship SN5, inside the fuselage and offering a look at the Raptor engine in action, as well as the landing legs activating in preparation for landing.

  • Springboard raises $31 million to expand its mentor-guided education platform to more geographies

    Springboard, an online education platform that provides upskilling and reskilling training courses to people looking to learn in-demand roles, has raised $31 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand to more geographies. The Series B financing round for the San Francisco-headquartered startup was led by investment firm Telstra Ventures . Vulcan Capital and SJF Ventures, as well as existing investors Costanoa Ventures, Pearson Ventures, Reach Capital, International Finance Corporation (IFC), 500 Startups, Blue Fog Capital, and Learn Capital also participated in the round, said the seven-year-old startup, which has raised more than $50 million to date.

  • Amazon inks cloud deal with Airtel in India

    AWS -- in India, the world’s second largest internet market. On Wednesday, the e-commerce giant announced it has partnered with Bharti Airtel, the third-largest telecom operator in India with more than 300 million subscribers, to sell a wide-range of AWS offerings under Airtel Cloud brand to small, medium, and large-sized businesses in the country. The deal could help AWS, which leads the cloud market in India, further expand its dominance in the country.

  • London-based Weezy raises pre-seed funding for its 15-minute grocery delivery app

    Now a new London startup wants to make 15 minute delivery a thing. Putting the hyper hyper-local into online grocery shopping, Weezy combines its own strategically located fulfilment centres with a fleet of electric moped and bicycle couriers, ready to accept orders via the Weezy app. Its founders, Kristof Van Beveren and Alec Dent, think they've spotted a gap in the market for an online grocery service that targets "time-poor professionals and parents" who want the speed of an on-demand service but without it being prohibitively expensive.