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First Cow(2020)

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Jul 20 2020




Who better, then, to play a female warrior who never dies or grows old and whose wounds heal without a trace? While Theron’s played a lot of certifiable badasses in recent years, she hasn’t often been cast as a bona fide superhero, and the results have been mixed when she has (Aeon Flux是想到的,除非你算上最后汉考克)。我很高兴地告诉她找到一个很好的契合老后卫, Netflix’s latest attempt to make us all forget we ever needed to go to a movie theater...

Based on the graphic novel by Greg Rucka and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball, Beyond the Lights老后卫centers on a small group of warriors-for-hire who have been around for literally centuries, if not millennia. Their leader, Andromache (Theron), called Andy for short, is the oldest by far, though she never specifies her age; Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts), her de facto second in command, fought in the Napoleonic Wars; and the inseparable Joe and Nicky (Marwan Kenzari and Luca Marinelli) were soldiers originally on opposite sides of the Crusades who eventually fell in love. They don’t work for free, but neither do they take on jobs for the money; they fight, as one of them explains, for what theythinkis right.

At the film’s outset, Andy is showing signs of mission fatigue, not surprisingly for someone who’s had to die and come back to life more times than she can count. She isn’t given much chance to express her discontent, however, before the team is hit with the double whammy of a job gone horribly wrong, exposing them to discovery by unscrupulous corporate interests, and their sudden collective psychic awareness that a another of their kind has come into being. (Unlike the Highlander, it appears there can always be one more.) The new one turns out to be a young female U.S. marine named Nile Freeman (KiKi Layne, so luminous inIf Beale Street Could Talk)谁不知道她是怎么活过来了,而在阿富汗被值班残忍地杀害了。

老后卫从而建立了一个双轨制的叙述中,团队的努力之间智取谁的威胁劫持,强行利用他们和他们的努力,同时招募尼罗河他们的行列敌人。结果是什么感觉就像两个不同的电影。首先有大部分动作和悬念;the second is much quieter and slower, but ultimately more compelling, playing to Prince-Bythewood’s strengths as an actor’s director who knows how to draw a natural, unforced intimacy and emotional charge from one-on-one scenes that could otherwise easily lapse into cliché.

Theron and Layne have a great master-pupil dynamic, and the latter effectively conveys the bewilderment and anguish of a young woman whose entire existence, beliefs, and support system are ripped away from her in a single moment. As her older, wiser, wearier mentors who wrestle constantly with the personal and psychological burdens brought on by their “gift,” Theron and Schoenaerts give just the thoughtful and nuanced performances you’d expect from actors of their caliber and experience. Kenzari and Marinelli aren’t given as much to do, but do make a devoted and absurdly cute couple who demonstrate a more positive and downright romantic attitude towards their fate.


Despite these limitations, the face-offs between the protagonists and the bad guys move briskly and efficiently, and it’s always thrilling to watch Charlize Theron open up a can of whoop-ass. We also learn that the immortals aren’t truly immortal, adding an extra layer of uncertainty as the film moves through an unexpected (and frankly unconvincing) betrayal towards the expected final confrontation. While the outcome is never truly in doubt, its emotional cost shadows the team to the end and beyond.

老后卫is just good enough to make me wish it were better. It’s a bit overly solemn and downbeat – no quippy Marvel-style banter here – though not nearly as ponderous as some of the sloggier D.C. Comics entries. It suffers from the constraints of the superhero movie formula and the need to reduce the narrative of characters with such expansive histories to a single chapter. Indeed, the nature of the source material may have been better suited to a TV series or miniseries than a two-hour movie. But by the same token, the movie sets up the possibility of a sequel that feels organic and like something I’d actually be interested in watching. Like its heroes,老后卫may not be immortal, but it certainly has the potential for an extended lifespan.B



Reader Comments (2)

I really like the movie, but I wholeheartedly agree that this material would feel more at home as a TV show or miniseries. In any case, why Netflix hasn't announced a sequel is beyond me.

7月20日, 2020 |Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I thought this was a mini series when I first heard of it. Is this Oscar eligible?

7月20日, 2020 |Unregistered Commenter汤姆·G.

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