We all need a bit of escapism. Sure, watching critically acclaimed Oscar-bait makes you feel cultured; but sometimes all you want is to switch off for two hours and indulge in a brain-numbing blockbuster with plenty of special effects, silly dialogue and an inconsequential plot.
Netflix have released quite a few dopey action flicks in their time, and the latest example, The Old Guard, is a hangover classic. Adapted from the 2017 graphic novel of the same name, it follows a gang of centuries-old super-soldiers with healing properties that mean they (largely) can’t die. Working in the shadows, the team, led by Andy (Charlize Theron), are soon joined by newcomer Nile Freeman (KiKi Layne), a marine who’s reluctant to join the squad.
It’s a fresh take on the tired superhero genre, and a genuinely fun watch. There’s a ludicrous backstory, brilliant brooding performances and a ton of flashy fight scenes; but there is one thing that lets the film down, and that’s the weird and wild soundtrack.
Alongside an orchestral score by composers Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka, there are a bunch of ‘on-trend’ tunes paired with fast-paced action scenes that will undoubtedly sound dated in six months’ time. And yes, there are brilliant examples of matching pop songs with thrillers, but The Old Guard is not one of them.
Sugary dance banger ‘Silence’ by Marshmello and Khalid is played as we see Nile recover from a particularly gnarly fight and moodily flee the scene with her team. Later, Blithe’s throbbing slice of industrial electropop ‘Say Your Prayers’ accompanies a bumpy drive through the desert and CHAII’s strutting ‘Nobody Know’ pops up during a fight.
They’re wacky song choices, and ones that don’t fit comfortably in the movie; but what’s made worse is when they do pick an objectively excellent song (Frank Ocean’s ‘Godspeed’, played whilst Nile tries to process certain unfortunate events), you only hear it for about 10 seconds!
And online, fans of the film are cringing at some of the musical choices for The Old Guard soundtrack…
I REALLY enjoyed The Old Guard…
but the so many of the music cues made me sad because… well, I just think film scoring makes things SO much better.
That said, if this has a sequel, I’m looking forward to it. Kiki Layne is fantastic and I want her to win!
— Sy Smith (@Syberspace) July 12, 2020
the music in the old guard was terrible and it was almost unbearable to watch because of it
— ian✨ (@vividstyIe) July 11, 2020
the movie “old guard” is almost completely ruined by the hella cringe music selection. there are some shows that do it well (like “insecure”) but i personally don’t enjoy how pop music has replaced actual scoring in film and tv
— Mx Blouse (@sandiblouse) July 11, 2020
The music in The Old Guard is so awful lmao and feels so out of place. Shit is like CW show. I liked the movie tho
— Ultimate Asshole (@atlsmx) July 12, 2020
The Old Guard ending perfectly sets up further instalments, and it’s a universe we’d like to see more of; but next time please sack off the soundtrack of dreary chart fodder.