For over a week, Charlize Theron’s new film The Old Guard was one of the most-watched bits of content available to Netflix subscribers living in America. Now, however, the acclaimed action-adventure drama has been dethroned by a rather surprising contestant, a little-known thriller by the name of Fatal Affair, which has taken the #1 spot on the Top 10 movies chart.
Written and directed by Peter Sullivan alongside Rasheeda Garner, Fatal Affair tells the story of a woman who tries to save her marriage after a brief but potent encounter with an old friend, only to discover that said friend turns out to be more dangerous and unhinged than they originally led on.
The movie, which currently holds a Metacritic score of 33 as well as a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 17%, stars Nia Long alongside Omar Epps and Stephen Bishop. Critics have scolded it for its uninspired dialogue, a boring plot and an underdeveloped villain. Compared to some of the other entries on Netflix’s most-watched list, then, it begs the question of why this one reigns supreme.
The Old Guard, by contrast, sports a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 81%. That film, which tells the story of a group of immortal mercenaries who have turned the tide of pretty much every major war in human history, has been praised for its stellar action sequences, thrilling story structure and intriguing characters.
The pic has been especially lauded for its inclusive cast, as two of its main characters are in an openly gay relationship in the film. While many indie productions have featured gay characters over the last few years, The Old Guard marks one of the first instances that a mainstream Hollywood action blockbuster depicts homosexuality on screen.
Written by Greg Rucka and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, it stars Charlize Theron alongside KiKi Layne and Matthias Schoenaerts. And although it’s been dethroned as Netflix’s most-watched film only after about a week of being on the platform, it certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, with talks of a sequel already beginning to crop up.