Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Review - Legend of the Guardians

First of all, thank you to Advertlets for inviting me to the preview of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. Really appreciate it... They even asked me if I was coming to the preview of The Other Guys... haven't had time to do the write up, hopefully I'd get it done soon... :)

Anyway, on to the review... (go to my pal's blog for his take on the movie...)

First of... this movie sounded like it was an Aussie/NZ project or at the very least The Association of Actors with Accents.... hehe, not that it's a bad thing coz it made the owls have regal air or a bit dignified... in any event, the movie boasts the who's who in the industry... talents like Ryan Kwanten of True Blood, Oscar winners Geoffrey Rush and Helen Mirren, Sam Neill and fantasy movie staples Hugo Weaving and David Wenham.

The movie is directed by Zack Snyder. Yup, the guy that directed 300. So that's why the movie has all of the war fight slow-mo move.

To tell you the truth, I have not heard of this movie before or bothered to google it before watching. I only watched the trailer at Advertlets website. So I did not know whose voice goes where and all that...

At first glance, the movie is great. Nice animation work. Nice graphics and rendering. Or is it coloring. Either way, it's all nice.

Even the story was great. But then, when you really look at it, you notice things. Not that it's all bad mind you...

The movie is suffering from M Night Shyamalan Syndrome (MNSS). It's a disease where a story that's really big and needed all kinds of exposition and back stories but can only be told in one hour or less so it's boiled down to the simplest points and everything was rushed through so that all it's points were told.

Yup, MNSS. If you watch Lady in the Water or The Last Airbender, then you'd understand what I mean. It's like taking The Lord of the Rings trilogy and boiling it down to a two hour movie.

Guardians started out with a nice view and then a majestic owl flying and hunting. Then it arrived home to feed it to its young. The owlets were playing roles from a legend they'd heard from the parents. Somehow or rather the owlets got captured when they fell from the tree and was taken to a far off place where they were forced to be either slaves or soldiers. One of them escaped and flew away to find the Guardians to help rescue everybody and bring the evil owls down.

That's basically the story. It felt a bit rushed. The legend was told once during the role playing and then... BOOM! They're transported right into the legend. But we don't really know it's the legend until after the owlets were told to go get help from The Guardians.

The Guardians were found without much hassle. Scouts were sent. Owlets were trained. Big battle ensued. Dust settled. We see the winner. And of course, there's a hint of a second movie. See? Rushed.

But the quirky supporting characters kinda elevated the movie a bit, providing some of the funnier moments, despite the seriousness of their quests.

Like I said, this movie is like The Lord of the Rings boiled down... not that it's bad. It's quite good. But I can't imagine bringing children to watch this because the battle scenes were quite graphic and the scare/thrill factor was quite high. Either way, despite the shortcomings and the MNSS, this movie is better than anything *cough* The Last Airbender *cough* that we've seen this summer.