Rise of the Guardians
For thousands of years, the hopes, wonders and dreams of children have been protected by mythical beings known as the Guardians. The Guardians are made up of a team of the most cherished childhood idols: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman. Believed in and adored by children, faith in them preserves their strength against fear and darkness. When this faith is threatened by the rise of an old foe, the Guardians are asked to bring in a new recruit, Jack Frost. Arrogant and selfish, Jack seems like an unlikely addition to the team, but with the Guardians help he can find his calling and help defeat Pitch, the boogeyman.
Though Guardians is based on a recent book series, one can see how making a movie like this for the holiday season can be problematic in today’s painfully politically correct society. But at the same time, we are talking about what are essentially figureheads, and though not everyone celebrates Christmas or Easter, the core of these celebrations stand true and applicable to anyone. Okay, explaining Easter as a time of hope with the new beginnings and springtime bit was a bit of a stretch, but I think it worked out alright in the end.
I also understand it’s difficult to picture figures such as the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny as action heroes. To be honest that threw me off as well, that was until I saw North, AKA Santa. Santa is a Russian duel-wielding badass. Never thought you’d see that phrase, huh? Also he’s voiced by Alec Baldwin without being Alec Baldwin, which is awfully refreshing. In fact, I was surprised by most of the characterizations in this film. It was choices like this that made this film entertaining. Was it cheesy and predictable? Absolutely. But was funny and it wasn’t annoying – I’d even venture to say that some moments were charming.
Rise of the Guardians is a visually gorgeous film with a lot of heart in the right place, but sadly falls flat and I’m not exactly sure where. The voice acting was good, the character design was interesting – I think what lacked the most definition was the story, as if these characters weren’t used towards their fullest potential. Like I said, it’s a fun little movie, but I’d say it’s worth a rent.
Final Grade: B