Friday, 30 November 2012

Rise of the Guardians: Movie Review

What's it About? 

When Pitch Black (Law) threatens the hopes, dreams and beliefs of the children of the world, it's up to the Guardians to stand together and defeat him. An animated Avengers, if you will. A reluctant Jack Frost (Pine) has been enlisted to help but can he defeat his own demons in time to save the day? 

Any Good? 

Based on the William Joyce books that explored the root of our make believe heroes, Rise of the Guardians is set 200 years later in modern day and these heroes are nothing like you've seen before.  Santa is a sword wielding, tatted up, no nonsense mountain of a man. Sandy (who'll you'll probably want to put in your pocket) weaves his thoughts and dreams in stunning golden glittering sand. The Easter Bunny is a rough and tumble flaming galah with a bad taste in his mouth when it comes to Jack and the Tooth Fairy is a stunning soft spoken, iridescent feathered fairy with hundreds of even cuter flying helpers, the Baby Teeth. 

The tale opens with Frost being a Jack the Lad bringing joy to children with snow days, ice slides and merriment but he yearns for recognition. When he's summoned to the North Pole by the other Guardians it takes more than a little convincing to get him on board in the battle against Pitch. The 3D here is bright and beautiful, scenes are crisp and clear and only serve to draw you further into the tale as there is never a lull in pace as the story is woven together. 

Comic relief comes in no small part from the non speaking support cast, the elves and the yetis. They steal every scene they're a part of and keep the humour light hearted enough for little ones even though there's a consistent sense of menace from the deliciously dark Pitch Black. (Guillermo del Toro's doing, no doubt). There are pretty in your face parallels between Pitch and Frost but when it comes down to it, Rise of the Guardians is a tale of companionship and the importance of belief, it's peppered with laughter, some truly touching scenes and festive spirit that makes it an easy watch.

When the opening credits for Rise of the Guardians rolled at Movie Fest this year, the predominantly mid thirty and male audience groaned, when our 30 minutes of footage suddenly ended they groaned even louder, having been drawn in to the animated family adventure despite themselves. 

Even though the story isn't too challenging (read thrilling) for older audience members, the slick animation, likeable characters and feel good factor are enough to enthral entire cinemas at a time. Because of the cross holiday feel it could be enjoyed at any time of the year, which is pretty clever on the part of Dreamworks, you can expect to see it played again and again once it hits DVD but, for now, Rise of the Guardians is an ideal festive treat for movie goers of all ages. 


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