Saturday, 1 December 2012

Review: Rise of the Guardians (3D)

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Rise of the Guardians 3D poster

Rise of the Guardians (3D)
97 mins / Dir. Peter Ramsey

'TIS THE SEASON! Let the Christmas movies commence! You're allowed to watch as many as you like, as often as you like, all December!

I was under the impression that Holiday movies were supposed to be exciting and/or warm and/or touching and/or… interesting? Apparently not, if this 97-minute animation demo is anything to go by. If there was ever a film that was ideal for depositing the kids at on a Saturday while you get some shopping done: this is it. They'll be distracted by the bright colours and flying things, and you won't have to sit and weep over how much you've paid to sit and be sedated in three dimensions.

Visually speaking, Guardians is an impressive, if odd, affair. Some of the characters are hugely stylised, some of them less so, leading to several detours down the uncanny valley (main culprit: Jack Frost's freaky-deaky hands). The animation itself; the textures, effects, backgrounds, is nothing short of beautiful, but in a way that completely fails to excuse the uninteresting story and characters. I almost fell asleep at one point, I kid you not. The last twenty minutes pick things up a bit, but it's really too little too late. The 3D work is nicely applied, but it's a CGI film so it's supposed to be ;)

RotG's story seems implausible even within its own confines (although bonus points for fashioning a hero from an amnesiac ghost with no regard for health and safety). There are some chucklesome moments, largely from one-liners and visual slapstick, but nowhere near enough to justify the run-time. The voice-acting's largely passable, but with a story this incoherent you probably won't notice either way. Oh, and it's nice to see that a) DreamWorks have gone with the hollywood tradition of The Bad Guy Must Have A British Accent™, and b) Jude Law has been paid to turn up and make no attempt to disguise his voice from Sounding Exactly Like Jude Law™.

I'm intrigued to know what the younger generation will make of this movie. They are, after all, usually way more discerning than the grown-ups (if the box-office for Taken 2 is anything to go by).

It's as if an animation showreel that was intended for the investors made it through the production process untouched. Technically impressive, but monumentally dull to the point of offensiveness.

Oh, and yes. 'The Easter Bunny is a bit gruff!' We get it. It wasn't funny at the start of the film, and it wasn't funny by the end. Poor, poor Jackman…


• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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